Archive for the ‘Dio’ Category

Whitesnake Monsters of Rock festival Donington 20th August 1983

Whitesnake Monsters of Rock festival Donington 20th August 1983
whitesnaketix83Line-up: Whitesnake, Meat Loaf, Z Z Top, Twisted Sister, Dio, Diamond Head. DJ: Tommy Vance.
Aah! The Monsters of Rock festivals. Up early, on with the denim jacket, into the car, pick up my mates, and down the A1 and M1 we went. Three hours or so, and 165 miles (according to AA route planner), later and we joined the metal hordes in the Donington Park Race Circuit. We knew we were there when we saw the Dunlop tyre bridge.
Its funny what I find when I’m constructing these posts. “Chris Evans has bought Donington Park race track’s famous Dunlop bridge. The 30-year-old structure was sold during a racing memorabilia auction, for about £300, in aid of a Leicestershire charity. On his show, Evans said the bridge was a national landmark and appealed for help getting it from the track. Evans joked he was going to put up the bridge, which is over 70 metres (230 ft) in length, in his garden over the top of his neighbour’s house.” [Wonder if he did that 🙂 ] (from BBC News site).
doningtontyreBack to rock. First up in 1983 were Diamond Head. We listened to them while we had a little wander around the site. I will have bought my programme, we’ll have consumed our first burger of the day, and made our first visit to the beer tent [as designated driver, I would be limited to one pint early on in the day 😦 ]. Next was Dio, his operatic vocals drifting over the crowd, and the smell of burgers and beer, and lifting the mood on classics such as “Holy Diver”, “Stargazer”, “Heaven And Hell” and “Man On The Silver Mountain”. Classic.
It was probably about this time that the can fights would start. You had to watch out for them; a can on the back of your head could do some serious damage. Twisted Sister were next. Dee Snider and Co captured the crazy metal mood of the event perfectly and went down well. Dee understood metal and its antics and lapped up crowd reaction, both positive and negative; a few cans or bottles thrown on stage didn’t bother him. After all “You Can’t Stop Rock N’ Roll”. Next up was Meat Loaf, who didn’t take kindly to the sea of bottles and cans which were thrown at him throughout his set. Nonetheless he played on and treated us to “Bat Out Of Hell”, “I’m Gonna Love Her For Both Of Us”, “All Revved Up With No Place To Go”, “Midnight At The Lost and Found” and “Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad”. Great stuff. Back to the beer tent, another burger, and a walk around the tyre to stretch our legs, and then meander and squeeze our way as close to the stage as we could safely get. Things were about to get even better.
whitesnakedoningtonprog83This was our first exposure to Z Z Top, their beards, and that relentless, often tongue in cheek, Texan rock’n’roll boogie: “Gimme All Your Lovin'”, “Sharp Dressed Man”, “Pearl Necklace”, “Arrested For Driving While Blind”, and set closer “Tush”. Amazing. Two years later they were back as headliners; and rightly so. Another burger, avoid a few more cans and bottles, final visit to the beer tent, and back down front.
The day belonged to Whitesnake. The deserved it, and didn’t let us down one little bit. Whitesnake’s set was recorded; you can find it on YouTube. Mistreated is here (and is a simply awesome performance by Coverdale):
Coverdale opens the song thus: “We’ve got an old song for you. I think this may be the last time we’ll ever play it [it wasn’t]. Please enjoy it. It features my good friend Mel Galley on guitar”.
Whitesnake setlist: Walking In The Shadow Of The Blues; Rough An’ Ready; Ready An’ Willing; Guilty Of Love; Here I Go Again; Lovehunter; Mistreated; Soldier Of Fortune; Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City; Fool For Your Loving; Thank You Blues; Don’t Break My Heart Again; Wine, Women An’ Song.
In 1983 the ‘Snake were: David Coverdale (lead vocals and 110% rock godliness); Micky Moody (blues guitar); Jon Lord (swirling Hammond); Mel Galley (rock guitar); Colin Hodgkinson (thumping bass); and Cozy Powell (powerhouse drums).
Back in the car. An hour or two to get out of the car park. My mates would fall asleep and snore. I would drive back up a lonely and empty M1 and then the A1. Back home in the early hours. Denim jacket hung up again. Happy happy days 🙂

