Nick Pell from Red Star Times:
While most people think that RJD came from the belfry of a castle in Anglia, his origins were far more mundane. He was born Ronald James Padavona in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, a small mill / port city on the New Hampshire sea coast where I once lived. Soon after his family moved to the middle-of-nowhere in New York. It was here that he changed his name to “Dio” (after a mafia kingpin) and cut his teeth in the world of rock, playing on a series of obscure rockabilly singles.
I suspect that many will be surprised at the deep outpouring of grief surrounding the untimely passing of Ronnie James Dio. He is not the famous figure that Ozzy Osbourne is. However, Ronnie James Dio did something no other singer in metal or rock did quite as well as he did. Dio brought mythological significance and a sense of supernatural wonder to contemporary urban life. One need only listen carefully to the lyrics of “Mystery,” “Neon Knights” or “The Last in Line” to get a flavor for his abilities in this regard. Ronnie James Dio wasn’t a rock star, he was a working musician who occasionally assumed the trappings of one. I feel a great sense of sadness knowing that he has left us.