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Purple family remembers Ronnie James Dio

RJD, © 2002 Nick Soveiko CC-BY-NC-SA

Roger Glover:

A huge part of my life just disappeared. Words are not enough, emotions are too much.

My sincere condolences to Ronnie’s family and friends.

Ian Gillan:

My Dear Friend Ronnie,

Departed but not gone. Resting peacefully (for a while) but never forgotten.

I’ve had a sackful of mail since your passing; a sharing of grief and sorrow.

We all remember your huge voice of course – my ears are still ringing: Your wicked humour and sense of decency: The utter professionalism and personality that inspired so much respect from your friends in music.

The list goes on but the quality that stands out above all others is your enduring generosity. The one thing that we all treasure, the gift you gave us was your kindness.

We all agree you were the kindest man we ever knew.

Catch up later mate,

Cheers, ig

Steve Morse:

Ronnie Dio was a real musician. He was a guy that everybody liked, and always sang loud, in tune, and strong, with that famous voice. I watched him patiently deal with fans at the stage door, and patiently deal with me when I was lucky enough to back him up on our orchestra tour. We backed him up doing a couple of his tunes, and he was tactful and precise with his constructive comments. He could tell if I played one note wrong. I recall him telling me that he used to play trumpet, which might explain his very good ears.

Everybody that ever met him will miss him, as well as anybody who ever heard him sing.

Jon Lord:

I would like, along with my wife and daughters, to express my sadness at the passing of Ronnie Dio.

A friend of many years standing and a truly delightful man. His voice was an instrument of power and of beauty, and was a seminal influence in rock music. His loss is even more devastating when considering how much more he would have had to offer us.

My heart goes out to dear Wendy, and my thoughts are also with Roger and Richie, who were so close to him for so long.

I will always cherish the memories of those remarkable nights at The Royal Albert Hall in September 1999 when, sitting on the stage with all the massed musicians of Deep Purple, The London Symphony Orchestra et al, Ronnie sang Roger’s lovely song “Sitting in a Dream” and brought us smiles and tears, and goosebumps as big as they come.

I shall forever connect that song with that moment and with Ronnie.

Rest in peace my friend.

With love

Ritchie Blackmore:

Ronnie had a unique and wonderful voice. He will be sadly missed in the rock and roll world.

Glenn Hughes:

It is a very sad day today… I have lost a very dear friend.

Ronnie was a true Leader of Heavy Metal… an Icon and a Visionary… there will never be another like him.

Ronnie gave me wisdom, and showed me great compassion when he was in ELF, all those years ago, when we were on tour together in my time in Deep Purple. He was a beautiful Soul, kind, considerate and a wonderful teacher.

Someday I’ll be bringing your Microphone up there with me, and we’ll sing a song, and share a Vindaloo together…

I’ll miss you mate.

David Coverdale:

[I was] so very sad to hear of Ronnie’s passing… My thoughts, prayers and condolence to his family and friends.

Joe Lynn Turner:

Ronnie was a true gentleman of rock… always kind and giving. I was proud to know him… everyone he touched was raised higher. His energy and legacy will live on… and I — as a fellow member of Rainbow — will continue to sing his praises and his songs.

May God hold him in his hands… RIP.

Greg Smith:

I have lost someone who I looked up to as a teenager and that person became my good friend. I shared many laughs, stories, drinks and good times with him on and off the road.

Ronnie, I will miss you terribly and always think fondly of the times we spent together and of your tremendous talent.

Till we meet again, my friend!

Bobby Rondinelli:

I was very sad to hear of Ronnie’s passing. He was one of the best singers and writers ever, and every time I saw him he was a total gentleman. He will be greatly missed but never forgotten.

Doogie White:

A very great man lost his life [on Sunday].

Ronnie James Dio was one of, if not the greatest singer I ever heard.

I remember trembling when I heard ‘Rainbow Rising’, such was the passion and energy not only from the band and Ritchie’s [Blackmore] guitar but from that voice that shone above all else. He was also a jolly decent chap who had time for all fans come rain, wind or shine.

I first met Ronnie 10 years or so ago and he said, ‘Ah! So you are Doogie, I know who you are, but never knew what you looked like. Come in, son and have a glass of wine. Is red okay?’ This was backstage at the Wembley Arena. He dedicated ‘Man On The Silver Mountain’ to me that night, saying ‘To my new friend, Doogie. You may have sung it, but I sang it first.’

