I’m a music lover and I’ve always stolen music. I’ve always bought music too, but when you crave music the way that I do, you’ve got to do some stealing. It’s a balance.
Well, I guess the earliest form of stealing came from holding the tape recorder up to the radio to record songs. Then it moved on to recording albums onto cassette from either records or factory cassettes. Then on to actually stealing cassettes from fine retailers, such as Sears. Then on to CD burning, then on to file-sharing and downloading full albums via the internet. One could even argue that buying used vinyl is a glorified way of stealing. Hey, the record company doesn’t get paid when I buy an album for $1 at a street fair or in a shop.
Anyway, the point is…the balance. The good and the bad. The evil and divine. The heaven and hell. The dualities of which Ronnie James Dio always sang.
One of the cassettes that I stole from Sears when I was a 12-year old newbie rocker was a classic duality. It contained the full Ozzy-led Paranoid album on one side and on the other side, the full Dio-led Heaven and Hell album. Well, Paranoid is the obvious classic there, but it was the then-surprise other side that knocked me out…and that I played over and over. It was a time when I was just learning about Dio. Shit, I was just learning about everybody! But I was just putting the pieces together that this guy who I knew was currently in a killer band called Dio was named Ronnie James Dio and actually took over for Ozzy in Black Sabbath! So that’s what this is! Whoa!
Well, the stealing of cassettes didn’t last too long, as a friend and I were busted at Sears the first time that the friend tried to make off with some jams. Our first lesson in crime and punishment. But not before I put some classic music in my library and my soul.
And Ronnie has now completed life’s biggest duality. Death. But not before putting some classic music in all of our souls. If anyone can make peace with the afterlife, it’s got to be Ronnie. And his music will always go on to be cherished by lovers of the best duality in the world…rock & roll! …Or is that just a hendiadys? Well, it’s close enough for rock & roll!
Cheers to you, Ronnie, may you rest in peace. Thanks for all the great music and magic that you put into the world. You rock! And, more importantly, WE ROCK!