We build a tower of stone
With our flesh and bone
Just to see him fly…
I, like many of my ilk, have absolutely zero problem flourishing under the belief that Ronnie James Dio didn’t pass away from stomach cancer in 2010, but rather perished heroically while saving our planet from being devoured by a ginormous cosmic dragon and why not? RJD might have been diminutive in stature but he was a Metal Giant, with an insanely powerful voice and lyrics steeped in mythology, heroic fantasy, epic literature, demonic imagery, and all that other fun stuff that made almost everything he was involved with seem larger than life and twice as majestic. He fronted so many great bands like Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, and Dio, that to even mention RJD’s name — or initials — is akin to proclaiming metal’s “Open Sesame”. Magic words, man. Powerful stuff.
Yes I buy into all of this mishegas. Life’s too short to wallow in the mundane.
Our Buttkickin’ Halloween Song for today hearkens all the way back to 1976, on Rainbow’s second LP Rising. This is the epic Stargazer, a high fantasy narrative about a powerful sorcerer who has enslaved an entire population, commanding them to build a great stone tower from which he can perform his incantations and deliver them to a new planet by a distant star. This mammoth production features Richie Blackmore’s guiding guitarwork and some powerful orchestrations by the Munich Symphony, and is perfectly emblematic of the fantastical, bombastic metal grandeur at which Ronnie James Dio absolutely excelled.
All eyes see the figure of the wizard
As he climbs to the top of the world
No sound, as he falls instead of rising
Time standing still, then there’s blood on the sand
Oh I see his face — where was your star?
Was it far, was it far
When did we leave?
We believed, we believed, we believed…