An Interview with RONNIE JAMES DIO

Interview by Ray Van Horn, Jr. - March 2005

If you’ve followed heavy metal for a long time, the mention of Ronnie James Dio’s name is second-nature, like Steve Harris and Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden, or Rob Halford or KK Downing of Judas Priest. You’re either practiced in its enunciation, or you’re just beginning to learn that the three-letter, two syllable name brings with it a history that spans most of our lifetimes and beyond. For myself, I can dust off my old denim vest from the eighties and count four different buttons out of the scores with Dio’s name on them. Needless to say, I have lots of memories related to this man, and as Ronnie James Dio releases the companion CD to his live DVD "Evil or Divine: Live in NYC," I take a veteran fan’s pleasure in knowing I’ve conversed with one of the genuine greats in the business.

RoughEdge.com: Hi, how are you, brother?

Ronnie James Dio: Good.

RoughEdge.com: Good. It’s an honor, man.

Ronnie James Dio: Thanks so much. I appreciate that.

RoughEdge.com: I appreciate the time. I’m going to start off and mention that the origin of the name Dio has so many variables behind the actual word. In Italian it means “God” and in Hungarian it means “walnut” of all things! Realistically though, you pulled the name Dio from a Mafioso's name, right? 

Ronnie James Dio: That’s right, yeah.

RoughEdge.com: There’s a Johnny Dio in Scarface for that matter, and I guess at this point we might be able to affectionately call you one of the dons of metal!

Ronnie James Dio: (laughs) I guess there’s all kinds of word plays on my name. I think the best one I saw was when I joined Sabbath and it said “God joins Black Sabbath” or something like that. (laughs)

RoughEdge.com: (laughs) 

Ronnie James Dio: So there are a lot of plays on words about it, you know? When I took the name I just wanted something concise because my name is a bit long anyway. In those days—when I started anyway—it was pretty fashionable to chop your name down, so it flowed off the tongue a bit better. So when I chose the name, obviously it stuck and it was actually one of those very lucky choices. I didn’t do it for any reason other than it was short and it seemed to flow a little bit, but who knew that it was going to become what it has become?

RoughEdge.com: Exactly. Now obviously in today’s metal scene the upraised horns sign salute the bands that are performing or are just a silent way to say “metal.” I personally as a habit tend to flick it towards people in general conservation, merely as a gesture to say “cool” or what-have-you, but what most people don’t know or even acknowledge is that you essentially brought that whole gesture phenomenon to heavy metal culture. To me, what’s even funnier is that the gesture, in old Egyptian times, was called “The Evil Eye.”

Ronnie James Dio: Mmm hmm.

RoughEdge.com: After all these years, how does it feel to have kind of started a subliminally funny revolution with the horns-up sign? 

Ronnie James Dio: Well, once again it’s one of those things that come completely unexpected. It’s just a natural gesture of something I did that I saw as a kid from my grandmother, you know? She brought it from Italy as a superstitious gesture that’s been used, as you suggested with Egyptian times so long ago. Of course, I never invented it but for some reason that gesture happened to pop up. I was watching a Rainbow video the other day as a matter-of-fact, and I noticed I did it in that one too, though not very often. So it was always inherent there, but I think Sabbath was certainly a vehicle to be able to do something that I knew was a little bit more kind of an evil sign—not trying to give it that meaning—but it just worked and once I started to do it, it just happened to balloon more and more. People expected me to do it and I’ve used it so much I’ve become synonymous with it, but no, I didn’t invent it. To answer your question, it’s pretty cool, really, to have invented something like that! Really cool. 

RoughEdge.com: Yeah, it’s kind of funny because I’m 34 and when I go to shows today and see it all over the place I automatically think of you, of course.

Ronnie James Dio: (laughs) Right.

RoughEdge.com: Since you were one of the first to use it back in the day. Now, did Hear ‘n Aid II ever get kicked off? I know the proceeds were supposed to go to the Children of the Night organization, which fights child prostitution. 

