September 29, 2022

BLACK SABBATH guitarist Tony Iommi was among the attendees at the London premiere of the first-ever career-spanning documentary on the life and times of legendary metal icon Ronnie James Dio, which was held Monday night (September 26) at the Curzon Soho Theatre. Speaking to Metal Talk on the red carpet of the event, Iommi said about his late SABBATH and HEAVEN & HELL bandmate (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "It was real sad because we were really on a roll when we'd done [the debut HEAVEN & HELL album] 'The Devil You Know' and we were touring and we were really enjoying it. And I remember talking to Ronnie when we were in Japan. We went for dinner one night. We said, 'Look, we're not gonna say we're gonna go for five years or whatever. We'll just try it and see where it goes. So we'd done the tour; we loved it and we enjoyed it. And when we were in this restaurant, I said to Ronnie, 'Do you fancy doing anything more?' And he said, 'Oh, yeah. We've gotta do another album. Let's do another album, another tour.' And that was the plan. That's what we were gonna do. And, of course, Ronnie didn't make it. But it was going so well and we had a great time being together. We loved working together. I loved working with Ronnie."

Iommi previously reflected on his time recording and touring with Dio as his bandmate in both BLACK SABBATH and HEAVEN & HELL in an April 2021 interview with Rockin' Metal Revival. At the time he said: "The last tour we did with Ronnie was real precious, and we had such a great time. And we really bonded. The last generation of the period with Ronnie was really close — everybody was close. Yeah, Ronnie was such a really nice person.

"What I liked about Ronnie [is] he gave everybody time," Tony continued. "It was just remarkable. Before the show, he'd have people in his dressing room — 'cause we'd have separate dressing rooms — he'd have people in there talking away and drinking and whatever. And he never warmed up or anything; he'd never done any kind of warming-up procedure before he went on stage. And he'd walk on stage and he'd just [sound] unbelievable; his voice was spot-on. It was just amazing, really, how he could do that.

"He was a really nice, caring character. He'd call me up — even just before he passed, he was on the phone to me, calling me from the hospital.

"It was very sad, really, [when he died]," Iommi added. "But he thought a lot of everybody — he really did. And he loved his fans."

Dio replaced Ozzy Osbourne in BLACK SABBATH in 1980, recording the "Heaven And Hell" and "Mob Rules" albums, plus "Live Evil", before leaving in 1982. He rejoined the group 10 years later for an album called "Dehumanizer", and again teamed with the group under the HEAVEN & HELL banner in 2006. HEAVEN & HELL released the aforementioned "The Devil You Know" in 2009.

Ronnie passed away of stomach cancer on May 16, 2010 at the age of 67.

Dio was renowned throughout the world as one of the greatest and most influential vocalists in heavy metal history. The singer was diagnosed with cancer in late 2009. He underwent chemotherapy and made what is now his final public appearance in April 2010 at the Revolver Golden Gods Awards in Los Angeles.

Ronnie's long-awaited autobiography, titled "Rainbow In The Dark: The Autobiography", was released on July 2021 via Permuted Press.

In 2006, BLACK SABBATH members Dio, Iommi, Geezer Butler and Vinny Appice reunited to record a trio of new songs for Rhino's "Black Sabbath: The Dio Years" before launching a greatly acclaimed world tour under their new moniker HEAVEN & HELL.

"The Devil You Know" sold 30,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release back in May 2009 to debut at position No. 8 on The Billboard 200 chart.

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