Ronnie James Dio: The Elf that Roared

For years, when people would ask what my real name was, I’d reply “Ronnie James Dio.” My reasoning was that only the right people would get the joke.

Dio, a heavy metal singer with an unbelievably powerful voice, died May 16 of stomach cancer. He was 67. In tours with Black Sabbath and Rainbow (his first band, Elf, may have done more to blacken the public image of elves than “Bad Santa” did), as well as his solo career, Dio was a very earnest performer who took his lyrics seriously without being a jerk about it.

This combination of pure motives and graciousness made Dio a beloved performer.

Taking things seriously in the face of such overwhelming silliness is difficult, or recognizing that something is both funny and significant simultaneously is a great skill. That is the way I feel about porn, and why Dio, who uttered lines like

No sign of the morning coming!
You’ve been left on your own
Like a rainbow in the dark!


Rock ‘n’ Roll Children
Without a friend
(But they’ve got Rock ‘n’ Roll!)

with such authority, while flashing the devil horns that he made iconic, is so special to me.

Appreciating the work of Ronnie James Dio helps effect the mind-splitting required to talk about something as an art form at the same time you are aware that the art form sometimes involves sharing semen from a champagne glass.

Dio, of course, was a goblet man.

People talk about guilty pleasures, but I don’t think any pleasure (save for kitten-tossing) should be so qualified. Loving Dio, like loving porn or Civil War reenactments or “Glee” or ham radio or fat girls, is a special kind of affection that is always aware of itself.

Farewell, Ronnie James Dio! You leave us just a little lost and never found.

(And my new real name is Joe Lynn Turner.)

Previously on Porn Valley Observed: Porn scenes from an Italian restaurant; Noname Jane – the cross and the pentagram; On the edge of a rainbow in the dark
See also: Ronnie James Dio

4 thoughts on “Ronnie James Dio: The Elf that Roared

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  2. “the world is full of kings and queens
    who blind your eyes and steal your dreams
    its Heaven and Hell”

    RIP Ronnie, and thank you for the music

    A nice piece Grams, thank you.


  3. In my opinion, one of the best hard rock type voices ever. Let’s see. Elf, Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow, Black Sabbath, his own albums . . . what have I missed? The only dvd I’ve ever bought was Black Sabbath playin’ at Radio City Music Hall, the version with him singing and Vinny Appice on drums. The only Black Sabbath besides the original line-up that I ever really liked – and (again, IMO) Dio OWNS that version of Sabbath, made it unique from the original.

    Rest In Peace, Mr. Dio

    “Life Is Short, Make It Enjoyable”

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