Ronnie James Dio: Right.

RoughEdge.com: Did you ever get that kicked off?

Ronnie James Dio: We’re still in the midst of finishing the tracks, as a matter-of-fact. 

RoughEdge.com: Okay, cool.

Ronnie James Dio: What’s happened is I just repopulated my demo studio with another form of recording and it’s been a learning curve, so that, plus the fact that we’ve had a couple of gigs that we’ve done in this three month period where we haven’t done anything. We had to go off to Monterey, Mexico to do a show and we just returned from Puerto Rico and did another one. So things have kind of gotten in the middle of it, but we are doing it now and we’re just kind of learning what we’re doing and we’re going to finish the song soon. 

RoughEdge.com: Excellent. What I thought was really special about that VH-1 100 Most Metal Moments is that they chose the first Hear ‘n Aid as number one.

Ronnie James Dio: Yeah.

RoughEdge.com: Because people don’t often associate metal with philanthropy, you know? So many narrow-minded people still pigeonhole it, for lack of a better term.

Ronnie James Dio: Well, we certainly noticed that when we were doing the project, truthfully. It was kind of scoffed at when it was even suggested. I think what was lucky was, at that particular moment when Jimmy (Bain) and Viv (Vivian Campbell) had the conception to do it, coupled with the Dio name that was certainly very successful at that time, I think that drew a lot of people around it and really made it possible. But without that, everyone would just go (laughs) ‘what’s this going to be all about?’

RoughEdge.com: (laughs)

Ronnie James Dio: I mean, just proving the fact that we could do it and how much the people cared who did it, and how successful it was from a genre that wasn’t looked upon to make any money at all, I guess … But it proved how strong metal was and that there was a great audience for it. So I think all-in-all, it was very eye-opening, but very difficult because it was not really embraced in the beginning.

RoughEdge.com: Yeah, definitely. As a fan, I got the tape right away and only the people in my circle got it while everybody else was like, ‘Oh, it’s just a knockoff of Live Aid or Band Aid!’ I used to say “You just don’t get it, man.” 

Ronnie James Dio: Well, they don’t get it, but that’s not the point. The point is that I think too many people have the preconceived notion that whatever we do we really do for money, and I think a lot of people thinking ‘Oh, they’re just jumping on the bandwagon, it’s going to be good for them!’ then in what way was it good for us except for the fact that it showed we had a conscience? It shows that no matter what kind of music you play, that people are people and if you care, you care. You do what you do. But yeah, you’re always going to get that, but I think it’s because there were so many offshoots of it. Country did one. I’m sure jazz did one. I know a couple of other music genres did it too. Because ours was at the very end of it, I think it was just looked upon as ‘Ah, they’re just jumping on the bandwagon,’ but in actuality, of course we did it because we cared.

RoughEdge.com: Exactly, and it’s not like that metal, as an art form, has had any easy way to go in terms of acceptance.

Ronnie James Dio: Well, aside from that, if you listen to the song itself, “Stars,” which had the chance to feature all those people on it …even though there wasn’t a lot of room for them to expand as they would if they were the only guitar player or the only singer, I think the performances were great! I think that it was as well done as anything else and there was actually a song the metal people at that time really liked and could relate to. I think it just showed a lot of talent there and I know that it did because I was involved in producing the thing, and working with all that talent that was in that room, whether it would be guitar day or vocal day, was pretty stunning! So it reaffirmed my faith musically that the people out there who are successful are really good at it.

RoughEdge.com: Mmm hmm. That leads into my next question, which is a little different pace: Having come from supergroups like Rainbow, Sabbath and even Elf with the Deep Purple connection, you’ve gathered elite musicians repeatedly, using Hear ‘n Aid as one example, but even into your own personal band. To me, it reminds me of Prince that he’s always able to assemble these monster supergroups and you’ve done the same over the years. Right now you’ve got Rudy Sarzo, and Craig Goldy’s back, and some people may have forgotten that Simon Wright used to play for AC/DC. I guess what I’m trying to get at is that it’s nothing but the best for your band, correct?

