"The Church Of What's Happening Now With Joey CoCo Diaz" recently conducted an interview with Wendy Dio, the widow and manager of legendary RAINBOW, BLACK SABBATH and DIO vocalist Ronnie James Dio. You can watch the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On whether Ronnie James Dio had an acrimonious relationship with Ozzy Osbourne, whom he replaced in BLACK SABBATH in 1980:
Wendy: "Not at all, no. Not at all. We saw him quite often at the Rainbow or different places, just, 'Hi, how are you doing? What's going on?' They weren't great friends, but they were always very polite, very nice to each other. Always."
On BLACK SABBATH's 1992 album "Dehumanizer", the first SABBATH studio album to feature Dio since 1981's "Mob Rules":
Wendy: "It's a very underrated album. And it's a great album. It came out in the '90s right when grunge hit, so everybody was now listening to grunge. Actually, we are re-releasing that very soon — next year."
On original BLACK SABBATH drummer Bill Ward's involvement with HEAVEN & HELL, the band comprising of Dio, along with SABBATH guitarist Tony Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler:
Wendy: "They wanted to go back this last time with Bill, but Bill had some health problems so he couldn't do it, so we got Vinny [Appice] back again. He's doing great. Bill's doing great.
On the last time she's seen RAINBOW guitarist Ritchie Blackmore:
Wendy: "Oh my goodness. Twenty years, maybe."
On Ronnie James Dio's "happiest times":
Wendy: "SABBATH. A lot of different times, but his favorite band was SABBATH. I was really glad that he got to reunite with the band and do that last album, and the tour because they all loved each other and they were playing amazing. You'd never know that Ronnie was sick. He was amazing until the last note and I think Ronnie could never have lost his voice or grown old. That's the only thing I say about him dying when he did — he died on a high note."
Back in 2011, Universal/Sanctuary released a deluxe edition of "Dehumanizer". With a lineup completed by founding members Iommi and Butler, and drumming duties carried out by Appice, "Dehumanizer" is arguably one of SABBATH's heaviest albums. This edition was expanded with the single edit of "Master Of Insanity", an alternate version of "Letters From Earth" that originally appeared as the B-side to the "TV Crimes" single, and a version of "Time Machine" originally recorded for the soundtrack to the movie "Wayne's World". In addition, the set contained five rare live tracks from Florida's Sundome recorded at the beginning of the "Dehumanizer" tour in July 1992, including a previously unreleased live version of "Master Of Insanity". There were also liner notes from Metal Hammer's Dom Lawson, based on interviews with Iommi.
Wendy Dio recently announced a gala to be held on February 20, 2020, that will commemorate the tenth anniversary of Ronnie James Dio's passing.
Ronnie James Dio passed away from stomach cancer on May 16, 2010 at the age of 67. A few months after his death, MTV Books announced plans to release his memoir, which at the time was going to be called "Rainbow In The Dark: The Autobiography Of Ronnie James Dio".
Wendy is currently working with legendary rock journalist Mick Wall on the long-awaited autobiography of the heavy metal master, which was three-quarters written before the singer's death.
Dio was renowned throughout the world as one of the greatest and most influential vocalists in heavy metal history. The singer, who was recording and touring with BLACK SABBATH offshoot HEAVEN & HELL prior to his illness, was diagnosed with stomach cancer in late 2009. He underwent chemotherapy and made what is now his final public appearance in April 2010 at the Revolver Golden Gods Awards in Los Angeles.