We met a few times after that and discussed his excitement at doing the TENACIOUS D movie and the loss of his thumb in the bizzare gardening accident. We agreed gardening was the new RnR.

I had a tremendous affection for the man. He was kind, considerate and wonderful fun.

My thoughts at this time go out to Wendy [Ronnie’s wife/manager] and to the extended Dio family. You do know how much he was and is loved, for his music, his singing, his humanity.

Catch the rainbow… Ronnie… Catch the rainbow.

Graham Bonnet:

It was a horrible day yesterday. I want to thank him for being a good friend, and drawing the map for me, when I was in doubt of the role I would play in Rainbow. My musical background was so different from his but I listened and learned the way to be a replacement, as such and followed the master of hard rock singing, and the name he used to call me “Gray”…the only American that abbreviated my name that way..it was funny to hear…Thanks Ron !!…and Wendy I know will keep him in her heart forever…My love goes out to him and his family…only one Ronnie!

Paul Mann:

Ronnie had the gift of making those who met him feel, for the time they were with him, as if they were the most important person in the world. His music will long outlive him, and defeat the cruelty of his premature passing. His total commitment as a performer was a massive inspiration. During the concerto shows, I used to retire to the wings to watch his songs with Purple, and in the bar after one particularly emotive night I said to him that as far as I was concerned he could sing excerpts from the telephone directory and turn them into poetry. “Only if I believed in that particular set of numbers”, he said.

I will remember his generosity of spirit: I lifted a gift tag on a bouquet of flowers at my grandmother’s funeral to see that they were from him. And his sense of humour. He could do a pretty decent Geordie accent. And I still have the bees, and the John Belushi hat and shades.

And that voice…

Steve Morse dedicated his Guitar Parade on May 18th in Seoul to Ronnie’s memory:

38 Comments to “Purple family remembers Ronnie James Dio”:

  1. 1
    DPDAVE says:


  2. 2
    robas says:

    That’s probably first and last time when Purple without Ritchie are playing Rainbow tune 🙂 Fantastic:)

    Rest In Peace Ronnie!
    Thanks for your Music.

  3. 3
    gustavo says:

    Still I’m sad. Thank you Ronnie. Gustavo,from Argentina

  4. 4
    HZ says:

    Dio was indeed great man, good person, and the voice of Rainbow. You can see that all of Purple family are indeed touched by his passing. Yet, Ronnie will always be with us.

  5. 5
    HZ says:

    Man on the Silver Mountain sounded really cool in short DP interpretation – rising up the spirit of the old true “On Stage” Rainbow. I envy all of you that have watched Dio – Cozy – Ritchie Rainbow.

  6. 6
    daviep79 says:

    Nice touch Steve !! Very well done by all during a bad time !

  7. 7
    Harris says:

    Man On The Silver Mountain is now member of the Great Band of Heaven

  8. 8
    Doug says:

    Cool tribute by Deep Purple members and Steve. Ronnie was definitely a “cousin” of Deep Purple. I never got to see him live, but loved his vocals. By all accounts he was a super kind human being. My condolences to Wendy, his family and all who knew him.

    God bless you Ronnie!

  9. 9
    Jeff Summers says:

    Thanks for putting these tributes up Svante…Doesn’t it say so much when those that new him and despite his massive talents had so many good things to say about his wonderful personality? 🙂

    Thanks Ronnie \m/

  10. 10
    Rascal says:

    It is overwhelmingly obvious the impact that RJD’s life and death has had through out the world.

    I dont think RJD ever realised his contribution to music, or to the joy that it created amongst the legions of fans all over the world.

    Dio shared his talent and gave a gift to all of us. ‘Thanks’ will never be enough. He stands amongst the elite few.

  11. 11
    Moreblack says:

    Ronnie does not die.Death does not exist,is just a change of dimension.He will be near,as soon as he recover from the illness.
    See you Ronnie,in another place and time.It was great!

  12. 12
    Errol Arias says:

    Incredible thoughts a beautifull words about Ronnie´s passing.

    I will miss him too.

    But is even more incredible how cold was the Blackmore’s comment after so many years together…

    It makes me think that RB is a much better guitarrist than a person..

  13. 13
    SEEK! says:

    A rainbow is rising….thanks Ronnie….

