Ronnie James Dio‘s wife and manager Wendy Dio spoke to Junkman about the legendary heavy metal singer’s just-released memoir, “Rainbow In The Dark: The Autobiography”, which she, along with writer Mick Wall, completed after Ronnie‘s death. On the topic of the writing process, Wendy said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “Ronnie started writing the book. And he wasn’t in a hurry, but he wanted it out. And he would write a bit and then leave it for a while, and then write a bit and leave it for a while. And then, when he was sick, he scribbled a bunch of notes. ‘Cause he wrote the book right up until almost the end of RAINBOW. And then he would scribble notes and put different things down that he wanted to remember to put in the book, and so on and so forth. But, unfortunately, he never got to finish it.
“I had a book deal for Ronnie when he was still alive,” she continued. “But then we kind of put it aside, and it wasn’t the right time. It’s hard to go down all those memories and stuff. And then Mick Wall kept prodding me and prodding me. He knew Ronnie very well; he was a journalist in the U.K. and had interviewed [Ronnie] many, many times. He’d become a friend over the years. And he kept prodding me, and he said, ‘C’mon. We’ve gotta do this.’ So, a couple of years ago, we decided, ‘Okay. Let’s go for it. Let’s start doing it.’ But I wanted it written in Ronnie‘s own words. Fortunately, Ronnie‘s mother had a scrapbook with every interview Ronnie had ever done, I think. And we went through a bunch of stuff and picked out things that was carrying on with his life during those times. But it was things that Ronnie still said in interviews. We put that all together, and then memories of mine that came up at that time. So that’s how we finished the book.”
“Rainbow In The Dark” ends in 1986, with the DIO band’s performance at Madison Square Garden, which Wendy Dio felt was appropriate. “It’s such a long life to cover in one book,” she told The Oakland Press. “So this book goes from his birth up to playing Madison Square Garden in 1986, which was a real high point for him. I’d like to do a volume two if there’s interest enough in volume one, ’cause there’s a lot of stuff — obviously going back to [BLACK] SABBATH in ’90 and more trials and tribulations with the labels dropping everybody and going back to the clubs and building back up again. I think there’s a lot more to tell.”
“Rainbow In The Dark: The Autobiography” was published on July 27 by Permuted Press in the U.S. and Canada and Constable in the U.K. The book is illustrated throughout with photographs, largely never-before-seen, derived from family photo albums and personal archives, plus an eight-page color insert devoted to additional rare photographs from Ronnie‘s life and career.
Ronnie passed away of stomach cancer on May 16, 2010 at the age of 67.
Dio was renowned throughout the world as one of the greatest and most influential vocalists in heavy metal history. The singer, who was recording and touring with BLACK SABBATH offshoot HEAVEN & HELL prior to his illness, was diagnosed with stomach cancer in late 2009. He underwent chemotherapy and made what is now his final public appearance in April 2010 at the Revolver Golden Gods Awards in Los Angeles.
Over the past 30 years, Wendy Dio has been involved in many aspects of the music business, receiving awards for stage set design and concert video production, along with serving as executive producer on numerous gold and platinum albums. In 2010, she co-founded the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund in Ronnie‘s memory, which has gone on to raise over $2,000,000 for cancer research, education and early detection screenings.
Mick Wall, as a rock music writer for publications such as Classic Rock, Mojo, The Times and a variety of others, had interviewed Ronnie countless times. In addition to writing for many of the U.K.’s major music publications, Wall has produced award-winning television and radio documentaries and has written biographies of musicians and bands, among them “When Giants Walked The Earth: A Biography Of Led Zeppelin” and “Two Riders Were Approaching: The Life & Death Of Jimi Hendrix”.