In 2010, the world lost a musical icon. Ronnie James Dio succumbed, finally, to his long struggle with stomach cancer. Yet, it is difficult to consider any aspect of Dio’s life as a tragedy. This is a man who, in many ways, created heavy metal music. From the uplifted two-pronged fist salute to fronting the bands Rainbow, Black Sabbath, and his namesake solo project, Dio (which sold more than twenty million records worldwide), Ronnie James Dio’s life was a life that was defined by creative output, kindness, and contribution. Dio may have left us physically, but his spirit is as alive today as it was when he first began performing, decades ago, in 1957. It is an immeasurable legacy that has continued to influence and inspire our lives. That legacy now serves to aid those deeply affected by this battle which so many face.
On a sold-out, star-studded evening, the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund set the stage for a round of bowling to celebrate an extraordinary man and to help extend the lives of those impacted by cancer. The popular fundraising event has returned after a three-year hiatus due to the pandemic and brought fans and celebrities together for a night of fun and an outpouring of generosity. Kicking off in Studio City at PINZ Bowling Center, it was a who’s who of Hollywood’s metal scene, both past and present. High profile supporters of the charity were on hand, including Jack Black and
Wendy Dio. Attendees were able to bowl alongside their heroes and contribute to an event that has raised upwards of $50,000 in a single outing. One hundred percent of donations have gone towards research and finding a cure for this devastating disease. Bowl for Ronnie was a celebration, yes, but so much more.
On the red carpet and in the lanes, the love was ever-present, and the backgrounds of the musicians was diverse. Guitar legend, Lita Ford, showed her support and looked like she could have stepped out of a 1980s music magazine centerfold, rocking a fuzzy skull sweater and posing for the cameras. Stray Cats drummer, Slim Jim Phantom, along with wife Jennie Vee (Eagles of Death Metal), added no small amount of cool to the party. Jesse Hughes, frontman of Eagles of Death Metal, offered the most symbolic performance of the night as he gave bowling lessons to an energetic 81-year-old fan prior to the tournament. “This is what it’s all about. You meet the best people,” Hughes said. “It’s great being here and doing something good. This lady was the best and an inspiration. The fans, you guys, and Dio. Let’s keep it going, brother!” Hughes, who is currently working on a new Eagles of Death Metal production, took time out of his busy schedule to be here. Members of numerous bands offered their time to raise much needed funds. Rockers from the likes of Whitesnake, Marilyn Manson, Theory of a Dead Man, Lynch Mob, Thin Lizzy, Yngwie Malmsteen, and many more, knocked down pins for the cause. The spirit of Ronnie James Dio was felt deeply at this one.
“This is what it’s all about. You meet the best people. It’s great being here and doing something good. This lady was the best and an inspiration. The fans, you guys, and Dio. Let’s keep it going, brother!”
The crew from KLOS, Los Angeles, radio were on hand and bowling. Screamer Magazine got a chance to catch up with DJ and broadcast personality, Stew Herrera, who has been doing this since 2016. “Dio was just a legend. Even today, compared to more contemporary singers, no one can compete with the power his voice had. He still has an impact today,” Herrera said. While we may be attending a charity in Dio‘s name, it was not something unfamiliar to the vocalist before his passing. Dio had used his prominent position as a musician for good while alive. “I don’t want to miss it,” he tells us. “Ronnie succumbed to his cancer. It is a horrible beast that needs to be slain. I remember working with Dio‘s Children of the Night charity back in the KNAC radio days. This is what Dio did and who he was…and is.” When asked about KLOS and their ongoing support of Stand Up and Shout, Herrera is clear. “For Ronnie’s event, it registers with everyone at KLOS. It fits with our beliefs and commitment to an important charity. This is who we are.” Herrera and his KLOS family have been supportive of this and many causes past and present. KLOS is an active supporter of St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and others. The rock and metal community is one that cares, but also one that is more about action than words.
“I don’t want to miss it. Ronnie succumbed to his cancer. It is a horrible beast that needs to be slain. I remember working with Dio‘s Children of the Night charity back in the KNAC radio days. This is what Dio did and who he was…and is.”
The significance of the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund‘s continuing efforts cannot be overstated. Cancer deaths will surpass half-million in 2022 alone. Dio’s charity is a proactive organization that promotes fundraisers throughout the year. Bowl for Ronnie is just one of many, and you should watch for upcoming affairs, including Ride for Ronnie and the Memorial Awards Gala. This a serious effort that is not content on waiting for someone else to step up. The metal community is a family that takes care of its own, but more importantly, it is a community that expresses compassion and connection to the world community just as Ronnie did. This is who we are. Stand up and shout and make a difference.
CLICK HERE to view a photo gallery from event.