Top 5 Most Outrageous Facts About Ronnie James Dio

dio

Seventy-two years ago today, the late, great Ronnie James Dio was born. He was taken from us way too soon, but the peerless vocalist’s legacy will live forever.

While Dio is remembered as one of rock’s great gentlemen, someone who was always there for his fans and gave everything he could to them, the man was not without his surprises. Here, in celebration of the singer’s life and times, are the 5 most outrageous facts about him.

CLASSIC INTERVIEW: Ronnie James Dio, Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler Talk Heaven & Hell

LIST: Essential Listening – The 5 Ronnie James Dio Albums You Need to Own

1. DIO NAMED HIMSELF AFTER A MOBSTER
Born Ronald James Padavona, the singer renamed himself in the ’60s after infamous mafia member Johnny Dio.

Johnny_dio_-_UP_Tretick_photo_-_1957

2. DIO WANTED TO BE A BASKETBALL PLAYER
Ronnie James Dio loved sports. He would often watch games while writing music. But he wanted to do more than watch. According to his widow Wendy, the 5′ 4″ singer always dreamed of being a basketball player. Side note: At 5’4″, Dio was the same height as Glenn Danzig and just two inches shorter than Bruce Dickinson.

abdul-jabbar-608

3. DIO LOST A THUMB TO A GARDEN GNOME
In 2003, Dio was working in his yard, trying to place a large garden gnome on a slope. The gnome toppled over and crushed the metal vocalist’s hand, taking off the tip of his thumb. Dio later recalled that his first thought was, “How on earth am I going to make my devil horn sign now?!” Being a badass, he collected the disembodied appendage, took it inside, washed it off, and then headed to the emergency room, where–to the relief of metal horns-enthusiasts everywhere–it was reattached.

il_340x270.419997179_q28z

4. DIO COULD HAVE BEEN A FAMOUS TRUMPET PLAYER
Ronnie’s only formal musical training were trumpet lessons, which began at age 5. He got so good at the horn instrument that he was offered a scholarship to the prestigious Juilliard School of Music. He turned it down to focus on rock and roll, though he always credited his vocal prowess to the correct breathing techniques he picked up while playing trumpet.

louis_armstrong

5. DIO HATED “RAINBOW IN THE DARK”
Holy Diver‘s second single, the classic “Rainbow In The Dark,” was in Dio’s opinion way too “poppy.” In fact, he disliked the song so much that he didn’t want it to be included in the album, so he tried to destroy the tape with a razor. Fortunately, the rest of the band stopped him in time!

 

Alert to All Users of the Disqus commenting system: Because of a recent global security issue, the Disqus website recommends that all users change their Disqus passwords. Here’s a URL about the issue: http://engineering.disqus.com/2014/04/10/heartbleed.html

 



  • Ray Campbell

    HBD RJD m/

  • Dave Suchy

    you failed to mention he sang doo-wop.

  • ShadowInc

    Dio was one of the coolest mo fos. RIP.

  • switcherdawna

    Interesting… he didn’t want to do pop, but after he left, Rainbow had a hit ‘Stone Cold’.

    • Al Satan

      Rainbow in the dark was a solo Dio song on his first solo album.. Stone cold was a Joe Lynn Turner era Rainbow song.

      • switcherdawna

        Yes, I realise… did you really comprehend my statement?

        • Al Satan

          What’s to comprehend? Dio was long out of Rainbow by thid time. Him not wanting to do a poppy Dio song has no relevance to what Rainbow later did.

  • hardrockinmofo

    Miss you, Ronnie!

  • Al Satan

    Dio means God in Italian. And he was the God of Heavy Metal vocals.

  • Nawaf Albardooli

    DIO was and still one of the best. He created the rock n roll style which we know and love as always everything in life comes to an end but the legend which we know will never go away