Here we are, at the destination of a long, despondent journey. My wish is to honor Dio's life and music, but I can't help but express my sorrow. I do not cry for him. I know he is beyond all Earthly concern. He travels the breadth of creation at the speed of thought. He has ascended. Instead, I cry for us, for life will not be the same without his magnificent presence in our world. Every fan who attended his shows, every person who bought his albums, every human being he touched with his music and his genuine heart feels the emptiness that has been left behind in his absence. It will not be a void quickly filled, nor a heart easily mended.
His last public appearance was at the Revolver Golden Gods Awards, which was broadcast last night on VH1 Classic (why is it that all the repulsive shows that VH1 does - the reality shows, the constant retread of the top one-hit wonders, etc., are on their basic channel, but all the awesome stuff that really matters, that's on the premium channel that you have to pay extra for? Fucking bullshit!). I'm sure that those who watched Dio accept his award for "Best Vocalist" on the showing feel like they witnessed a ghost. It must be heartbreaking to see that, mostly because Dio had expressed so much hope for the future. He remained strong and let his fans know that they were loved. Well, I happen to have some footage of Dio accepting his award and talking with people at the award show. So if you missed it, just like I did, worry no more.
Someone was kind enough to put up their "inside footage" of Ronnie James Dio accepting his award. Hearing the fans chanting his name, it seemed like he was poised for victory; not just for the award, but for the fact that he was getting the recognition he deserved. David Marchese from SPIN may be a douche for writing his mocking article, but it brings up a point that Dio remained true to himself, instead of selling out, like so many people in the music industry, even in Metal. He didn't appeal to those who listen to shitty music to try to be cool - as the guys in Manowar would say, the False Metal. Dio was well liked because of his dedication to his fans and to his music and it's about fucking time that other people started to realize that.
This next video has the guys from VH1 Classic's That Metal Show talking to Dio again on the "Black" Carpet. The guys were, obviously, concerned with Dio's health and were genuinely worried about him, to which Dio assures them it's okay. Despite it being his last appearance before his death, he didn't want everyone to give up hope. He fought his illness valiantly and let us know that he would beat it or die trying. Though it claimed his life, it did not claim his will. When Dio hugged the one guy, I could see the love, admiration, and camaraderie that was between these guys. It was very touching.
One last video... Ronnie James Dio and Yngwie Malmsteen did a cover of "Dream On" for an Aerosmith tribute album. Somehow, I find it appropriate as a final parting moment.
And so, my painful tribute concludes. I still wish I didn't have to acknowledge the death of a man who still had so much to give to his fans. Everyone he came into contact with were made greater, thanks to his presence. Though we have never met, he has given me purpose and changed my life.
Goodbye, Ronnie James Dio.
I will always miss you.
I will never forget you.