Ronnie James Dio: That’s because it’s always been the attitude. That’s always been my attitude. I don’t want to play with people lesser than me. I mean, sometimes you do, and I’m not trying to say that from an ego standpoint, but at some point you want to get good at what you do or you don’t. It was the same matter with my joining Rainbow, well not joining it, but forming it with Ritchie (Blackmore). He wanted someone there who was at least an equal to his talent as a writer and a singer, or at least that’s what he thought, and hopefully it proved correct! So Ritchie’s certainly not going to settle for someone who’s second rate, nor would I. I think I learned so much of that from being within the Deep Purple organization. They always did things classy, you know, first rate. The musicians are always great musicians, something I always wanted to be and aspire to be, so that was my inspiration. So I’m always going to live within those rules. You have to surround yourself with the same talent that you have, and I think that it’s been easier for me because I’ve been blessed with that talent and have had success. People gravitate towards success and they say “I want to play with Ronnie Dio. Maybe I’ll learn something, maybe it’ll be a step up for me,” whatever it may be. Whatever the reason, I’ve always been able to surround myself with usually the top guys.

RoughEdge.com: To me, trying to be in their position, I imagine they feel they would have to step up their game to play music with such historical relevance in rock music.

Ronnie James Dio: Oh, absolutely! That’s why you need those players for a start … if you listen to the music that we still continue to play, which encompasses Sabbath and Rainbow, then you have to be pretty damned good at it. I mean, you’re playing parts that Ritchie Blackmore was playing, you’re playing parts that Cozy (Powell) played, and on and on and on. You’ve got to be good to do that kind of thing! So you’ve got people who are like ‘Wow, I can’t wait to give that a try!’

RoughEdge.com: Yeah.

Ronnie James Dio: The bad ones aren’t capable of it, while the good ones you keep, you know, guys like Rudy who are just so absolutely brilliant at it, and Craig and Simon, you know, they all have the same work ethic that my band has … my ethic is that everything has to reach for perfection. No, you never can do that, it’s impossible; you’re never going to get perfection and if you do, you might as well shoot yourself!

RoughEdge.com: (laughs) 

Ronnie James Dio: But if you keep striving for it, no matter what you do, whether it’s rehearsal, whether it’s a gig, whether it’s writing, you always go for that and then you know, chances are that you’re going to be very consistently putting out product that people will want to hear. 

RoughEdge.com: Cool. Now you’ve been described by countless people who have testified to your personal genuineness and fan-friendliness. I’ve heard lots of stories about your dedication to meet-and-greet with fans and is this one of the contributing factors towards your leaving Sabbath both times?

Ronnie James Dio: No, no, not at all. That had nothing to do with it.

RoughEdge.com: Okay, I misinterpreted something I read.

Ronnie James Dio: They weren’t fan-unfriendly. They were just what they were. I mean, they’ve been successful for a long, long, long time! You get into the routine of knowing what’s coming next and it becomes a pain in the neck sometimes. You started by wanting to play music and not having to deal with those things, so you either are that person or you aren’t that person, and that was never ever a problem. That never led to anything like that at all. My fan-friendliness is because that’s what I want to do. Those are the people I play for, they got me there. Those are the people I listen to. I want to know if I’m doing it right, and if I’m doing it wrong, what can I do to make it better? I mean, that’s just sense to me, and I like to talk to people. I love their genuineness and you can’t buy that kind of love. I’ve been a really lucky person to have that and when I see that kind of appreciation out there, I don’t see how you can’t respond by saying thank you just by signing an autograph or saying hello or speaking to them, or even learn something. But no, it was never a reason for my leaving Sabbath.

