Watch: DIO DISCIPLES Perform At 2023 'Rock For Ronnie' Event In Encino

May 8, 2023

DIO DISCIPLES, which pays tribute to Ronnie James Dio and is fully supported by Dio's widow/manager Wendy, performed at the "Rock For Ronnie" event yesterday (Sunday, May 7) at Los Encinos Historic Park in Encino, California. Video of the concert can be seen below (courtesy of Jessica Chase).

Joining former DIO members Scott Warren (keyboards) and Simon Wright (drums) for the performance were singers Terry Ilous (XYZ, GREAT WHITE) and Dyna Shirasaki (THUNDHERSTRUCK),guitarist Ira Black (BULLETBOYS, VIO-LENCE),and bassist Bjorn Englen (YNGWIE MALMSTEEN).

"Rock For Ronnie" was an afternoon of live rock music, silent and live auctions, food trucks and fun geared to the entire family. The event benefited the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund and was the cancer charity's first post-COVID-19 gathering back in the park.

DIO DISCIPLES is made up of former members of DIO, along with a rotating lineup of vocalists, including ex-JUDAS PRIEST singer Tim "Ripper" Owens and LYNCH MOB frontman Oni Logan.

Billed as a "celebration of the music and legacy of the greatest singer in the world, Ronnie James Dio," DIO DISCIPLES have been playing Ronnie's music on tour in a bid to keep their old bandmate's memory alive.

Three years ago, Wright told The Metal Voice that the proposed DIO DISCIPLES debut album had been put "on hold" so that he and his bandmates could focus on the "Dio Returns" tour. At the time, Simon said that "about four or five demos" had been laid down of "different songs" that he and former DIO guitarist Craig Goldy had been working on. As for the material's musical direction, Wright said: "It's difficult to pin it down, because some of [the tracks] are a little different. Still a little bit of [the] DIO [sound], the way Ronnie would write, obviously, 'cause that's rubbed off on Craig, and I hear things too. But at the moment, it's a little bit eclectic. So that was gonna be one thing we were gonna approach. We need to consolidate it and make it into a DIO DISCIPLES sound. So that was a conversation we were having: 'We need to figure out where we're going with this.' At the moment, it's a bit all over the place. But they sound good. They're great ideas."

Several years ago, Goldy revealed DIO DISCIPLES were planning to start work on a project of original material, and they debuted three of the new songs during their May 2016 appearance at the "Ride For Ronnie" motorcycle rally and concert in Encino.

Craig previously told "Talking Metal" that he has been collaborating with fellow former DIO member Jeff Pilson on the material for the debut DIO DISCIPLES album.

Goldy joined DIO during the "Sacred Heart" tour in 1986 after original guitarist Vivian Campbell was fired from the band following a contentious business disagreement with the singer and Ronnie's management.

Pilson is best known for playing bass with DOKKEN and FOREIGNER, but he also toured with DIO in the 1990s and performed on three of the group's albums — "Strange Highways" (1993),"Angry Machines" (1996) and the group's tenth and final studio release, "Master Of The Moon" (2004).

Owens told Canada's The Metal Voice about DIO DISCIPLES' forthcoming LP: "We're not making a DIO record. We couldn't do that. The best thing is, we've all done different types of records, but there's always some similarity to the classic metal and classic rock format, because we have this in us. But we still always move forward a little bit. But that's what it's gonna be. JUDAS PRIEST, DIO, AC/DC — all these influences are in us, and they're not gonna leave us. It's just us writing songs. It's not us writing songs to sound like something; it's us going in and writing songs."

In 2018, Wendy said that DIO DISCIPLES' debut album would be released via BMG.

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