Here are all the news from the first half of 2004 - some of these may be outdated already, so please check out the newest news for updates!
Thanks to everyone who e-mailed me about the 100 Most Metal Moments in the yesterday's news! I was told that the Hear 'N Aid project, organized by the Dio Team in 1985-1986 took the #1 position in the list! That makes it three Ronnie James Dio related positions in the list, two in the top three!
One *possible* US date for the forthcoming Master Of The Moon tour has surfaced: Sleep Train Amphitheatre in Marysville, CA on August 30th. This has not been confirmed yet.
Also the South American gigs are still pending the confirmation. Currently the rumors tell the tour will happen after the European tour has finished in August and before the band starts their US tour. Time will tell!
Ex Dio bassist (who also will appear on the forthcoming Dio album Master Of The Moon!) Jeff Pilson has posted two photos of his baby Olivia on his web site. Check out the photos here!
Jimmy Bain and Vinny Appice (ex Dio bassist and drummer) are going to take part of the Ozzy Osbourne tribute titled as "Unauthorized Ozzy". This has been vocalist Peter Marrino's project already for a while and it also includes Brad Gillis on guitar. The band will play some gigs in Las Vegas, NV in August and possibly later on in Los Angeles, CA area as well.
Viv Campbell has again put his old band Riverdogs back together and they're currently recording their forthcoming, yet untitled album. The line-up consists of Viv Campbell, Rob Lamothe, Nick Brophy and Marc Danziesen. The band has also a few gigs on the horizon in August:
Rhino Records is going to issue "Black Sabbath: The Ronnie James Dio Years" compilation CD focusing on Heaven And Hell, Mob Rules and Dehumanizer albums by Black Sabbath. The album should be out in September and it contains the following tunes:
Well, not really new news, but it looks like Claude Schnell (Dio keyboardist from 1983 to 1988) is still in the music business: He's guesting on ex Anthrax vocalist Neil Turbin's solo CD from August 2003, titled "Threatcon Delta". The CD was released by Middle Finger Records/Metal Mayhem Music. Since Claude left Dio in 1988, there haven't been too many mentions of him in the music press!
Dio's Killing The Dragon guitarist Doug Aldrich has made previously unreleased track available on his web site. The track, Good Morning Sioux, was meant to be on Doug's solo album in 1997 but it never made it. You can hear the song by clicking here!
Norwegian Dio tribute band Anthem is going to play a few gigs in Sweden and Norway:
Anthem was also featured on Norwegian TV NRK 2 where they played Evil Eyes, The Last In Line and Rainbow In The Dark. They also made a promo video of Evil Eyes.
Dio appeared on VH1's 100 Most Metal Moments on June 4th together with the Tenacious D - who also appear on the Dio's Push promo video. There apparently were two mentions of Dio - the other being #3 on the list with the evil eye hand sign and Dio.
The forthcoming Dio album will be called Master Of The Moon. A couple of the song names have been also revealed - "The Man Who Would Be King", "Living A Lie" and "The End Of The World." Doomy titles - and so should be the album as well. According to Ronnie himself, the themes on the album are political and cynical - no doubt the recent wars and the state of the world politics have been the source of ideas on this album. Remeber "Dying In America" off the Angry Machines album?
The album will be released in September instead of the planned June/July release. Apparently the time became too short to enable the band to release a Dio quality album so, instead of going with lower quality stuff, the album release date was pushed to September instead. The album will be released by Sanctuary in the US and by SPV in Europe.
The European tour remains in July-August despite the album release delay. The US tour should start around September. There is currently also talk about some South American dates, but none of those have been published.
There was also talk about Ronnie's cousin Rock Feinstein being the opener for the Dio's US tour but those plans fell apart.
Instead of the warming-up gig with Dio, Rock Feinstein will play a special reunion show with his old band The Rods at Wacken Open Air festival in Germany this coming August. Dio will also appear at Wacken! Feinstein will also appear with his current band at Wacken festival.
I've recently received questions about copies of one 12" single being auctioned off at Ebay. The single is from a group called "Ronnie James Dio II" or "RJD2". Before you invest your money to the item, please note that the single has nothing to do with Ronnie James Dio or any of his bands. Instead, it is apparently some dance / house / techno / you-name-it junk.