  14. 14
    Bill The Wizard says:

    The Voice of an ANGEL indeed, One moment superior Power, the next soft and Melodic!! You were truly a Superior Vocalist as well as gentlemen, we met once, which I’ll keep to myself, I’ll never forget you!!! RIP Mr. Dio Bill

  15. 15
    Roy says:

    Now, with all the fire and the smoke almost gone after such a terrible and dramatic loss, all I’d like to add is that perhaps Ronnie was right: “Maybe life’s a losing game” after all….

  16. 16
    Ted The Mechanic says:

    Indeed, #6 and all,

    Greatest banjo player in the Universe with the whole package, that being leaving what should be A HUGE EGO at the door each and every day. A pure, not a bad bone in his body, great willed humanitarian let alone his musical prowess. The studend Malmsteen, who still cannot hold Steve’s pick (plectrum for those Brits), made a sacreligious comment about the Greates banjo player in the Universe. And what pans out a few years later? Yep, Steve and Purp’s allow him to share the stage. ‘Nuff said….

    From day one with The Purp’s, he has, from the heart, spoken accolades of the great Man In Black. And his predecessor, The Man In Black, has been quoted as saying Steve is “brilliant”.

    One cannot predict the future, but a joint performance together away from the PURPLE POLITICS, right, wrong, or indifferent, would be amazing to say the very least. A tribute to RJD gig in the future perhaps?



  17. 17
    S. Miller says:

    A sad farewell to Ronnie, his music and his vocals have inspired me both as a fan and a musician for nearly four decades. During my drive home tonight I inserted my trusty copy of Rainbow’s Live on Stage into the car’s CD player, cranked-up Catch The Rainbow and held my own private memorial for “The Man”. But… Still… I’m Sad! We love you Ronnie, wherever you are man! You will never be forgotten. Peace.

  18. 18
    Xavier Gomez says:

    ronnie gave classic rock a voice and stature few can parallel. whether with rainbow or purple, he inspired a new dimension and creativity that will continue to inspire. rest in peace.

  19. 19
    Jvpontes says:

    I expected a little more words from Ritchie…

  20. 20
    Thomas says:

    I had the opportunity to see him at the Concerto tour in 2000 in Munich.
    It was just amazing. A really great singer who will never be forgotten.
    I’m convinced you’ll find your place in rock’n’roll’s heaven.

  21. 21
    HZ says:

    Ritchie is, as I’ve concluded, the guy that doesn’t know and doesn’t want to share his emotions through sweet words with the world. It’s not him. Still, when you see Lord saying that it has to be pretty hard for Roger and Ritchie, I do believe it is. I mean, it isn’t easy to understand that someone you knew as part of your life is not with you any more.

  22. 22
    HZ says:

    Hopefully Ted, and I had very similar thoughts. I can even see Steve as guest on some of Blackmore’s new projects, as well some live performances. Steve knows all Blackmore’s tunes from DP, and Steve is more then great guitarist on both electric and acoustic guitar. Not to mention his huge talent. Ritchie has very high opinion of him, which he openly stated, and Steve is great person (not as “iconic” like Dio, but with very similar personality), so it’d be pure joy to hear them together in any musical field.. As well that’d be like “wow” for all hard rock and metal lovers – interest would be huge. The king and the prince together.

  23. 23
    fernando says:

    I’ve been trying to be a little more serene, when I heard the news almost collided on the road, but now reading the words that I dedicate the purple family, I was shocked ……. someone finally made the miracle could unite in the sentiment, I hope you do a tribute black purple .-

  24. 24
    babyblackmore says:

    Ian Paice…. the silence is deafening. Shame on you Paicey

  25. 25
    Moreblack says:

    # 21,yeah,you’re right,and Ritchie knows Ronnie will be around in near future.It’s just a matter of see the whole thing.Big Ian knows it too.Pay attention in his words above.

  26. 26
    Pete says:


    I couldn’t agree more. You would think Ritchie would have just a little more to say about the voice that put Rainbow on the map.

    I was lucky enough to see RJD dozens of times. He is the best.

  27. 27
    Michael James says:

    To Wendy and all of the extended RJD family… Please accept my most sincere condolences and deepest wishes in this time of loss to all of us. I did not have the opportunity to meet Ronnie in person… I was fortunate enough to experience his presence live and I still consider myself in honor and in aw to be alive during this brief moment in time where I was able to share in music many of wonders with a man of such talent and wisdom. There is no way on earth that I may extend my gratitude towards Ronnie in the way(s) he touched my life… “I’ll see you in my dreams”… God willing Ronnie…

  28. 28
    Danny says:

    Well perhaps RB might be having mixed feelings. I saw an interview with Dio and his wife (look for tour of Ronnie James Dio’s house) on youtube. When Dio was told he was no longer a part of Rainbow it was in mid winter and he and his wife were basically out in the cold, drove to Connecticut in a car with no insurance, and they had little money. Yeah, it’s business but it still leaves scars…..

