It has been 10 years since the passing of Ronnie James DIO and to stomach cancer. Though is a known cancer it doesn’t exposure as other cancers including the amount of funding to kill it. Since then his manger Wendy DIO made a committed mission to get funding for research and since the conception of the Stand Up And Shout Against Cancer foundation it has raised awareness and millions of dollars for continuous research with Dr. David Wong at Professor and Associate Dean for Research at UCLA, and Ronnie’s DR. Sandeep Kapoor to people tested by saliva to be done at medical labs.
The Gala awards and dinner took place at The Avalon at Hollywood, California on February 18, 2020.
There were the red-carpet photos that included: Wendy DIO, Sebastian Bach, Jeff Pilson of Foreigner, singer Glenn Hughes, Frankie Banali of Quiet Riot, Fred Coury of Cinderella, Robbie Crane of Black Star Rider, music industry executive Ahmet Zappa, members of The DIO Disciples, Sadie Nardini of Sadie and Tribe, Laura Heatherly CEO of the TJ Martell Foundation, Geezer Butler of Black Sabbath, Eddie Truck of Sirius XM and That Metal Show and other others getting awards. And those of course wanted their picture taken with the infamous banner of the cover to the tribute album This Is Your Life.
Entertainment was provided by the amazing vocals and visuals of Ronnie James Dio with his live band DIO, featuring vocalists Tim Ripper Owens and Oni Logan and band members Simon Wright, Craig Goldy, Scott Warren and Bjorn Englen. Joining the evening’s lineup is LosAngeles comedian Brian Posehn, who in addition his comedic duties, performed a song from his upcoming album accompanied by Scott Ian (Anthrax) and Joey Vera (Armored Saint, Fates Warning). Local rockers Sadie & the Tribe also performed.
Before the event I talked to Wendy DIO about the event and the reissue of DIO albums that been out of print for many years.
IMM: On the gala awards for the 10th anniversary of Ronnie’s passing, you had many suggestions like having a big concert and invite many musicians. Why the gala awards?
WD: I thought it would be nice who have been involved in Ronnie’s life that usually don’t get recognition like Rhino and BMG record labels who have been supporting Ronnie for the past 30 years. And BMG with the new re-releases. And Ronnie’s engineer Wyn Davis to give him recognition who worked on most of his albums. And to Barry Drinkwater to did merchandise for us forever. And brining up to new things like Dr. Wong who is supporting and researching new technology for screening cancer with non-evasive way of screening and to thank him and thank Laura Heatherly CEO of the TJ Martell Foundation who has been always supportive of us and helped Ronnie to MD Anderson when I needed to get him the best oncologist there was in America. They got us into MD Anderson. And last of all Jeff Pezzuti who developed the hologram into modern times.
So I thought it would be nice to support these people and get celebrity presenters like Tommy Lee of Motley Crue, Sebastian Bach, Jeff Pilson, Ahmet Zappa, Frankie Banali, Robbie Crane, Glen Hughes and Fred Coury of Cinderella.
Performing are the DIO Disciples, Sadie and the Tribe and comedian Brian Posehn with Scott Ian of Anthrax and Joey Vera of Armored Saint which they made an album. It will be a fun evening with a silent auction, a live auction, a magician from the Magic Castle and up for auction for five people to go to the Magic Castle. There is also a fabulous Sacred Heart watch a gentleman made for us from a Rolex watch, and a safari trip to South America and so many intrusting things to raise money for the cancer fund.
IMM: Is there a plan for the Ride For Ronnie?
WD: Yes, the Ride For Ronnie will be on 17th of May at Los Encinos Park. We love that place, we enjoy that place, and the people are cooperative with us. We are getting bands together right now and we have four bands to play but not yet secured and won’t give the names out yet until we get everything sorted. And the bowling will be on the 12th of November this year.
IMM: The next topic is on the reissue albums like Angry Machines, Magica, Master Of The Moon and Killing the Dragon. The decision to re-release these albums and possible to rerelease the previous albums?
WD: The problem is the previous albums are on the Warner Bros label through Rhino records. And those were the days they owned them outright and I am under their scope when they want to bring things out. With BMG, those last four albums belong to me and I licensed them to BMG and been out of print for about ten years. I am very excited about this because they were re-mastered by Wyn Davis, Ronnie’s engineer who is actually getting a award and very happy about that, And the studio albums come with a bonus album of the live tour accompany that tour. When the record came out there was the tour that went along with it and that stuff has not been heard before or released and bonus tracks that were only released in Japan with new artwork from Marc Sasso who does a lot of our artwork and a great friend.
I am excited about these re-issues and is great that the young kids are listening to Ronnie’s music. Since Ronnie’s passing ten years ago there over 2 million fans on his Facebook. “Rainbow In The Dark” in the new Thor four movie that is coming out. The TV series strange things asked me if they can use DIO t shirts in the next series.
I think is the first ever that kids are into their parent’s music.
IMM: To finish up is there live footage that might get released?
WD: There is a lot of stuff but I don’t want to flood the market. I have to do what Ronnie wanted me to do. Like be very careful with the releases and when they come out. So there is lots of other stuff in the works. I’m also working with Mick Gould on finishing Ronnie’s book up to Rainbow and other scribbling he’s done. The book will be out next year and signed with BMG for documentary that will be out next year so a very busy year for me.
IMM: It’s always good to talking to you
WD: Thank you for your continuous support and couldn’t do without people like you
Presenting the awards to the honorees at the Gala were recording artists Sebastian Bach, Jeff Pilson of Foreigner, singer Glenn Hughes, Frankie Banali of Quiet Riot, Fred Coury of Cinderella, Robbie Crane of Black Star Riders and music industry executive Ahmet Zappa. Who shared their memories with Ronnie. Also was in attendance was Tommy Lee of Motley Crue.
Eight awards named after songs written by Ronnie James Dio were presented to the following distinguished honorees:
* Holy Diver Award: honoring Rhino Entertainment/Warner Music Group executives Kevin Gore, President, Global Catalog, Recorded Music & Arts Music, Warner Music Group; Mark Pinkus, President, Rhino Entertainment & U.S. Catalog; Jason Day, Vice President, A&R, Rhino Entertainment; Jason Elzy, Vice President, Communications & Marketing, Rhino Entertainment; and Brian Dodd, Manager, Global Artist Brand Management, Rhino Entertainment
* Killing the Dragon Award: Laura Heatherly, Chief Executive Officer, T.J. Martell Foundation, which is dedicated to funding innovative medical research focused on finding treatments and cures for cancer, leukemia and AIDS
* King of Rock ‘n Roll Award: Barry Drinkwater, Executive Chairman, Global Merchandise Services Ltd.
* Magica Award: Wyn Davis, Ronnie James Dio’s Long-Time Recording Engineer and Owner of Total Access Recording Studios
* Master of the Moon Award: honoring BMG executives Thomas Scherer, Executive Vice-President, Repertoire & Marketing L.A., Global Writer Services & China; Michael Kachko, Senior Vice-President, Catalog Recordings; Jeff Christian, Director, Catalog; and Kathy Rivkin Daum, Senior Director, Films
* Rainbow in the Dark Award: Mikeal Maglieri, Owner of the World-Renowned Rainbow Bar and Grill and Whisky a Go Go on the Sunset Strip
* Sacred Heart Award: Dr. David Wong, Professor and Associate Dean for Research, UCLA School of Dentistry and Director for UCLA Center for Oral/Head & Neck Oncology Research (COOR)
* Stand Up and Shout Award: Jeff Pezzuti, CEO of Eyellusion, creators of the Dio Returns! Hologram