Cleopatra Records is going to release a new Black Sabbath tribute album in June. Unlike the most of the Sabbath tribute albums, this one features also non-Ozzy tracks. The complete track listing for the CD is as follows:
No release date for the second Hear 'N Aid project yet, but work for that has already been started! The original Hear 'N Aid project collected funds to help the famine in Africa, this time around the money will go to help the kids living on the streets.
Dio's ex bassist Jeff Pilson and his wife Ravinder has a new member in their family! Olivia Marcelene Pilson was born on June 9th, weighing 4 lbs and 14 oz - that is 2211 grams for us Europeans! The baby, mom and Jeff are all doing good! Jeff - if you're reading this, my congratulations to you! From personal experience I can say that you'll (or already have) realize quite soon that the word "busy" has been suddenly redefined ;)
Jeff is going to be on the forthcoming Master Of The Moon Dio album. His War & Peace project will do a short tour to support their newest album The Walls Have Eyes on Z Records. The tour hits Europe in September, including a gig at Z Rock 2004 in Liverpool, England. The Z Rock 2004 gig is War & Peace's first European appearance and will be recorded for an upcoming live CD too. Before that the band will do a few gigs in the US during the August and early September.
Anthem will do a charity concert in Sandefjord, Norway on August 21st to raise money for Stine Sofie foundation. Other bands at the gig are Dirty Deeds (Ac/Dc tribute), Moonchild (Iron Maiden tribute) and Kung Diamant (King Diamond tribute). Sounds like coverful evening!
Rudy Sarzo was selected to be the touring bassist in Dio for the forthcoming world tour, starting in mid July in Russia! Rudy Sarzo has previously worked with many big names of metal, such as Ozzy Osbourne, Whitesnake, Quiet Riot and Yngwie Malmsteen.
It is unknown whether Rudy will continue as a regular member in the band after the tour is done. For the forthcoming album at least the bassist will be Jeff Pilson, but as announced earlier on, he won't be able to join the band on the road.
The European tour dates are now apparently finalized. The tour starts in mid July in Moscow, Russia and continues throughout the Europe for a month before ending in Nottingham, UK on August 15th. Before the Moscow gig, there might be two earlier gigs in Russia, Vladivostok and Khabarovsk. Those shows are listed in some sources but it seems that they will not take place after all.
Dio is currently recording the forthcoming album at Total Access studios - the very same place where the last couple of albums have been recorded! The recordings started on April 19th and are now well under way. The yet untitled album is expected to be released by the time European tour starts. The album will be released by Sanctuary Records in the USA and by SPV in Europe - i.e. it looks like Dio is no longer signed to Spitfire. Dio's been on SPV in Europe earlier on as well, but Sanctuary Records is a new company for Dio. Other Sanctuary Group artists include relatively small names like Iron Maiden, Deep Purple and Neil Young.
Ronnie was finally added on the Alma Mater's (Cortland High School) Wall Of Fame on 24-25th of April 2004. Ronnie went to school there when he was a kid and was accepted only now there after a huge petition organized by a long time Dio fan.
The former Dio guitarist Tracy G's been very active again: The new 12-song Driven CD is almost finished and will be released during this year. The line-up has Tracy on guitars, Timm Saxton on vocals, (also ex Dio) Larry "Bones" Dennison on bass and Ray Luzier on drums.
Tracy's also working on an instrumental solo CD titled "The Tracy G Group Vol 2". 10 of the 12 instrumental songs have been written already and the CD is going to be released this coming fall. The album has Tracy again on guitars, Jeremy James Masana on bass as well as both Ray Luzier and Audie Desbrow on drums.
The third CD from Tracy this year will be "The Nocturnal Garden" acoustic album with Tracy and Gratz on guitars.
On top of this all, Tracy and ex Dio drummer Vinny Appice are working on Vinny's new project, writing songs and finding new members to the project as well. Tracy is also mixing, producing and mastering a load of local Los Angeles area bands in his G Factory studio.
