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Riff Raff for Ronnie James Dio

May, 18th, at Seoul, Korea, rain had fell down all day when DP had the seventh gig in the history of this country.

Walking toward the venue, I was in a dark mood instead of thrill and anticipation, because, as everyone knows, Ronnie (James Dio) left us a few days ago. What I came to my mind at that day was “how many more times I can see DP play in the future?” I was afraid that this could be their last show in my country. (The previous gig was held at 2004, in their Banana Tour. This is their first visit in the last six years.) Another thought in my mind is whether DP would pay a tribute to Ronnie during the show.

The venue was packed with people (but not sold out). The background music came out before the show: AC/DC, Airbourne, Kings of Leon, Neil Young, Hanoi Rocks and…. Black Sabbath’s ‘Heaven & Hell’ came out, which was felt deeply.

Then lights out suddenly and some classical intro came out. I don’t know what the title of the tune was but it was felt like a requiem. And ‘Highway Star’ kicked in. Our Big Ian and his colleagues were in a quite good shape. They did not say a word of condolence about Ronnie during the show and were at very ease for their playing as usual.

Some trivial mistakes in interplay or accompaniment (and lost voice of Big Ian) did not matter to them. They just enjoyed the show with big smile and were quite strong, meaning how different they are from other pretentious rock bands.

However, the tribute moment for Ronnie came out through Steve. The Riff-Raff intro of ‘Smoke on the water’ was filled out with ‘Rainbow In The Dark’ (not just riff, along with the melody of verse and chorus), ‘Fever Dream’ and ‘Man On The Silver Mountain.’ (I remember that DP had played the former two songs with Ronnie at Concerto tour around 1999~2000.) Only people who held their fingers with “Devil’s horn” knew what that moment meant. (R.I.P, Ronnie. You are the Neon Knight of our souls.)

The show was quite fresh and full of energy. Especially, ‘No One Came’ stood out. IMHO, among the old songs of DP, this is the best tune for Don, because his funky playing fitted quite well with the song and combination with Steve’s solo gave explosive moment. I recommend to everybody who will attend their gigs in the future. Another joyous thing was Steve’s new guitar solo approaches I have not heard of before. For instance, at the solo break of ‘Black Night’, Steve played some darkness-tinged riff (very similar to the intro of ‘Iron Man’ of Black Sabbath) with pushing the strings against the pickup (I have no idea how this worked.) and B.B. King-ish, greasy and sensitive licks followed, which was absolutely brilliant! For the guitar solo moment, the ethereal tune Steve had played at the ‘Total Abandon’ DVD (with volume technique) appeared again and linked with ‘Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming’.

On the other hand, for the Roger’s bass solo, I was quite surprised that Roger shredded 64th notes (!) for his bass solo, which made the people knock out.
The show was over and, showered with the energy the band had emitted, I realized that only God knows when this guys stops playing. I really hope to see them (and hear their new songs) for the long time in the future.

God bless Deep Purple.

8 Comments to “Riff Raff for Ronnie James Dio”:

  1. 1
    Karl-Heinz says:

    Thanks for this fantsitic review.


    Great to read!


  2. 2
    Lemmy2004 says:


    Komapsupnida for the review! Excellent summary of the show and I like your description of the tribute to Dio. I lived in Korea for 10 years when I was in the military. Enjoyed the country and the people. My buds and I used to hang around the Heavy Metal club in Itaewon. Partied with Shinawee and Paektusan, who used to rock in the 1980-90’s. Your mastery of English is excellent. Keep rockin’ dude! And… let’s remember RJD and his family in our thoughts.

  3. 3
    Dae-Won "Stayheavy" Lee says:

    Thanks Karl for your kind comments. It’s a pleasure you enjoyed my review.

    For Lemmy2004, It’s good to know you. I hope to meet you sometime in the future. (Are you a fan of Motorhead? I’m also a big fan of them!)

  4. 4
    purplepriest1965 says:

    I read on Planet Rock that Christian extremist are intending to disturb the memorial on the 30th of may.
    Appearantly they also seem to think Ronnies original name was Padova.
    Its Pavadona, morons!


    Hopefully they dont get the chance to do so.

    R.I.P. Ronnie…..

  5. 5
    purplepriest1965 says:

    Mmmmmmmmmmmmmhhhhhhhhhhhhh, emberassing typo.

  6. 6
    Tracy Heyder (aka Zero the Hero) says:

    I have a couple of Ronald Pavadona’s original singles from the 60’s. Some were also under the name..”Ronald Pavadona and the Prophets”. I began searching for all things from him back when I saw him with ‘Elf’ opening for Purple in 1974. Never thought they would mean so much to me as they do now. Not monetarily, but sincerely heartfelt. I now have to dig through my boxes and find them so as to listen and partake in the embryonic state of the of the Late Great DIO.

    It’s great to see that Steve found it in him to do the Dio Riff Raff. What a great Tribute from one of the Best to one of Best.


  7. 7
    purplepriest1965 says:

    Jealous of your collection, Tracy.

    Last weekend I intended to attend the MEMORIAL GIG for RJ Dio in La Vida, Tilburg.

    Watching the tubes makes me feel it could have been enjoyable for me but I was not well, so……had to stay home.

    More MEMORIAL events will take place abroad.
    Probably not realistic for my budget.
    Well, hopefully to will film and record it.
    As far as I know the Tilburg one has not been done pro shot, which is a shame.

    Why do have relive every Michael Jackson fart while he really sucks in more than 1 way?


  8. 8
    Jean-Pierre Krijns says:


    Too bad you couldn’t visit the show on june 5th in Tilburg; I had the privilege of being on stage as guitarist (dude holding white V – ok, black one for ‘Mob rules’ and ‘Heaven & Hell, Sabbath thing y’know) playing all these monumental riffs surrounded by so many great singers! As anyone can see (just search for Dio Tribute La vida on da tube) we had a great time on stage and eventhough none of the muscians have ever played together I think we did a show that showed great respect for the late great singer!!

    In fact, things went so well that Joey (bass player) and I decided to take the tribute to other stages, originally it was planned to be a one off but response was so great 3 new dates in september, november and december are already confirmed…

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