WENDY DIO: RONNIE JAMES DIO 'Was Always Overlooked During The Time That He Was Alive'
September 14, 2022
The first-ever career-spanning documentary on the life and times of legendary metal icon Ronnie James Dio will be presented in more than 500 cinemas worldwide by Trafalgar Releasing and BMG for two days only on Wednesday, September 28 and Sunday, October 2. Executive-produced by Dio's widow and longtime manager Wendy Dio and fully authorized by the artist's estate, "Dio: Dreamers Never Die" delves deep into the singer's incredible rise from a '50s doo-wop crooner to his early rock days in ELF and Ritchie Blackmore's RAINBOW, to replacing Ozzy Osbourne in BLACK SABBATH, and finally cementing his rock star status with his own band, DIO. The film incorporates never-before-seen footage and personal photos, as well as offering intimate scenes with his closest peers, family, and friends, among them Wendy, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, Glenn Hughes, Vinny Appice, Lita Ford, Rob Halford, Sebastian Bach, Eddie Trunk and Jack Black, as they bring viewers inside the life of one of rock and roll's true heroes and one of the most beloved figures in rock.
Asked in a new interview with Anne Erickson of Audio Ink Radio about her previous comment that her mission in life now is to carry on Ronnie's legacy, Wendy said: "I just think that Ronnie was always overlooked during the time that he was alive. And after his passing, I just felt that his music was something that he wrote for the fans, he performed for the fans. He loved his fans and that should continue on and carry on. That's one of the reasons why we did the documentary, was so that people could understand him, understand his life and where he came from and the trials and tribulations he had. He wasn't an overnight success. He paid his dues, for sure. And also to get his message out there. Ronnie's message was always, like, follow your heart, follow your dreams [and] don't give up."
Wendy also talked about her first reaction to seeing "Dio: Dreamers Never Die", saying: "When they put the film together and we had a private screening for me, it was my first chance to see all the little bits put together, and it was very bittersweet. I broke down and cried. And it was just exactly how I wanted Ronnie to be portrayed. They had done such a magnificent job. And that was just really, really — after all the hard work we all put into it, it was, like, 'Woah.' I think the fans are absolutely gonna love it."
In addition to the feature-length film, this special cinema event will also include a hand-picked selection of outtakes from the cutting room floor, creating an experience that is exclusive only to fans in attendance.
Ronnie James Dio, who died of gastric cancer in 2010, reigns as one of the most influential rock artists of all time and one of the greatest vocalists ever. With an illustrious recording career spanning from the 1950's through to the 2000s, the documentary follows his trajectory from sideman into singer, songwriter and frontman of not one, but three of rock's internationally renowned, multi-platinum-selling arena attractions: RAINBOW, BLACK SABBATH and DIO. Famous for popularizing the 'devil horns' hand gesture that is now synonymous with hard rock and heavy metal music, Dio was known for not wavering in his pursuit of his rock and roll dreams and continues to influence a new generation of music artists. His fans the world over remember him not only for his massive talent, but for his kindness, resulting in millions of dollars raised for cancer research in his memory.
"Dio: Dreamers Never Die" was financed solely by BMG and was directed by Don Argott and Demian Fenton ("Framing John DeLorean", "Believer", "Last Days Here"),produced by Don Argott and Sheena Joyce for 9.14 Pictures, and executive-produced by Wendy Dio for Niji Productions and Kathy Rivkin Daum for BMG.
Rhino/WMG will release the soundtrack from "Dio: Dreamers Never Die" in the fall.
At this year's SXSW Film Festival, several music personalities who were involved in the making of the film — Wendy, Butler and Bach — took part in a panel, "Dreamers Never Die: The Enduring Power Of Metal" panel, hosted by SiriusXM's Eddie Trunk at Austin Convention Center. Video of the discussion is available below.
Wendy recently told Argentinian journalist Lucas Gordon about "Dio: Dreamers Never Die": "I saw the first cut of it. It was very emotional. It's very different from [Dio's autobiography]. 'Cause the book finishes in 1986, with Ronnie playing Madison Square Garden. But the documentary goes all the way through his life till the end. And it was very emotional. I was watching it with my publicist and a person from BMG, who are funding the documentary. And we all cried. It was very emotional. But it's really interesting and really good. Rob Halford is great in it, talking about stories. Lita Ford [and] Jack Black [are also in it]. Eddie Trunk and Mick Wall [author of Dio's autobiography] both kind of narrated it and everything. I'm very pleased with it."
In August 2021, Wendy told SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk" about what fans can expect to see in the documentary: "There's a bunch of stuff from [old] Super 8 [tapes] and some other stuff. There's fantastic interviews with all kinds of different people about when they were working with Ronnie or what they were doing at the time, maybe supporting Ronnie. It's totally different to the [recently released Dio] book."
Ronnie James Dio 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, who was recording and touring with BLACK SABBATH offshoot HEAVEN & HELL prior to his illness, was diagnosed with stomach 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.
Dio's autobiography, titled "Rainbow In The Dark: The Autobiography", was released in July 2021 via Permuted Press.
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