Tag Archive | Ronnie James Dio

Recommended Reading: Shootin’ The Shit, Volume One: Conversations with Rock Anti-Heroes, Icons and Metal Gods By Vinny Cecolini

Shootin the Shit Cover

Way, way back, when I used to interview Famous People for a (meager) living, I acquired a valued reputation as a bit of a Rock Star Whisperer for my ability to get musicians to open up and talk about anything — even subjects or revelations that they had never made before to another journalist. This happened all the time. And while I take full credit for honing this skill through interviews with members of bands like Motley Crue, Duran Duran, Alice Cooper, The Sex Pistols and Led Zeppelin, I did have a couple of valuable mentors in fellow rock journalist friends who showed me the ropes when I was just an egg, and who taught me to me fearless. One of those friends was veteran rock journalist Vincent “Vinny” Cecolini, a Metal God in his own right, whom I have been friends with for twenty years. Vinny is the bomb.

Vinny has just published his first book of his collected interviews with some of the biggest names in metal and extreme rock, which is called Shootin’ the Sh*t — Volume One: Conversations with Rock Anti- Heroes, Icons & Metal Gods. Unlike typical collections of rock star interviews,  Vinny’s first eBook is a compendium of conversations with artists  that were conducted during pivotal moments in each of their careers. Plans for pop culture domination; The truths behind long-debated rock ‘n’ roll legends; the inspirations for — and true meanings of — classic song lyrics; the decisions for leaving and returning to major bands; the struggles with such un-rock ‘n’ roll experiences as fatherhood and maturity: these are just a few of the revelations contained within the pages of Shooting the Sh*t Volume One: Conversations with Rock Anti-Heroes, Icons & Metal Gods. Each conversation focuses on the artist and not the writer. This is a must read book!

“Fans want to read the artist’s words,” Vinny explains. “They want to read exact, contextual quotes. They don’t care about a journalist’s musings and meanderings. If they did, they would immediately flip over to a magazine’s reviews or editorial section.” As the title suggests, the author never treats his artist chats as paint-by-numbers question and answer sessions, but as friendly, naturally flowing conversations.

“Straight-forward interviews are the kiss of death,” Vinny continues. “When promoting something new, most artists are subjected to a cattle call of interviews. And nothing will bore an artist quicker than hearing the same sterile questions over and over again; nothing will frustrate or turn them off quicker than watching a ‘hack’ journalist stammering as he or she fumbles with a list of questions.

“If a journalist lets the conversation flow naturally, it may take him or her in a different direction than intended, but that is fine. Even if given an agenda by a publication (to talk about a new album, DVD or tour), eventually, the conversation will find its way back to topic.” This practice has resulted in a number of amazing chats with artists such as Neil Young, Meat Loaf, Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson and the late, great Ronnie James Dio. Metal!

During his 25-year career, Vinny’s work has appeared in dozens of publications including Hit Parader, Metal Maniacs and Bikini. He was also the head writer for cable network VH1 Classic during the short window when that station actually played music videos. Like many veteran journalists, Vinny accumulated conversations that, for a variety of reasons, had never been published. Shooting the Sh*t is Vinny’s opportunity to help these amazing and often highly candid conversations  a new audience. The idea was born as the author lamented over an unpublished chat with a pre-American Nightmare Marilyn Manson.

Shooting the Sh*t Volume One: Conversations with Rock Anti-Heroes, Icons & Metal Gods is available now an e-book on Kindle now and will be available on other formats this week! Get it on Amazon right now atThis Link!

Ronnie James Dio Valentines Day Card

Ronnie James Dio Valentines Day Card
Image Source

Romance, people. Learn from Dio.

Thanks to Ian Rans for the Image!

Video Clip of The Week: David Poe, “When I Fly”

David Poe – When I Fly from David Poe on Vimeo.

I’m really excited about this week’s clip, “When I Fly” by singer/songwriter David Poe, an artist I first wrote about way back in 1996. Poe’s music reminded me then of serious 1970s-era performers like James Taylor but also Art Garfunkel and the great Tim Moore (who, as far as I know is still alive, but hasn’t recorded an album in almost 30 years, WTF?). Anyway, “When I Fly” reveals evidence of those same types of seventies-ish influences. This says two things to me: 1. That, musically, David Poe knows his shit, and 2. Poe understands that if it works, don’t fix it.

Thematically, “When I Fly” is a 2014 version of Norman Greenbaum’s “Spirit in the Sky.” If you know what that means, great. If not, it doesn’t matter. Aurally, the song is an acoustic guitar accompanying pristine word economy in a song that anyone who has lived a life will be able to relate to. Visually, this clip looks like the home movies of someone who has had an awesome life. I know that “Lyric Videos” are all the rage these day and usually they put me off, but I like this one. Pay special attention towards the end for a montage of subliminal images that includes Ronnie James Dio. Excellent

“When I Fly”
is from the not yet released album God & The Girl, which David calls “a quiet record of new songs I recorded last year in Los Angeles.” The full album will not be generally available online or in stores until much later this year, but for now, it’s available exclusively through his website, accessible by clicking This Link. Purchase, Download, Listen and Enjoy!

David Poe CD Cover

KnuckleBonz Unveils Limited Edition Ronnie James Dio Collectible Figure!

Horns up, Metal Heads! KnuckleBonz is excited to announce its production of the Ronnie James Dio Rock Iconz® statue – an officially licensed product, approved and endorsed by Wendy Dio and Niji Entertainment. Wendy Dio remarked about the project, “Ronnie would be very proud.” KnuckleBonz is honored to be creating a tribute piece of Ronnie James Dio, widely recognized as one of the most powerful singers in all of heavy metal.

The Ronnie James Dio Statue, part of KnuckleBonz music-based sculpture series: Rock Iconz, is a hand-crafted sculpture of Dio posed flashing his signature devil horns, in a familiar crouched stance. A portion of all sales made from the KnuckleBonz site will be donated to the Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund created in honor of Ronnie James Dio.

“We learned that Ronnie wanted to work on a statue project before he fell ill. We are honored that Wendy Dio and his management called on us for this project,” remarks Tony Simerman, President and Creative Director of KnuckleBonz, Inc. “It’s been a real pleasure to work with Ronnie’s family and the people at Niji on this project. I was a fan of Ronnie’s very early and owned all the original Rainbow records. I was fortunate enough to see him out in front of Sabbath. RJD was one of the greatest live performers I have ever seen,” adds Simerman.

The statue will be sold directly from KnuckleBonz Dot Com and through select retailers worldwide. Scheduled to ship in December 2010, The Ronnie James Dio Rock Iconz Statue can be preordered at This Link. Created at 1/9 scale, making the figure approximately 8” tall on top of a wooden display base, this highly collectible, limited edition statue was created in a series of 3000 pieces only. Priced at $115.00, each figure in the edition is hand-painted, numbered and includes a certificate of authenticity. Order now so you won’t be “the last in line” to get your hands on one.

Happy Birthday, Ronnie James Dio!

Dio Metal
Too Much Metal For One Hand

Metal maestro Ronnie James Dio – commonly considered to be the “inventor” of the Devil Horns / Throwing Metal hand sign that is so popular in the heavy metal community – was born on this day, July 10th, in 1942! Metal! \m/