Thursday, December 30, 2010

An Open Letter to Wendy Dio


First and foremost I'd like to say that, for me personally and for most of the world, Ronnie James Dio was metal. We wouldn't have metal today if it weren't for his influence, and it's a travesty that he was taken away from you so early, from us; his adoring fans.

The music he made and the lives he touched with go on forever for he has truly left his mark on all our hearts. We will be constantly reminded of him and his music each and every time we throw up the 'devil horns' at a show. He gave that to us, there's no doubting that.

You will always be respected and admired for all that you have dealt with, Wendy, and the strength you have displayed in your hours of sadness.

My only concern now is what is happening in his name now that he's gone. Thousands of people Facebook friended "the Ronnie James Dio fan page" and thousands of people show their support and share their thoughts and experiences daily about your husband and his career. But why did it all change?

I admit, in the beginning I too was caught up in the heat of the moment: "make such and such your facebook status about Dio and be entered into a drawing for this and that" to win an autographed DVD or whatnot? Want to win a shirt covered with Bill Ward's sweat? Who want the Official Ronnie James Dio guitar pic set? Who want a special edition statue? The novelties go on and on?

When did it go from giving us reminders and mementos about him to putting his name and face on every object known to man? When Did his legacy go from icon to 'Special Gold Foil Embossed' and 'Glow-in-the-dark limited edition'?

I for one can't make you stop. I don't have the right to say what you can and can't do with Ronnie's legacy. I can, however, choose to remove myself from the equation and not pay attention anymore. I refuse to feel my heart sink when I see postings about 'Ronnie James Dio Musical Christmas Cards' and wonder why you allow this to happen?

I'm sure millions are going to his cancer fund but I think that millions are going into your pockets as well. Everyone has a right to earn a living but you're not earning a living with anything you contribute, you're besmirching an incredible human being's name and mark on musical history and I just can't stand to see it anymore. You may be doing your part for Cancer research and to find a cure but at what cost?

This is what I remember Dio to do when he was standing up for a cause:

Nowadays you can get your limited Edition baseball with Dio's name on it!


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Mal said...

Wow. Well said, Draeden. It's one thing to have Kiss suck every last nickel out of their 'brand' via the Kiss Kasket and other licensed dreck. (Kiss cologne anyone?) It's another thing entirely to watch someone greedily capitalize on the legacy of the deceased. Classy.

Nice post.

Rob Liz said...

I for one will be unliking the page off of Facebook in 2 days. Keep in mind that Niji Entertainment was created by the Dio's as a label before Ronnie passed and the original mission aside from selling Dio related merch was to also sign bands to contracts. But it does seem like a desperate grab at not making people forget Ronnie James Dio by constantly pushing merchandise.Wendy, no one is ever going to forget Ronnie. But this is not how people want to remember him either.