RoughEdge.com: Right on, man. There would be so much to cover in your career that it would take us all day, but what will always hit in my mind as a fan was the first time I ever saw “The Last in Line” video. 

Ronnie James Dio: Cool.

RoughEdge.com: What I thought was gutsy about you having the tentacle splicing scene …

Ronnie James Dio: Yeah.

RoughEdge.com: It helped me to get hooked on metal as I was just beginning to get interested, but you took a lot of heat for it back then! I know today’s generation can’t really relate given the crap that’s on MTV now, but that scene particularly was hardcore for its time!

Ronnie James Dio: It was, yeah. All of that was. It was directed by and really put together by a guy named Don Coscarelli, he’s the guy who did "Beastmaster" …

RoughEdge.com: Okay.

Ronnie James Dio: Great director, at the top of his game, so you’re dealing with someone who’s really, really good for a start, and that was all his concept on how he wanted to do that and he did a great job with it. As far as anything that was done in those days, if it was a little bit too violent or a little too strange, then it was, of course, frowned upon, but I think if you look at that video you see not only the images that we’re trying to portray, which are kind of netherworld here and there, but there’s so much sci-fi in it. I think that forgives whatever violence there may be there.

RoughEdge.com: Right on.

Ronnie James Dio: I mean, it’s a fictional thing, but I was really proud of the video. I thought it was great. The question most asked to me is, is the young kid in the video your son? And of course, it wasn’t. It was a kid named Neil Paluz, who was actually Punky Brewster’s brother. 

RoughEdge.com: Oh, cool!

Ronnie James Dio: And Punky Brewster is actually one in the crowd as well. She was only like five or six at the time. She came down with her brother, and then we stuck her in there as well.

RoughEdge.com: How neat is that? Well, while we’re still in the eighties, I read a quote from a young fan who said that he’s sad he wasn’t around during the eighties to catch you, quote, “when metal ruled the world,” so tell me how you yourself perceive the eighties. I mean, for you I’m sure it was an up and down kind of thing and having “Hungry for Heaven” play on the Vision Quest soundtrack along with Madonna, John Waite, Journey and Style Council … I mean, what a statement of what a crazy decade the eighties were!

Ronnie James Dio: Yeah, absolutely. If we go back to that time, those were the people who were successful and some of those were the people who were coming up. Anybody who had a song on that particular album should thank Madonna up and down because she certainly made it easy to sell that album! She was such a hot prospect, again just coming up, and everybody wanted to hear her sing, so there it was on that album and it certainly helped. But yeah, the cross section of people there just shows you how music was kind of perhaps muddling at that particular point, trying to find a way, trying to find a new direction, whatever, and so you’ve got this hodgepodge of a lot of people. Of course, it was also a matter of ‘let’s choose the hottest properties that there are, no matter what they are together, and they’ll sell this product,’ and that’s really what happened. 

RoughEdge.com: Right. Staying in this theme here, the CD companion to your live DVD, "Evil or Divine: Live in NYC" is being released, and what I’ll comment upon is, for that kid who missed the eighties, you and your band are very respectful towards us older fans and then the newer generation by selecting a large portion of the classic Rainbow and Dio songs, even “Heaven and Hell” from Sabbath, and it just reminds us that Sabbath wasn’t just an Ozzy phenomenon, which is what I beat my head against the wall to remind some of these fans!

Ronnie James Dio: (laughs)

RoughEdge.com: But do you feel "Evil or Divine" helps bring that spirit back for the old legion and sort of presents a time capsule for the new?

Ronnie James Dio: You know, Ray, I think it’s actually more directed probably at us than it is in a general way. I think that’s maybe what we’ve done for ourselves and giving people a time capsule as to what we are, because I think we’re just so different than all those other bands. In talking about the ethic and the people I’ve been lucky enough to be surrounded with, that’s what’s made this band a little bit more special, a little bit more different. I’d like to think, of course, my uniqueness of singing style has probably helped as well. 

