In memory of Ronnie James Dio, this brief tribute is one in thousands posted in print and Internet. I am writing to share with all of you that came into Ronnie’s life path, from stagehands to road crew and musicians – even if for a brief hello with him – it is obvious that his passing, on May 16 has many of you affected and you’re feeling the pain and feeling loss.
I was very close to Ronnie professionally and personally and have countless stories of his exceptional character. The man was a humanitarian; accessible to all his fans; a loyal friend to those in his close circle and; a teacher of love and life. As his lighting designer and director and his stage set designer from Holy Diver Tour in 1983 for nearly every tour until his last with Heaven & Hell in 2009, I can tell you that he was a pioneer in developing live staging, theatrics and production arts by being so meticulous with bringing the physical arts of staging and actively working with me so I could interpret his concepts into light design and cues together with his music.
In 2008, I filmed Ronnie with my side project called Road Cases Shorts for a cable series. I want to contribute to his memory and to this end, posted an exclusive short story on YouTube, where Ronnie tells the tale with Wendy Dio and me, about Nick Jackson and pryo gone wrong, just before a 1980 Black Sabbath concert in London’s Hammersmith Odeon.
A public memorial service will be held on May 30, 2010, at 2:00 pm for Ronnie James Dio at the Forest Lawn Hall of Liberty, 6300 Forest Lawn Drive, Hollywood Hills, CA 90068. May he rest in peace. I shall miss him as I know that many of you will also. — Paul Dexter