Ronnie Dio is probably one of those people who’s been in most rockers’ lives since the word go. He left this life 3 years ago, but rock’n’roll heroes never really “die”.
I remember Ronnie as being a very kind and polite man with a great sense of humor.
[Ronnie, press conference at Sweden Rock Festival 2005]
He was just one of those people who always had TIME for everybody. I never saw him brush off people without a very good reason (I never saw him do that at all, but I would imagine that if he ever did, there would have had to be a reason).
Many years ago we had an interview scheduled with Ronnie in Malmo and the band was late. When they showed up at KB, there wasn’t even time for a proper sound check, and we had almost given up on the idea of getting an interview.
I was convinced that we could just forget about it. Ronnie walked over with a smile, said that it was very tight with his time, but if we thought we would be able to do it in 5-10 minutes, then he would be happy to do it. And then he apologized over and over again for the situation being what it was.
He left his contact e-mail and offered to answer any questions that we still might have at a better time. He kept his promise.
Most artists would have told us that they couldn’t do it, and left it at that. Ronnie chose to find a solution, eventhough he really didn’t have to.
Years before that, I was at SAS Radisson Hotel in Malmö with some friends, and Ronnie came out of the elevator. I guess we all must have looked like a swarm of flies when we all tried to get an autograph before he left. He smiled, didn’t act stressed or annoyed at all, he just enjoyed meeting people. Always time for a kind word and for a photo or whatever it was people wanted.
Nobody is perfect and I’m sure that Ronnie wasn’t a ”perfect” person either, but I’ve only ever seen him as a kind and very professional man. On stage he always blew me away. He made everything look so easy. When he moved, it was as if he was walking on little clouds or something, he was just a very unique artist in every sense of the word.
I remember the day he passed, I was in Croatia and had very limited access to the Internet, and it was too expensive to call somebody in Sweden.
It was such a shock when I got the news, felt like a family member was gone. I couldn’t believe it, was so low all day and the worst part was that I had nobody to talk to about it.
My dad is great, but he knows nothing about music and you can’t explain to someone who’s not a part of this whole rock’n’roll lifestyle how it feels and why. To him, it would just be ”some artist” so why would that affect me at all. Basically, I couldn’t vent it anywhere. I got a text from a friend over in the States, I remember that much. It just said something like ”I’m so sad”, he felt the same way – as did the whole heavy metal community all over the planet.
It was a sad day. The King of Rock’n’Roll, The Man On The Silver Mountain, lost his battle against ”the dragon” – cancer.
But people like Ronnie never really cease to exist. They live on in the hearts of millions of people all over the world. I’m sure he’s up there having a great time with all the other greats who left us to join the band in the sky….