RoughEdge.com: Right.

Ronnie James Dio: And the writing that we’ve done together, all the people, all of us who have written together have written good songs, so I think what you’re seeing there is Dio. I don’t think you can say ‘Wow, there’s Dio, this must be exactly what it was like to be in Cinderella!’ or ‘That must be what Cinderella sounded like,’ or ‘That must be what Slaughter sounded like,’ you know, some of the bands I’m mentioning that were around in that time, but who didn’t have any of the same kind of the musical credentials that we had, and again I think it’s more pointed towards the Dio band, not giving any kind of microcosmic look into what it was then. 

RoughEdge.com: Right. Now, you’ve performed countless shows with all of the bands you’ve been associated with, particularly your solo band, and you’ve got a number of live albums, but in your opinion for "Evil or Divine," what made it particularly worthy in your eyes to capture it for yourselves? 

Ronnie James Dio: Well, it was a great band, just a great band. Doug Aldrich was playing with us then, you know, just a brilliant guitar player. We really cared a lot about each other, we had a good time doing it. It was at the end of the tour swing, we had been playing for about six months and we were really on top of our game, so it was really a perfect time with the perfect people. Everybody was playing well. Jimmy Bain was still with us then, he was the original bass player. So it had a good connection to it, I’m glad we got a chance to capture that band with Jimmy in it. It was just a right time for the band, you know, the band was really wailing at that time, but had it been any of the other bands it still would’ve been just as good because we insist upon that.

RoughEdge.com: Right. "Evil or Divine" captures the "Killing the Dragon" tour, but a lot of circles are still talking about the "Magica" tour as being what the name implies, pure magic. Specifically, I frequently hear about how the "Dream Evil" material takes new life from that tour. Do you feel that "Dream Evil" fell short of your production expectations that made it better as far as the live interpretation? 

Ronnie James Dio: I actually think that, in retrospect, that that was a really good album.

RoughEdge.com: Oh, I agree.

Ronnie James Dio: At one time I hardly cared for it and we hardly did anything from that album. I think maybe it was because of the circumstances. It was kind of difficult for Craig (Goldy) to come in and replace Viv, who everybody was so used to and wanted to still be in the band, so I think at times it made it difficult for me, and I always look back at those times as that album not being a very good album, but it was. It was a great album. Nowadays I think about how many good songs are on that album and just how well it was done, so no, I don’t think it fell short of any expectations at all.

RoughEdge.com: Cool. I want to use that kid for this next question, at this point a hypothetical kid. Take him by the hand if there’s this kid staring at you and he’s asking you to show him your career. I guess pick a point-of-reference in your career where you’d like this kid to start discovering Dio.

Ronnie James Dio: If we’re only talking about Dio …

RoughEdge.com: Sure, that sounds good.

Ronnie James Dio: Okay, that way I can get my timing right …

RoughEdge.com: (laughs)

Ronnie James Dio: I think it would have to be just before the band was formed, because I’d come out of Sabbath at the time. We had no record deal at all, well, actually I’m telling a lie. I had a solo deal with Warner Brothers at the time, so that was good. It wasn’t the reason I left. Had I not had that deal, I still would’ve been gone and I still would’ve found some other place to go, but luckily that happened. So Dio in place doesn’t really matter.

RoughEdge.com: Right.

Ronnie James Dio: So the kid’s going “Now what?” ‘Well, we don’t have a guitar player and we don’t have a bass player, we just have you and I, Vinnie (Appice), a drummer and singer and what are we going to do now?’ So I take that kid and show him what we did, and what we did was go to England, find a bass player, find a guitar player, one that we thought was going to be really special. It happened to be Viv Campbell. The bass player is Jimmy (Bain), who I’ve played with before and I knew how steady he was. But moreover, it’s all the trials and tribulations of all that, of trying to find those correct people. That’s where it really all started with Dio, not settling for anything second-best, traveling six thousand miles across the ocean to find what we really wanted. That was the beginning of the band; that was the most important part, because we overcame obstacles. The rest was easy. After that, it was just putting those musicians into a room because they are that good, and creating and enjoying it, so I would take it from the hard part, which is putting it together first when you’re suddenly out of the biggest band in the world, and you know, seemingly left behind. 

