Ronnie Dio: goosebumps as big as they come

Jon Lord writes:

I would like, along with my wife and daughters, to express my sadness at the passing of Ronnie Dio.

A friend of many years standing and a truly delightful man. His voice was an instrument of power and of beauty, and was a seminal influence in rock music. His loss is even more devastating when considering how much more he would have had to offer us.

My heart goes out to dear Wendy, and my thoughts are also with Roger and Richie, who were so close to him for so long.

I will always cherish the memories of those remarkable nights at The Royal Albert Hall in September 1999 when, sitting on the stage with all the massed musicians of Deep Purple, The London Symphony Orchestra et al, Ronnie sang Roger’s lovely song “Sitting in a Dream” and brought us smiles and tears, and goosebumps as big as they come.

I shall forever connect that song with that moment and with Ronnie.

Rest in peace my friend.

With love


24 thoughts on “Ronnie Dio: goosebumps as big as they come

  1. Very well said!!. I had the privilege of meeting him in ’07 and he was gracious enough to talk to me for about an hour!!!

    And what makes that meeting so special, is that we talked while he was having breakfast at the Hyatt Hotel in Miami. I apologized to him for interrupting his breakfast but he insisted I stay and so I did . And on top of that, he agreed to have photo taken with me and my wife and daughter!

    Thanks Ronnie!!!!!!!

  2. For me that moment was also amazing. But, my fondest memory of the small man with a great heart and a great voice will be after the concerto performance in Stockholm.
    Meeting him in the Sheraton Hotel bar I said I was amazed with how he kept his voice.
    He answered: “Yea, when I’m eighty they’ll roll me in on stage in a wheelchair, but I’ll still have my voice.” Now that will never happen…

  3. That is so sad… hard to believe Ronnie Dio not here any more… this life is passing so fast but he had a great one! We are very sorry!
    Marianna and Steve

  4. I think that often, you musicians on stage, you feel alone in your pain, because your emotions, your music, your life is for all, or for no one. I want to remind you that we, the fans, for pleasure or professional musicians, amateurs of your songs, your lyrics, your music … we suffer with you. We love you with all our heart. Ronnie has left a huge void. We are close, although we never had the fortune to know personally. But through your interviews, your music, you’re part of us. Thanks for everything. I hope my message is not misunderstood. is a simple message of love and empathy. A hug. Sorry for not perfect english.

  5. I saw Ronnie live with Deep Purple and the philharmonic Orchestra in Rotterdam and I was really impressed by the cooperation.
    A little guy with a big voice has passed away.


  6. Dear Mr. Lord, dear Jon ! I am a friend from Austria and saw Ronnie the first time opening for Deep Purple with his band ELF on April 3rd 1975 in Graz, where Made in Europe was partly recorded. Me, a barely 14 year old greenhorn, but keen on rock already then thought to myself “Who the hell is that man singing ?”. You found emotional words and there’s nothing to add on. With sincere and deep thanks for all the good times Ronnie gave us and all the best for you and your family – Hansjörg “Purple” Sitner

  7. Jon… you speak right from my heart. I saw DP performing Sitting in a Dream with Ronnie in Frankfurt. A wonderful night I will always remember.

    Thank you Jon for your warm words and all the best to you and your family

  8. I saw Ronnie in Rainbow when I was about 16 – what a voice he had! So sorry that he’s left us now. Thank you for your most wonderful words about him and the video of Rainbow in the Night was wonderful – I know what you mean about goosebumps. A loss to us all, but especially his family and friends – my thoughts are with you all.

  9. The music world has lost a maestro. I had the priviledge of meeting Ronnie Dio during the Holy Diver tour. He was kind and gracious to this awestruck 16 year old kid who was too gobsmacked to talk. God bless you Ronnie Dio. Thanks for the music and thanks for the memories. Your spirit and music will transcend generations everyway. Thank you Jon Lord for your tribute.

  10. Ronnie one of the best rock voices of the world, I dreamed with his songs through beautiful moments of my life. Thanks Ronnie by Mark and Virginia, that your soul rest in peace

  11. Thanks for the video, Jon. Doesn’t this just show what a great performer Ronnie was? His voice had everything for me – warmth, volume, energy, and a church-organ like quality that just fills the room.

    For me, though, he sang with a reassuring quality that somehow made everything else in life tolerable. I never had the honour of meeting him so my sympathies go out to you and to all his family and friends. From the comments I’ve read, he was dearly loved.

