Here are all the news from the second half of 2003 - some of these may be outdated already, so please check out the newest news for updates!
Dio's Evil Or Divine DVD was recently released in Brazil by ST 2 Music (http://www.st2.com.br/, most likely during November.
There is a new Dio compilation CD, titled simply The Collection out in record stores across the Europe. Universal/Spectrum Music released this 18 track best-of on November 3rd, 2003.
Writing of the forthcoming Dio album is now starting to see the shape as the band will go to record it in January 2004. It still remains unknown if this is going to be the second and third chapters of Magica, or perhaps something else.
The release date has not been set yet, but it most likely will happen before the summer. Dio has been confirmed to play at Wacken Open Air festival in Germany on August 6th, 2004 (the festival will take place from August 5th to 7th, 2004). No other shows have been announced yet - lets hope to hear about other metal festival shows across Europe soon!
As I reported last month, Rock 4 Xmas tour is currently on its way. Ronnie is supporting the tour, but most likely will not be part of it.
Anthem will play a tribute gig in Oslo on March 4th, 2004!
Tracy's band Driven has shot a new video and it is/will be for sale through Tracy's own pages at http://tracyg.com/. Driven is also working on a new album to be released in 2004 and going to do some touring as well. Tracy's other project, Curly Fester, will play at Rude Dog in Covina, CA on December 13th.
In addition to these, Tracy and another guitarist Gratz are working on an instrumental CD that will also see the light next year, possibly under name The Nocturnal Garden.
Dio's ex drummer Vinny Appice and current bassist Jimmy Bain will join Mandy Lion on stage after over ten years for one WWIII gig in Hollywood, CA. The show will take place at Club Vodka on December 11th. More information on the event can be found from Mandy Lion's web pages at http://www.mandy-lion.com/. WWIII also released a new album with the line-up of Mandy Lion on vocals, Joe Floyd on guitar, Geezer Montez on bass and Sledge on drums.
The release date for the "Sacred Heart: The DVD" has now been set to February 2004. Warner Strategic Marketing is going to release it and, in addition to the Dio gig filmed at the Spectrum in Philly, PA on June 17th 1986, it will contain some bonus footage. The bonus footage has interviews with the current band members (Ronnie, Craig Goldie, Simon Wright and Jimmy Bain). The band members will discuss the Saced Heart tour, the recent US best-of 2CD "Stand Up And Shout: The Dio Anthology" as well as the forthcoming Dio album.
Like "Sacred Heart: The Video", this DVD release is for the US market only.
Ronnie met an accident a couple of weeks ago while gardening... Something fell off and as Ronnie tried to catch it, it cut off Ronnie's thumb. Fortunately the doctors were able to reattach it and Ronnie's already back at work writing material for the forthcoming Dio album with Craig!
Ronnie originally planned to release a double CD, "Magica 2 & 3" as the next Dio release, but according to recent interviews, he has started to reconsider if the next Dio album will actually be a "normal" album instead of the two remaining chapters of the Magica concept album. The decision has not been made public yet, so only time will tell whether we get more of Magica or something else next year!
I've got recently loads and loads of questions about "forthcoming Live Evil DVD release." There are now some MPEG and AVI movies on the net which have some footage from the long lost film reels shot for the Live Evil video release back in 1982. The video release never saw the light originally and the film reels apparently ended up in Warner Bros' warehouses collecting dust.
The movies available on the net contain mostly silent footage, as well as two different versions of the song Heaven And Hell with sound. The sound has been mixed in from the Live Evil CD.
There is also one trailer available for "the forthcoming Live Evil DVD". This trailer has also sound, apparently also mixed in from the Live Evil CD. The trailer was released by Russian bootleg DVD company already quite a while ago as a special feature on Black Sabbath 1989 bootleg DVD. As far as I know, nothing has came out of "the forthcoming Live Evil DVD" since that.
To cut the rumors short, Warner Bros has nothing to do with this. It is almost 100% sure that they will never release the Live Evil film footage (it is quite likely that they don't even have it any more - the rumors say that the reels were stolen from WB at some point). The Russian bootleg company may or may not release the footage, but even then the material most likely has all the sound coming from Live Evil CD and has just the film footage synched with it.