  29. 29
    Australis says:

    A sad shame.

    great voice, and from the comments above seems like a nice guy too.

    Dug up my old Elf album just a few weeks before he died, it’s a lot of fun, and ‘Wonderworld’ is still a favourite.

    Working my way through my early Rainbow albums. Good memories, good times. Miss the guy.

  30. 30
    purplepriest1965 says:

    @ 28

    Always thought Ronnie left on his own terms because he could not agree with the more commercial direction Ritchie strived for through hiring old friend Rog again?

  31. 31
    George Fotis says:

    When i bought all the Deep Purple album’s things were then getting boring what next? What’s this Rainbow band of Ritchie’s ? Was worried they would be crap. Then bought this best of Rainbow LP set & to my suprise this is like another Deep Purple all over again. I really liked Dio’s voice & Cozy’s drums and wasn’t let down at all , was a great moment becoming a Rainbow fan!

    I just wish Dio a& Ritchie had got together one more time for some new songs , 1978 was to long ago.
    Ronnie died while on top , his vocal’s were still sounded as good as ever . Have learn’t many things from his song writing , don’t trust that person over there his evil, or trust that girl etc.

  32. 32
    fernando says:

    han pasado un par de dias y todavia no puedo creer que haya sucedido , al ver sus videos al escuchar su voz, siento muchisima tristeza , pero a la vez pienso y siento que vuelve una vez mas .
    gracias por tanta musica , magia y cariño .


    murio el hombre , nacio la leyenda ….

    fernando bs as. Argentina

  33. 33
    Scott says:


  34. 34
    Roy says:

    Dio was a great character! He was a kind man. All he ever did was WARN US ALL of the evil and the good inside everyone of US ALL and to stay away from the evil side: girls, alleged “friends”. It comes as no suprise to me that he wanted and requested a chaplain’s assistance on his ultimate time. All those freaks making money and headline news out of his deceasing are just a plain example of his very own message: No matter where you go there’s always good and evil, heaven and hell. May this simple man REST IN PEACE FOR EVER……!!! Dio I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU….!!!

  35. 35
    Goth says:

    I don’t know, I’m soft spoken. I can’t really speak my feelings. All I wanted to share with all you is something very weird that’s happening to me: I haven’t been able to listen any of Dio’s music ever since being shocked by the terrible news. Is any one experiencing the same feeling? just thought you’d like to know…..

  36. 36
    purplepriest1965 says:

    Hi Goth

    I do empathise with your experience.
    But right now I m able to relisten everything he did without too much trouble.
    Even better, its a solace sometimes, like so often before.

    What IS a pain to do is listen to other singers redoing his songs.
    It could be a blast but HE was so bloody good that almost everyone pales in comparison.

    Cheers, Mark

  37. 37
    Tracy Heyder (aka Zero the Hero) says:

    GOTH, a dear friend of mine passed away 1 day before DIO did. While dealing with that news, I then was in total dismay regarding the DIO news. Oddly enough, DIO was my friends Favorite Singer. When on this site, the Video of DIO singing “Sitting in a Dream” with Deep Purple was posted in Tribute, it was such a surreal moment. I dedicated that song and that Video to the Family of my lost friend before attending the funeral. The lyrics were so fitting for the individual whom had passed. I have watched and listened to that piece over and over. I can’t get enough. Yes, I agree with you regarding how hard it is to hear him belt out all those tunes, but at the same time, it is pure bliss. Hard to explain the impact one such as him has on some. I for one will miss them both forever, and now in my domain, when I hear DIO’s voice, I visualize my lost friend.


  38. 38
    Peter Cox says:

    I have only just heard that Ronnie has left the stage.
    What a tragic loss. The most powerfull voice
    I have ever heard and always in tune.
    I will always remember Rainbow at the Rainbow in Finsbury Park, The band was in a different class. Perhaps Ronnie and cozy are rocking together in heaven? anyone feel a song coming on? I will miss you Ronnie, Thanks for the tunes. peace and love to his wife Wendy and family. Hungry for heaven I guess.
    Cheers Pete

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