Vinny just finished European tour with the band called Lizards, replacing Bobby Rondinelli for this tour as Bobby was playing for Blue Oyster Cult. The Lizards opened for Vanilla Fudge - who happen to have Vinny's brother Carmine Appice on drums. According to the gig reviews, the drummer brothers stole the shows. They filmed a gig in Stockholm Sweden with plans to put it out on DVD.
Vinny Appice's new band with Jimmy Bain is titled "The Three Legged Dog". No news about it at this moment besides their name.
Whitesnake's David Coverdale is compiling material for a 2CD live recording from the recent US and European tours. These tours were done with the Killing The Dragon guitarist Doug Aldrich. This album will be released most likely by August, but no definitive release date has been set yet.
Soon after Jimmy's leaving was officially announced, Dio announced that he will be replaced by Jeff Pilson - who has been in Dio earlier on as well, for the 1993 album "Strange Highways", as well as the consecutive tour, and 1996 album "Angry Machines". The announcement was made on March 19th already - sorry for the late appearance on my Dio pages...
However, Jeff will appear only on the forthcoming Dio album, not on the world tour. Jeff has stated the reason himself: his wife will have a baby in the summer and therefore he's not willing to hit the road. It remains unknown who will take the bass on the tour.
Besides joining Dio, Jeff is also going to release a new War And Peace CD on April 19th on Z Records. There might be a handful of UK dates to support this album in September.
The reason why Jimmy left Dio has been labelled as "Career Move" by Ronnie. Jimmy's working now with Vinny Appice, former Dio drummer. According to Vinny, the two of them have formed a new band called "Three of a Dog" (the exact spelling might be somewhat different) and are currently searching for other musicians. Earlier on (as reported on this page as well) there were already names for those other musicians, but now it is not certain if this is actually true or not.
Vinny and Jimmy will also join Mandy Lion's WWIII on stage for a song or two at the Key Club in West Hollywood, CA on April 18th. This event will be filmed and will be also released as a WWIII's forthcoming promo video for "Walk With Me". The first 100 people through the door after 9pm will get a free Mandy Lion compilation CD as a gift.
Jeff Pilson recently said the following on his own web site:
I will be playing on the new DIO record, and I'm really looking forward to it. I've heard 9 songs and I must say it's brilliant! Ronnie and Craig (Goldy) have done a beyond amazing job of writing on this one. It's classic DIO, but very deep and intense. There are a few tracks that I really have to classify as masterpieces. I can't give away any titles yet, but it's some of the best new music I've heard in a long time, and I have no doubt all of you will agree. We start rehearsing next week (the 5th) and go into the studio mid-April. I've heard they're talking about a July release, so I'll keep everybody informed. This is one record I don't think anyone, especially hardcore DIO fans, should miss.
The album will not be Magica 2 & 3, although such release was definitely in plans earlier on. However, the band wanted to release a follow-up album to Killing The Dragon because of the success of it! Magica 2 & 3 double CD plans have not been scrapped, it has just been pushed to the future.
The album is scheduled for release at the end of June or early July, i.e. before the European tour starts!
A couple of European dates more have surfaced: Wörgl in Austria on August 2nd, Nurnberg in Germany for August 5th and Nottingham, UK on August 15th.
Soon after the European tour ends, Dio will continue the tour in the North America. Those dates have not been set yet.
Ronnie's cousing Dave "Rock" Feinstein will release his newest album "Third Wish" on Manowar's Magic Circle Music label in Europe on April 19th (same day as Jeff Pilson's new War And Peace CD comes out). American, Canadian and Japanese release dates should be announced shortly, but at least the rumors claim the US release will happen in June.
The line-up consists of Rock Feinstein on guitars, John West on vocals, Jeff Howell on bass, Nate Horton on drums and Bob Twining on keyboards. More information about the band, including samples of all the Third Wish tracks, are available on their official web site at address http://www.rockfeinstein.com/.
Sacred Heart "The DVD" was released on March 23rd 2004 in the North America by Rhino Home Video! That date is actually the online stores' release date, "street" date was pushed to March 30th by Rhino to ensure wide enough distribution fo the DVD to the stores prior the release date. This DVD has been released only for the North American markets (Region 1 coding).