Dio's ex guitarist Doug Aldrich is planning to do a solo album or perhaps some session work. Whitesnake is currently planning to release a live album from their recent tour with Doug on the guitar.
Remember the Evil On Queen Street song off Lock Up The Wolves album? There is now an independent movie with the same name, and it also includes Dio's song as the opening theme song. The movie apparently is not based on the song, though, it is a horror movie. There are two different versions of the film out there, newer one released this year on April 4th and the first one already a year ago on August 2nd. Check out the official web site for this movie: http://www.darknightfilms.com/Evil.html.
There will be a charity tour titled "Rock 4 Xmas" coming up later on this year in the US, starting on October 30th in Salt Lake City, UT. Rock 4 Xmas is a foundation that helps to provide toys and the overall Christmas spirit to less fortunate families in the USA. This year they'll do a tour and apparently Ronnie will join them on stage apparently for one show. It is still unknown when & where Ronnie will appear (or if he will appear, since this hasn't officially been confirmed yet), but as soon as there is more information, I'll post it here!
Ronnie was recently on MTV2's Headbangers Ball in the US - sorry for not having a mention about it here, I heard about this too late. Now he will be doing a live guest appearance on Dementia Radio, http://www.dementiaradio.com/. You can submit your questions to Ronnie on the radio's web site.
Ronnie will be on air (or should I say "on the net") on August 15th at 4.00 pm EST, i.e...
Ronnie is featured on the August issue of the US Revolver magazine in a column called "Critical Graffiti".
Guitarist Mike Guerrero recently released a CD titled "The Tapping Ninja", produced by Craig Goldy. This CD also has Craig's solos on two tracks, and Craig plays bass throughout the album! Aside from The Craig Connection, this CD is related to the Dio world through the drummer as well - Vinny Appice's (ex Dio drummer) brother Carmine Appice plays drums on it! Mike Guerrero's web pages can be found at address http://www.infinityprd.com/mike_guerrero.html.
Mike sent a copy of the CD to me as well. The CD is excellent piece of work! Mike's been Craig's student for a long time - starting already in 1992. This can be heard on the CD as well: The guitar work is very solid - as I don't play any instruments, I sometimes find instrumental albums a bit hard to listen, but it was quite different with this album.
This CD was recorded at Craig's home studio. The recordings took place until Craig started to work on Magica in Dio in 1999. Here's the track listing for the CD:
Tracy G, Dio's guitarist from 1993 to 1999, signed to SGT Records (http://sgtrecords.com/) in July and released "The Tracy G Group" CD. It is available in Los Angeles area at these record stores:
It is also available directly from SGT Records' web site.
SGT Records has also released a CD from Tracy's band Driven, titled "Citizen X". It includes 14 songs, including 2 new ones. SGT also put out CD from Rags, Tracy's band in 1988.
Tracy's got a new blues band too, titled Curly Fester. They'll appear on stage at a club called Rude Dogs in Covina, CA on August 22nd at 9pm. Curly Fester's web site with a couple of MP3 samples can be found at address http://www.curlyfester.com/.
Elf's guitarist and Ronnie's cousin Rock Feinstein has signed to Magic Circle Music record label, ran by Manowar's bassist Joey DeMaio - who also happens to be old friend of Ronnie's. More information and some MP3 samples are available on Rock's web site at address http://www.rockfeinstein.com/.
A new bootleg CD-R set has surfaced in the Dio and Black Sabbath trading circles. This 2 CD-R set contains early demos for Black Sabbath's Dehumanizer album and is not the same demo material that appeared already earlier on. These CDs also contain vocals by Ronnie and include some completely unreleased material as well. The band line-up for these demos still included Cozy Powell on drums and, as a matter of fact, these demos apparently originate from tapes recorded by Cozy. It looks like a bunch of Cozy's tapes have found their way to someone who then started to release them as bootlegs.
