Metal Wani’s Laura Vezer had a chat with Wendy Dio, wife of Legendary Black Sabbath/Dio frontman Ronnie James Dio.
She discusses the upcoming third annual RIDE FOR RONNIE event on May 7th in support of Wendy Dio and the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund, the lineup for the event featuring Ronnie James Dio’s Dio Disciples, special items for the Dio fans, the fund raising goal for 2017 and how this event raises awareness on early cancer detection and treatment.
She describes how the hologram captures Ronnie James Dio’s live experience, various technologies used in this process, possible Dio Disciples U.S. and Europe tour, how fans can contribute to the cancer event & more.
Below are some of the excerpts:
Today we are here to talk about The 3rd annual Ride for Ronnie Motorcycle Ride and concert, happening on May 7th in Encino, California. What can you tell us about this event?
Well we started it 3 years ago and was something we put together when we did the 5 year memorial for Ronnie. A lot of fans were coming out from all different countries, and we thought we should have some things for them to do. We put the bowling in before the memorial, and we put the ride in after. It became so successful that we decided to continue with the ride and the bowling, and make it an annual event. This is our 3rd annual event, the Ride for Ronnie, and it’s filled in every year. First year we had 150 bikes and 500 people in attendance at the concert. Last year we had 350 bikes and 1500 people. We’re hoping to get twice as many this year! We have a great line up, with Eddie Trunk who has always been fantastic. We have some great bands playing. It (the ride) starts off at Harley Davidson in Glendale who are one of our sponsors. They ride through the streets to Encino, to Los Encinos park. Then we have the concert, we have the Dio Disciples, Ronnie’s touring band for the past 17 years. We have Lynch Mob, Rough Cutt, Eddie Money, Sonya Harley, No Small Children, and Ernie’s Loveless. We also have Stephen Adler coming in, and is bringing in an all celebrity band. We don’t know exactly who yet, but we should know by next week which celebrities will be coming in to play for us. It’s very exciting. We have food vendors there, and a raffle, a live auction, a silent auction, with lots of prizes.
Last year the Ride for Ronnie event raised over $50,000 for the Ronnie James Dio Stand up and Shout Cancer Fund. What’s the fundraising goal for this year?
We’d love to double it, but if we get to $75,000 we’ll be happy. We’ll be giving $25,000 to Doctor Wong from UCLA this year who is developing a saliva test for early detection of cancer, so we’re very excited about that.
Ronnie was and still is a very loved member of the heavy metal community. There are so many in the community who didn’t get the chance to see him live. For those who were unable to experience Ronnie on stage, how would you describe him, and how well does this hologram project capture the live Dio experience?
When you look at him up on stage with the band, he looks like he’s back there again, performing because it is him performing. It’s a lot of work, they do a lot of digital stuff, but it is him performing there and singing to a live track with the live band. I think it’s a great experience. I think the people who haven’t seen him will love to see it, because they hadn’t got the chance to see it. It’s not like a video, it’s like actually seeing him on stage. I think it’s emotional and as I said, some people will like it, and some people won’t, but that’s just their opinion.
Stream The Entire Interview Below:
Both riders and concert-goers can purchase their tickets by visiting: www.diocancerfund.org/events