RoughEdge.com: Right on. One of the things I’ve personally related to with Dio is the medieval element that you’ve always embraced throughout your career. I’ve always thought of Dio as the Excalibur of metal and I’m sure you’ve probably heard that reference a thousand times, but I also believe in karma and the afterlife, and I specifically feel that I was a squire to a knight in another life and we were both killed in battle. Call me a cornball, so be it, but what is it, including past projects like Rainbow, that has enamored you to the Renaissance?

Ronnie James Dio: Well, it was always about reading for me. I was an only child. I like to read to a lot, so I used to read a lot of things like Walter Scott books, Edgar Rice Burroughs books, John Carter of Mars books …

RoughEdge.com: Cool.

Ronnie James Dio: A lot of science fiction books which are all very related Medievally. A lot of the stories are told within that aspect with those trappings, and so having used my imagination and putting myself in a world that we never could see … there may be films of it, there may be drawings of it, but who knew the way it really was? Putting myself into that perspective, I think I decided that once I had to start writing songs for myself, then I was therefore going to use that kind of outline as much as I could, because it was different. No one else was doing it. Again, I let the imagination go where it wanted to. You can almost say anything and create anything and people will either believe it or not. Those who wanted to hear the kind of rambling that made them use their imagination enjoy that. So it was from the early reading that I really decided, to be successful, you’ve got to be really unique, and I thought that was going to make me a bit more unique. But it was an easy form for me to write in too, because I read about it so much and I really enjoyed it so much.

RoughEdge.com: Right on. I want to talk about the “Push” video for a second. I’ve considered you one of the more serious, almost royalty-like figures of metal, and then you watch this video for “Push,” which cracked me up by having Tenacious D in it.

Ronnie James Dio: Mmm hmm.

RoughEdge.com: (laughs) And I think you’re to be commended for … I look at it as almost self-lambasting in this video.

Ronnie James Dio: Well, it was a joy to be able to have Jack (Black) and Kyle (Gass) doing it. It was great to meet Jack and know what a great rock fan he was and how much he liked what we did in Sabbath and Dio. That was really nice to be by someone who had a reputation like that. But, you know, humor is so important in life! I mean, you can’t take yourself seriously all the time! 

RoughEdge.com: (laughs)

Ronnie James Dio: It wasn’t meant to be self-deprecating at all, but I think at the end of the day it probably did show what I’ve always tried to say, which was, I don’t have that kind of an ego. None of us have that kind of an ego. Our ego, I think, is what other people think you are or what they want you to be, whether it’s positively or negatively, so we don’t defend ourselves with it, but if that in any way shows that we don’t have that kind of ego, then “Push” was worth it.

RoughEdge.com: Yeah, no doubt. Speaking of humor, I guess you’re aware of … I mean, it’s old, but I saw a Ronnie James Dio for President campaign website!

Ronnie James Dio: Yeah. (laughs)

RoughEdge.com: (laughs) Were you involved in that at all or is that just something that cropped up?

Ronnie James Dio: No, that was either someone’s wishful or destructive thinking! (laughs) I don’t know which it was. No, it was just something that came up. It was nothing to do with me. 

RoughEdge.com: That was nuts, man! (laughs)

Ronnie James Dio: (laughs) 

RoughEdge.com: Now, even though it’s been out for awhile, I feel I should mention your latest studio album "Master of the Moon."

Ronnie James Dio: Mmm hmm.

RoughEdge.com: First, are there any new mascot names for this demon on the cover like Murray or Denzil in the past?

