Straight Shooting: Go See the Legends Before They’re Gone Forever

We are all guilty of taking metal legends for granted by thinking they’ll always be around.  So what happens?  We skip out on seeing them when they come through town for what sometimes turns out to be years.

Next thing you know, someone like Ronnie James Dio suddenly passes away and you’re just left regretting not seeing him every chance you had.  I had the chance to see DAMAGEPLAN on what turned out to be their final tour and stand in the photo pit in front of one of my teenage heroes, Dimebag Darrell.  Well, when news hit about his murder, part of me was deeply regretting leaving that show early and missing their whole set.

Now, with SABBATH‘s recent announcement that they will embark on a final tour early next year, it really clicked for me that time is precious.  I’m sure it’ll be virtually the same safe set that they’ve always played since reuniting with Ozzy but that’s not the point now.  Tony Iommi wants to focus on his health and that’s all that matters.  Let’s hope Bill Ward can be apart of this as well.

Lemmy‘s ailing health has caused cancelled or curtailed shows, which indicate the need to go see MOTORHEAD before it all possibly ends in the near future.  Check out this footage from the band’s show in Austin, Texas last week:

Hard to watch, right?

Let’s seize the opportunities that we have and pay homage to the legends while we still can.


Metal Legend Ronnie James Dio Passes Away

Metal legend Ronnie James Dio (ELF, RAINBOW, DIO, BLACK SABBATH/HEAVEN AND HELL) passed away early this morning after a battle with stomach cancer. His wife and manager, Wendy Dio, posted this message on

“Today my heart is broken, Ronnie passed away at 7:45am 16th May. Many, many friends and family were able to say their private good-byes before he peacefully passed away. Ronnie knew how much he was loved by all. We so appreciate the love and support that you have all given us. Please give us a few days of privacy to deal with this terrible loss. Please know he loved you all and his music will live on forever.

Wendy Dio

Fans may leave their condolesces on Dio‘s facebook page:

Rhino Records to Release BLACK SABBATH: The Dio Years and Live at Hammersmith Odeon

Together for a short but memorable time—a trio of studio albums, a classic live album, and a couple of tours—the second coming of BLACK SABBATH began in 1979 when founding members Tony Iommi and Terry “Geezer” Butler were joined by Ronnie James Dio. The former singer of ELF (and later RAINBOW and DIO) added his fiery, demonic howl to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame group’s crushing mix of iconic riffs, gloomy grooves and doom-soaked imagery.

In late 2006 Dio, Iommi and Butler, joined by drummer Vinny Appice, reunited to record three new songs for Rhino Records’ era-spanning collection, BLACK SABBATH: The Dio Years. These recording sessions went so well that the quartet—billed as HEAVEN AND HELL—will launch a highly anticipated world tour this spring. The group will play a dozen dates in Canada in March before taking the stage of the famed Radio City Music Hall in New York City on March 30 to play their only U.S. date until the band launches a full tour of the States later this year.

The first comprehensive introduction to the band’s legacy, BLACK SABBATH: The Dio Years features a dozen classic studio recordings, plus one live track—“Children of the Sea” from 1982’s Live Evil. The collection also contains the three brand-new tracks—“The Devil Cried,” “Shadow of the Wind,” and “Ear in the Wall.” The disc will be available April 3rd.

Arranged chronologically, the compilation spotlights Dio’s time with BLACK SABBATH and draws heavily from the lineup’s 1980 debut and 1981 follow-up, Heaven and Hell< /strong> and Mob Rules respectively. The Dio Years also features “After All (The Dead),” “TV Crimes” and “I” from the singer’s brief reunion with SABBATH for the Dehumanizer album and tour.

On May 1, Rhino Handmade will release BLACK SABBATH: Live at Hammersmith Odeon, which features Dio, Iommi, Butler and Appice getting hot one December night in London during their 1981 tour for Mob Rules. Previously unreleased, the concert spotlights SABBATH as they storms through 14 of the Dio-era’s best. The band also performs several pre-Dio classics including “Paranoid,” “Children of the Grave” and a white-hot version of “War Pigs.” The album will be available from Rhino Handmade as an individually numbered limited edition of 5,000 copies.

BLACK SABBATH: The Dio Years tracklisting:
1. “Neon Knights”
2. “Lady Evil”
3. “Heaven And Hell”
4. “Die Young”
5. “Lonely is the Word”
6. “The Mob Rules”
7. “Turn Up the Night”
8. “Voodoo”
9. “Falling Off the Edge of the World”
10. “After All (The Dead)”
11. “TV Crimes”
12. “I”
13. “Children of the Sea” – Live
14. “The Devil Cried”*
15. “Shadow of the Wind”*
16. “Ear in the Wall”*

*Newly recorded track

BLACK SABBATH: Live At Hammersmith Odeon tracklisting:
1. “E5150”
2. “Neon Knights”
3. “N.I.B.”
4. “Children of the Sea”
5. “Country Girl”
6. “Black Sabbath”
7. “War Pigs”
8. “Slipping Away”
9. “Iron Man”
10. “The Mob Rules”
11. “Heaven and Hell”
12. “Paranoid”
13. “Voodoo”
14. “Children of the Grave”

BLACK SABBATH’s Dio-Era Reunion, HEAVEN AND HELL, Tour Dates Announced

Putting to bed the longstanding rumors of a reunion tour, HEAVEN AND HELL have announced their first tour dates for 2007. The tour will feature 11 Canadian shows, along with an exciting one-night-only performance at one of the most prestigious venues in the world, New York’s Radio City Music Hall. HEAVEN AND HELL reunites Ronnie James Dio, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Vinny Appice for the first time in 15 years.

Currently there are 12 scheduled stops, starting on March 11 in Vancouver and ending on March 30 in New York City. The world tour will continue until the end of the year with shows in the US, Asia and Europe. Additional dates will be announced shortly.

Multi-platinum recording artist MEGADETH will be joining the tour, and previewing never before heard material from their upcoming release on Roadrunner Records, United Abominations. The tour also brings the return of DOWN, featuring Phil Anselmo and Rex Brown from PANTERA, as well as Pepper Keenan of COC.

The heavy metal icons are also scheduled to release a new anthology entitled BLACK SABBATH: The Dio Years. Anticipated release date is April 3, 2007 on Rhino/Warner Bros. Records.

The HEAVEN AND HELL Tour 2007 will include the following stops:
March 11 Vancouver, BC Pacific Coliseum
March 13 Edmonton, AB Rexall Place
March 14 Calgary, AB Saddledome
March 16 Regina, SK Brandt Centre
March 18 Winnipeg, MB MTS Centre
March 20 Sault St. Marie Steelback Centre
March 22 Toronto, ON Air Canada Centre
March 24 London, ON John Labatt Centre
March 26 Montreal, PQ Bell Centre
March 27 Quebec City, PQ Colisee Pepsi Arena
March 28 Ottawa, ON Civic Centre
March 30 New York, NY Radio City Music Hall

For more information about HEAVEN AND HELL please go to Tickets are on sale January 26th/27th .

Ronnie James Dio, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward to Reunite

The highly anticipated reunion of the legendary BLACK SABBATH line-up of Ronnie James Dio, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, and Bill Ward appears to be shaping up and taking a new form. After various promoters have approached their respective management; the guys have started taking all of this very seriously, as they have wanted to reunite for some time now. It looks as if the new shape may be that of “HEAVEN AND HELL.” Yes, that’s the moniker that the band is likely to use on their new venture (Sharon Osborne owns an interest in the BLACK SABBATH name.).

If all goes well, HEAVEN AND HELL should be hitting the road in early 2007.