Dio released their first DVD on July 1st both in Europe and in the US. The video was filmed on stage at Roseland in New York on December 13th, 2003. This show was one of the last appearances of Doug Aldrich in Dio. The DVD also features an interview with Ronnie James Dio, pre-show backstage footage from Roseland as well as a picture gallery with a collection of fan photos!
It is currently unknown whether the DVD will be released in Japan or in South America.
Dio played yesterday the last gig in Europe on this tour. The European tour consisted of twelve gigs spreading from Turkey to Finland. Here's my short review of the gig in Turku, Finland:
The Ruisrock festival is one of the oldest rock festivals in Finland. This year they had Dio there for the first time, but based on the audience reactions, I'm sure the festival organizers would like to have Dio back there! The show was absolutely great, definitely one of the best Dio gigs I've seen, even though they had only 70-75 minutes stage time at the festival! Good setlist too:
The band really enjoyed the gig as well, everything went smoothly at the gig. The festival was sold out, 30 000 people and most of them clearly were there to see Dio. Ruisrock festival is held on a beach and the stage was facing the sea, sea being about 100 metres away from the stage. I was told by my friends that there were people watching the show standing up to their knees in the water!
In late June Warner Strategic Marketing announced that they will reissue the Sacred Heart: The Video on DVD later on this year. The DVD will have some bonus material compared to the original 1986 VHS/BETA tape release, including interviews with the current Dio members, discussing about the Sacred Heart tour as well as the recent Stand Up And Shout: The Dio Anthology 2CD release.
No exact release date has been published yet. It is also unknown if this release will take place only in the USA or if they are planning European, Japanese or South American release as well.
I had the opportunity to ask Ronnie about the sequel to Magica at the Ruisrock festival. According to Ronnie, the band will start working on the material for the next album, most likely a double CD, as soon as the US tour with Iron Maiden is over. He expected the writing to take around six months, but of course, at this stage no definitive dates can be set. However, this confirms that the next Dio album will continue from Magica's footprints!
The long-awaited book by Garry Sharpe-Young is now set for release on September 30th. The book will concentrate on the non-Ozzy Sabbath and has interviews from several Black Sabbath members. Here is excerpt from a e-mail I got from the publisher:
For the very first time the lid has been lifted on the post Ozzy years of Black Sabbath. Renowned for his detective work with his acclaimed Ozzy Osbourne biography Garry Sharpe-Young speaks exclusively to band members revealing page after page of previously undisclosed information. Some of those interviewed have never spoken about their experiences with Black Sabbath before. Find out the facts from the inside, straight from Ronnie James Dio, Rob Halford, Glenn Hughes, Tony Martin, Geoff Nicholls, Bobby Rondinelli, Neil Murray, Bob Daisley, Dave Spitz, Eric Singer, Jo Burt, Terry Chimes and others.
Includes interviews with the late Ray Gillen and Cozy Powell plus world exclusives with David Donato and the controversial Jeff Fenholt.
Many, amazing, never seen before private photos from band members.
Says Garry "Writing this book has been quite an amazing journey. Following the publication of my Ozzy book I had lots of people wanting to tell their story, especially when I told them exactly what this book was about - the REAL story of post Ozzy Sabbath. I pulled every fact out of them I could and some of the things I learned along the way were quite amazing. There is a ton of previously undisclosed material to keep the fans happy.
Many of those interviewed have never been spoken to before and a lot of these exclusive interviews went on for many days and weeks. A lot of what's involved is in building up trust with musicians and giving credit where credit is due. The book is chronological and gets behind the scenes on reasons behind the frequent line up changes, who was asked to join and who wasn't, who wrote the songs and just how the albums were put together. Lots of surprises!"
An interesting rumor about Elf's pianist Mickey Lee Soule's current goings: He is said to be doing some writing with Roger Glover helping out in the process. Mickey's been working with Deep Purple actively over the last few years as their keyboard technician, so it is great to see him creating some music again! Lets keep our thumbs up for Mickey!
This page is maintained by Tapio Keihänen,
URL: http://www.dio.net/news/, the front page http://www.dio.net/.