Ronnie James Dio: No, he doesn’t have one. We haven’t really personalized him enough because I doubt very much we’ll be using him again. He was never really meant to be that, it was just to be not-Murray, but something that had a lot of strength and of course had a connection to the album covers we’ve done before. 

RoughEdge.com: Right on. Now, since you’re no stranger to the recording studio, I’m sure "Master of the Moon" was probably textbook for you. Pretend I’m a guest observing you guys record. What exactly am I seeing going on in the studio for this album particularly?

Ronnie James Dio: Well, you’re seeing a band that’s really prepared with its material, one who’s ready to go into the studio and record it. I think that’s the most important part. You’ll see that, then you’ll see the changes that go on inside of it. Nothing is ever written in stone. Once you sometimes hear it back, you realize it could be better, so it’s always a constant changing process, but we’re lucky because it has been so basically well prepared that the changes don’t take months at a time. We’re always quite true to the time we have. We usually record it in two months. 

RoughEdge.com: Nice. Now, since rock history will always reference you as synonymous with “Rainbow in the Dark,” can we philosophize for a second and just say that since the song appeared towards the end of an uncertain climate in America in the early eighties, that we could probably carry its message into the equally blackened times we live in right now? In other words, your rainbow to me represents a positivity that we need in our darkness as a society.

Ronnie James Dio: Yeah, I agree. It was really just something that came out of me at the time for perhaps whatever I was going through, and how I wanted to use those words as an analogy for what I felt at the time. I think the song is pretty timeless in that everyone is really exactly the same as at the time when I wrote the song, knowing that human nature has not changed and it probably never will. So yeah, I think it’s a message that can absolutely live through all periods of time. Doesn’t mean it’s going to change anything, but if someone certainly wants to listen to it and eat it, it’s there and it’ll apply to any situation.

RoughEdge.com: Yeah. Now, the last thing I want to say, and it’s more of a statement than a question, but I just want to mention that “Like the Beat of a Heart” never leaves my mind, nor does “Rock ‘n Roll Children,” both from "Sacred Heart" … that album was playing when I completed my first real first short story when I wrote it back in 1986. So it’s more or less my personal thank you for giving me a little bit of a soundtrack, you know? Also, while Joe Lynn Turner means a lot to me as an individual, “Stargazer” nonetheless defines Rainbow in my ears. 

Ronnie James Dio: Well, thank you. Thank you for that. I think it actually did enlighten the black; that whole long piece, I think, was the stamp of what the band was meant to be when it began. Joe brought a different perspective to that band the same as I brought a different perspective to Sabbath. 

RoughEdge.com: Right.

Ronnie James Dio: When you put a different person in there, you’re going to get a different flavor, but I agree. I think … to my mind anyway … that will always be as Rainbow was supposed to be, but then again, if you’re a creator of it, that’s going to be your opinion. But I do agree, I think “Stargazer” was one of the definitive songs, and that album ("Rising") was one of the definitive albums of its time.

RoughEdge.com: Oh, absolutely. Not just as a band, but the genre as a whole.

Ronnie James Dio: Yeah, it was adventuresome and it was really, really well done musically, and it was a band that nobody had heard before and they went ‘Wow, what’s that?’ Isn’t that what it’s supposed to be? Just like Dio was, everybody heard it for the first time and went ‘Wow, what’s that?’ Same with Sabbath, they heard me in the band for the first time and went “Wow, what’s that?’ Well, it proves I’ve done something right all these years, I guess! (laughs) 

RoughEdge.com: Exactly, man. That’s all I have, again I truly thank you for your time!

Ronnie James Dio: It’s a pleasure, Ray. It’s good to talk to you, pal!

RoughEdge.com: Same here, brother.

Ronnie James Dio: You take care of yourself.

RoughEdge.com: Do the same. Catch up with you later!

Ronnie James Dio: Bye, bye.

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