  12. Dear Jon, as I expected from you, you found the most warm-hearted words. To me ronnie´s music meant so much, it leaded me through very dark and sad moments as well as your music always did. His amazing voice, his power and his charisma are unforgetable. I saw ronnie several times and enjoyed it always so much. I will never forget the concerto 1999 in London. Everybody could hear, see and feel how much you all loved it being on stage together. Today i found consolation in one of your most beautiful songs, Jon: The sun will shine again. Of course it will! Thank you so much, Ronnie for your wonderful music! And also thanks to you, dear Jon! God bless you for being such a lovely and caring person. Love Deborah

  13. Thanks Jon,you’ve found the perfect words to say.I was lucky to see Ronnie with Elf in 75-opening for Purple’s “last concert” in Paris..what a night!then a couple of time with Rainbow.He was so talented..
    Really appreciated your comment,you’re great
    All the best

  14. Can’t shake this feeling of sadness and loss. Even seeing the name in print ‘Ronnie James Dio’ sends shivers down my spine as it has since the day I first saw his name and heard THAT voice. The mans talent was as huge as his vocals and who knows what further wonders he and Ritchie would’ve come up with had they continued. One of my lifes great regrets. A little man in stature but a giant of the music world with a voice like Thunder carried on Angels wings. God Bless Ronnie and Thank you so so much!

  15. Ronnie had the gift of making those who met him feel, for the time they were with him, as if they were the most important person in the world. His music will long outlive him, and defeat the cruelty of his premature passing. His total commitment as a performer was a massive inspiration. During the concerto shows, I used to retire to the wings to watch his songs with Purple, and in the bar after one particularly emotive night I said to him that as far as I was concerned he could sing excerpts from the telephone directory and turn them into poetry. “Only if I believed in that particular set of numbers”, he said.

    I will remember his generosity of spirit: I lifted a gift tag on a bouquet of flowers at my grandmother’s funeral to see that they were from him. And his sense of humour. He could do a pretty decent Geordie accent. And I still have the bees, and the John Belushi hat and shades.

    And that voice…

  16. Of all the tributes that I’ve read since Ronnie’s passing. this one from Jon, has been the most moving. I have tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat as I write this. Jon, you truly are the epitome of the perfect English gentleman. A man who recognises and cherishes a true friendship that lasted close to 40 years. I know that Ronnie loved you dearly, and your heartfelt words, shows us all that the respect and love was mutual. God bless you Jon.

  17. Dear, dear Jon,
    Thank you for finding (and sharing!) such beautiful and touching words.
    I can only imagine how hard it must be for you, Ronnie’s family and friends…. All my thoughts are with you, but please know that we share your pain…it’s a personal tragedy for every one of us his fans, as well.

    I was blessed to see Him live twice, less than a year ago. And though I was only one of thousands attending the show, he made me feel truly important for him… These precious moments I will keep in my heart forever.
    Feeling completely lost and brokenhearted…but his music helps to go on. Through his songs he’ll always be with us.

    God bless you, Jon. Take care and see you in 10 days in Kiev!

  18. DIO was one of the better voices of heavy metal, and rock n roll. Im 17 years and i cant believe, that he is not with us, very good words jon. Rest in peace Ronnie Dio.

  19. we all are deeply sad and MAN ON THE SILVER MOUNTAIN is heard being played at local pubs in commemoration.

  20. Have that DVD with Ronnie. One of our favourites. We mourn his sad loss.

    Looking forward to seeing Deep Purple here in SA a week from now but – Jon Lord where are you?

    Duncan Bulloch,
    Cape Town, South Africa

  21. Best tribute I have read Jon.
    Sitting on a dream clip certainly gives goose bumps.
    What a voice!
    Making music for 50 years,like Elvis, Ronnie James Dio music will last forever.
    i’m devestated.

  22. The sensitive and well articulated comment’s already posted is an endorsement to the respect RJD had attained from an audience any musician would strive to have. He was a unique artist and I’m grateful to have known his work in that eclipsing musical decade of the 70’s, work that I still listen to, and yes, also gives me goosebumps.

  23. Yes, rock music has lost an icon. One person who has proved that this style has not made only of a group of mindless, addicted to illegal substances, boring extravagant people and other kind of it. One huge talent is gone forever. Thank you for your work and for a million of people that were made happy listening to your songs.

  24. These are remarkable words of a gentleman, the best tribute I’ve read so far. Thank you Mr Lord.

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