RIP Ronnie James Dio

The heavy metal singer Ronnie James Dio – the former lead singer of Rainbow, and Black Sabbath, and great hero of mine in my pre-Christian, teenage years – passed away yesterday, aged 67, after losing his ongoing battle with stomach cancer.

A little known fact is that Dio actually recorded guess vocals on a Christian rock album by Kerry Livgren, formerly of the band Kansas, in 1980 called ‘Seeds of Change’, as explained by Jon Reid on the ‘blog one another’ blog:

But Livgren didn’t know “the rules” of his fledgling faith and the then-fledgling Christian music industry, and asked Ronnie James Dio to sing on two of the songs. Wikipedia notes that this decision “later proved somewhat controversial among Livgren’s evangelical Christian fans, as Black Sabbath and Dio were then perceived as ‘satanic’ by many Christians.” Naughty Kerry Livgren, inviting nasty satanic singers to belt out Mask of the Great Deceiver and To Live for the King!
The story goes that Kerry Livgren was just blown away when Dio improvised his own words at the end of each of the songs.
First, the end of Mask of the Great Deceiver:
The mask of the great deceiver
He’s gonna make you a believer
He’ll tell you lies!
He’ll bend your eyes!
The great deceiver!  
Then at the end of To Live for the King:
Rejoice! Rejoice! Rejoice!
It’s an easy choice!
The time has come to sing
We’re gonna walk, walk with the king!
Open your eyes, open your eyes
The writing’s on the wall, don’t you realize
I think after words like that we all could agree with Jon’s final thought:
I can just picture Kerry Livgren and others behind the sound board, jaws dropping. Dio was tapping into something — or someone.

Read the full article by Jon Reid here.

Read more about the sad news of Ronnie James Dio death here.


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