Heavy Metal legend Ronnie James Dio
Though he was not, to my knowledge, a photographer, singer Ronnie James Dio was a stellar artist. The greatest vocalist to ever grace Heavy Metal, Dio brought an operatic range, melodic phrasing, and poetic lyrics to his passionate and high-intensity work with Black Sabbath, Elf, Rainbow, and -- of course -- Dio.
Although this has nothing to do with photography, then again, it does. Many of the images on my website, this blog, and in numerous publications were inspired by Dio. As "I Speed at Night," I rock out to his legendary tunes, such as "Sign of the Southern Cross," "Shame On the Night," "I," "Shadow of the Wind," and "Follow the Tears."
Dio was also an inspiration in how he lived his life: Ronnie James Dio was the Wayne Newton of Heavy Metal. He was gracious and grateful for his fans, and was always a gentleman and a real mensch with them. He earned the reputation amongst metalheads for always staying after shows to sign memorabilia, and he often would converse at length with his admirers.
I was looking forward to attending one of Dio's concerts this summer with Heaven and Hell -- and to photograph the sights along the way. Now, where there was anticipation and excitement, there's a void that will be hard to fill.
You will be missed, Ronnie. Rest in peace, brave knight!