The DVD includes the classic Sacred Heart gig from Philadelphia as well as interview with Ronnie and Craig, discussing mostly the Sacred Heart tour. Sacred Heart The Video was released over 17 years ago and now it finally saw the light on digital media as well!
Ronnie has recently been interviewed on TV and on radio. He appeared on March 19th on Eddie Trunk's radio show as well as on March 18th on VH1 Classic's Metal Mania show. Metal Mania also played a rare promo video from 1984 - Mystery off The Last In Line! This video is certainly not seen very often on TV! Ronnie was also interviewed by the Maddog Rock Radio, transcript of the interview can be found here.
US Dio fans from the mid 1980s might remember the Budweiser beer commercial where Ronnie sung Budweiser'ish lyrics with music from the Dio classic Rainbow In The Dark. Now we've got a sequel to this: Coors has a commercial for Coors Light Beer in TV rotation at least in the North America. The very end of the commerical has a couple of seconds from Rainbow's Man On The Silver Mountain - the camera zooms to a snowtopped mountain and we can hear Ronnie singing The Man On The Silver Mountain in the background.
It is official now: Jimmy Bain is no longer in Dio. Ronnie himself announced this on March 2nd in an interview, as well as a bit later on the official Ronnie James Dio pages. Rumors of Jimmy's departure appeared late last year and it seems that for once there was truth in them too. Jimmy was said to have formed a new band - scroll down to see the news from February and January about this new group.
Replacement for Jimmy has not been named yet. Rumors naturally have emerged already, suggesting just about anyone in the industry.
Jimmy's departure obviously has delayed a bit the starting of the recordings of the forthcoming album. However, now the studio has been booked from late March onwards, with tentative release date set to somewhere in June or July.
The forthcoming album will not be parts 2 & 3 of the Magica story. Instead, the band wants to repeat the success of Killing The Dragon by creating a non-concept album before ending the Magica story.
Dio will hit the road around mid July in Europe and after a month or a month and a half, return back to their home country, USA, to do an extensive tour over there! Some European dates have been published, but most of them are still under confirmations. No US dates have been announced yet.
Ronnie was on VH1 Classic's Metal Mania show on Tuesday evening - there was a short message from Ronnie about the evil eye sign, as well as update on Jimmy Bain. This led to a Dio video clip - quite rarely seen on the TV - of I Could Have Been A Dreamer!
Dio was originally meant to go to record the next album in January or February. Now the plan is to hit the studio in late March and have the album out around June - just before the European tour in July-August. Dates for the European tour are trickling in, Dio was just confirmed to appear at Tuska Metal Festival in downtown Helsinki, Finland! The band is going to do European tour first before starting the US tour
Ronnie will be featured on MTV's new series called Leatherwulf. Leatherwulf will be an animated show about the rock 'n' roll world; Ronnie will be one of the Gods of Rock - good choice, I'd say! It is unknown when the show airs.
It is now less than a month until the release of Sacred Heart: The DVD! The DVD will have bonus interviews with Ronnie and Craig Goldie in addition to the Dio show with lasers, castles and dragons!
Besides the new album and tour, Ronnie is also working on 2nd part of the 1985-1986 Hear 'N Aid project, tentatively titled as "Hear 'N Aid II"! The original project collected money for food to help the famine in Africa, while this second project will collect money for the Children Of The Night organization to help the child victims of prostitution.
Hear 'N Aid II is planned to see the light later on this year. It was already in plans for 2001 or 2002, but the song written for it, Throw Away Children, was thought to be too dark. It was released on Dio's Killing The Dragon album instead. No further information, such as list of participants, is available at the moment.
Ex Dio bassist Jeff Pilson will play in the group "The Hollywood Allstars" on stage together again on February 27th at Palladino in the Los Angeles, USA and on March 22nd in Las Vegas at The Palms. This time the line-up includes Chas West on vocals, Alan Krigger and Frankie Banali on drums and Carlos Cavazo on guitars.
Jeff Pilson has a new War And Peace album coming out in April 2004. There's a recent Jeff Pilson interview available at The Classic Metal Show web site, click here to hear it!