Dio Newcastle City Hall 1984

Dio Newcastle City Hall 1984
Support from Queensryche
This concert in 1984 was the last time I saw Dio in a concert hall setting. I did see Ronnie and the band a few years later at the Monsters of Rock festival 1987. This gig had strong support from up and coming act Queensryche, who had just released their second album and were building up their own strong following. Dio had also just released their second album “The Last in Line”, and the set featured a collection of songs from that album, their previous album “Holy Diver” and a few Rainbow and Sabbath songs. The evil, but cute. looking guy on the programme is “Murray”, who appeared on the band’s album covers, as well as in the backdrop for the live shows. Note Murray sports the devil’s horn salute that was the trademark of Ronnie. Setlist: Stand Up and Shout; One Night in the City; Don’t Talk to Strangers; Mystery; Egypt (The Chains Are On); Holy Diver; Heaven and Hell; The Last in Line; Rainbow in the Dark; Man on the Silver Mountain / Starstruck; Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll. Encore: We Rock; The Mob Rules. A DVD of performances from two Dio concerts in 1983 and 1984 was released a few years ago, and gives a great write-up of Dio’s rock stature at that time: “Ronnie James Dio remained at the forefront of hard rock for over twenty years and his position as the powerful voice, driving force and front man to rock gods ‘Dio’ is the stuff of legends. The finest hard rock album to come out of 1983 (Holy Diver) and a second serving of rock genius in 1984’s ‘The Last In Line’, Dio found themselves in embarking on a sell-out world tour. Delivering concert performances of the highest calibre and putting on the kind of value-for-money show that had become something of a lost art, the Holy Diver world tour won the band adulation from fans, critics and fellow musicians alike.”

Dio Newcastle City Hall 1983

Dio Newcastle City Hall 1983
Support from Waysted
I first saw the late Ronnie James Dio when he fronted the band Elf. Elf were support act on the Deep Purple Burn tour of 1974, which I caught at Newcastle Odeon. My mate John also reminded me that we saw Elf as support for Johnny Winter at the New Victoria Theatre, London, also in 1974. I them saw him several times in Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow, and also in Black Sabbath. Ronnie was a great rock singer, with a tremendous range, his style mixing heavy metal with an almost operatic approach. Ronnie was also tremendously charismatic and powerful on stage, with a great stage presence which transcended his diminutive stature. I can picture him now leading the crowd on, his hands making the devil’s horn salute. A great talent, who is much missed. By 1984 Ronnie was of sufficient stature to be able to front his own band Dio. Playing alongside him were the three other great rock talents of Vinny Appice on drums; Jimmy Bain on bass and Vivian Campbell on guitar. Dio’s music drew heavily from his previous bands, retaining Ronnie’s distinctive style, and some of the dark satanic imagery of Sabbath. The set was a mix of track from the the new Dio lp, Holy Diver, and rainbow and Sabbath songs: Stand Up and Shout; Straight Through the Heart; Shame on the Night; Children of the Sea (Black Sabbath); Holy Diver; Stargazer (Rainbow: a great favourite of mine at the time; I’d forgotten this one!); Heaven and Hell (Black Sabbath); Rainbow in the Dark; Man on the Silver Mountain (Rainbow: another great song); Starstruck (Rainbow). Encore: Evil Eyes; Don’t Talk to Strangers. Support came from Waysted, Pete Way of UFO’s side project, which also featured fellow UFO member Paul Raymond.

Bon Jovi Monsters of Rock Donington 1987

Bon Jovi Monsters of Rock Donington 1987
Support Acts: Dio, Mettalica, Anthrax, WASP
I attended quite a few of the Monsters of Rock festivals at Donington during the 1980s, usually with my mate Dave. I was lucky enough to win tickets from the local paper a couple of times, including this event in 1987. The line-up was pretty strong with headliner Bon Jovi supported by Dio, Mettalica and a couple of other bands. Dave and I had seen Bon Jovi at Monsters of Rock a couple of years earlier; this time they were back as headliner, and put on a great show, warranting their major league status. Dio played a set which consisted of solo songs, and a few Sabbath and Rainbow tracks. Mettalica had not, in my view, reached their peak at this stage; that was to come later with the release of the Black album. Bon Jovi setlist: Pink Flamingos; Raise Your Hands; I’d Die for You; Tokyo Road; You Give Love a Bad Name; Wild in the Streets; Not Fade Away; Never Say Goodbye; Livin’ on a Prayer; Let It Rock / We Will Rock You; Get Ready; Runaway; Wanted Dead or Alive; Drift Away; Travelin’ Band (joined by Paul Stanley, Bruce Dickinson and Dee Snider); We’re An American Band