That time Ronnie James Dio got me backstage on the Sacred Heart Tour


By Steve Newton

Ronnie James Dio passed away six years ago today, so in memoriam I thought I’d post this audio excerpt from the interview I did with him back in December of 1985.

The metal legend, 43 at the time, was headed to Vancouver for a show on his Sacred Heart tour, with opening act Yngwie Malmsteen‘s Rising Force.

I’d been a fan of his since I first heard Elf in high school, though I liked him best in Rainbow, especially during the Rainbow Rising days.

And of course he totally ruled with Sabbath for a while there.

Near the end of our 20-minute conversation I kinda sheepishly asked for a backstage pass. And he really came through.

Have a listen:


After the show my teenage nephew Jeff and I went backstage and hung out with Dio for a bit, and he was extremely nice, treating us like gold the whole time.

R.I.P. Ronnie.

Here’s my review of the show.

To hear the complete 1985 interview with Ronnie, become a patron of the Newt on Patreon.

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