Sorry for too late notice, but some lucky ones hopefully still caught Ronnie on the Eddie Trunk's Friday Night Rocks show on February 13th (Friday the 13th!)..
To follow Dio's footsteps, the Finnish Dio cover band Angry Machines will play at Downtown in Turku, Finland on April 24th, 2004. Dio themselves played in Turku last summer to a sold-out festival audience of 25 000 people! More information about Angry Machines can be found on their home page.
Several people have e-mailed me if Ronnie's running for the Presidency. Sounds weird? Go to check out http://dioforamerica.com/ and see for yourself! I don't have any idea who is behind this site but (at least for now) it has been hilarious to read!
Swedish cover band titled Monsters Of Metal covered Dio's Stand Up And Shout and Sabbath's TV Crimes on their recent live DVD.
Rumors claim that Dio will again visit my home country Finland - this time at Ankkarock festival on August 1st, 2004. As with the other 2004 dates, this is not confirmed appearance yet.
Earlier on this month I wrote that Jimmy Bain might be out of Dio. Newer rumors are now saying that Jimmy Bain is currently involved with yet unnamed band with Vinny Appice on drums, Carlos Cavazo (ex Quiet Riot) on guitars and Chas West (Bonham) on vocals. This combo is said to be writing material as of now.
I still haven't got any confirmation that there would've been any line-up changes in the band. These Jimmy Bain stories are quite widely told, but such things have occurred in the past without any touch in the reality. So until official confirmation appears, in my opinion these should be considered just rumors.
Happy new year to all the Dio fans around the world! Thank you very much for all your support last year, it has been a great pleasure to keep working on these pages with you!
2004 is a special year for Dio.net: The first version of these pages (under different address, though) appeared around September-October, 1994. This year these pages will be ten years old, certainly the longest-living Dio pages on the Internet. However, these weren't the first Dio fan pages - that honor belongs to someone in the UK (more exactly in Wales, if I'm not mistaken), although unfortunately those pages aren't here any more.
My new years resolution concerning these pages follows.. I promise to update at least part of the biography pages as they're now very much out of date already. I'll also try to work on the picture galleries, since I have literally thousands of pictures from Dio fans around the world to be placed there. These projects may take time, so don't expect results by February, but lets hope that by the 10th birthday of the pages in the autumn something has happened with the biography section...
And now back to our scheduled broadcast:
Sacred Heart: The DVD will be released on March 23rd, 2004 by Warner Strategic Marketing! The DVD will feature the largest Dio stage set ever - the infamous castle and the fire-breathing dragon - as well as interviews with the current Dio band members! The gig on the DVD was filmed on June 17th, 1986 at the Spectrum in Philadelphia, PA, USA. Amazon.com is already accepting preorders for the DVD!
More dates for the forthcoming European tour have leaked out: It looks like the tour will have six dates in Spain from July 23rd to July 31st. Dio will also play at the huge metal festival Wacken in Germany, and probably other shows across the Europe as well. However, please note that these dates have not been confirmed and they may change as time goes by.
Primal Fear will cover Die Young on their forthcoming CD, titled Devil's Ground. Die Young is going to be as a bonus on a limited edition digipak in Europe and in Japan.
There are some rumors floating around the Internet concerning Jimmy Bain's position in the band. Some rumors claim that Jimmy would not be part of Dio any more, some rumors claim the opposite.
To my knowledge there hasn't been any changes in the Dio line-up. I do not know where those rumors have started; the first time I heard them was in the end of December.
Norwegian Dio cover band Anthem will play in Grebbestad on January 31st, 2004.
Vinny Appice (ex Dio and Sabbath drummer) and Jeff Pilson (ex Dio bassist) played together on the New Years Eve in one-off gig of "The Hollywood Allstars". Other musicians in the combo were Chas West on vocals (Bonham, Lynch Mob), Alan Krigger on drums (Giuffria, House Of Lords, Tina Turner) and Mitch Perry on guitars (MSG, Edgar Winter).
Ronnie is in the front cover of the newest US Metal Maniacs magazine - I have not yet seen the magazine so I cannot say what it is all about, though ;).
This page is maintained by Tapio Keihänen,
URL: http://www.dio.net/news/, the front page http://www.dio.net/.