The long-awaited autobiography from heavy metal music icon Ronnie James Dio, the powerhouse voice of ELF, RAINBOW, BLACK SABBATH and his longtime namesake band DIO, will be published on July 27 by Permuted Press in the U.S. and Canada and Constable in the U.K. Co-written with British music journalist Mick Wall and Dio's widow and longtime manager Wendy Dio, "Rainbow In The Dark: The Autobiography" is now available for pre-order.
Asked in a new interview with Darren Paltrowitz if there is a chance that there will be a part two to Ronnie's memoir, Wendy said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I don't know. I mean, there's a lot of things that happened afterwards, with going back to [BLACK] SABBATH in the '90s, going back to SABBATH near the end, getting a street named after him, doing a whole bunch of different things. Losing the record deals in the '90s when grunge came in; everybody got dropped. Having to go out and go back and find another label, a small label. Having to start again in small places instead of arenas. There's a lot of ups and downs — there's still ups and downs. Getting a Grammy. All these different things [that could be included in] part two. But I don't know. Depends how part one goes. If part one goes really well and the fans want part two, then there'll be a part two. It depends. It was written for the fans. Ronnie wrote it from his heart, and we tried to continue it through Ronnie's way of wanting it to be out."
Ronnie had begun writing the manuscript several years before being diagnosed with cancer and his eventual death in 2010. Born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire and raised in an Italian-American family in the upstate New York town of Cortland, his journey to international fame was hardly pre-ordained. He first began playing trumpet and then guitar and bass in local bands at parties, bars and clubs while still in high school, surviving life-changing setbacks--among them the loss of his bandmate and best friend in a car accident that put his own life in jeopardy. These events only made him more focused and determined to succeed. He documents how he evolved from sideman into singer and frontman to not one, but three, internationally renowned multi-platinum-selling bands, playing on the world's most hallowed stages, among them London's Hammersmith Odeon, Tokyo's Budokan, The Forum in his ultimate hometown of Los Angeles, and the arena that represented, for him, the pinnacle of success — New York's Madison Square Garden, where this book begins and ends.
Ronnie James Dio weaves his tale of tenacity, tragedy and triumph in a chatty conversational style, easily moving through the sudden transition that put him front and center behind a microphone; the luck that led to the formation of RAINBOW and a productive-but-difficult collaboration with guitarist Ritchie Blackmore; the chance meeting with BLACK SABBATH guitarist Tony Iommi that made him the second singer to front the venerable band, taking them to new levels of international success; his marriage to Wendy, who became his manager and true partner and the huge gamble they took together to launch the most successful endeavor of his career… his own band, DIO. He explains how the "Devil Horns" (or maloik), something his grandmother taught him would provide protection from the "evil eye," became his personal calling card and an enduring symbol of heavy metal for fans around the globe.
Ronnie writes candidly about the many excesses of the rock 'n' roll life, how his masterful songwriting skills were born of necessity and the number of times he was forced to rethink his career path, always confidently clinging to the dream that propelled him forward. He talks throughout the book about his love for his loyal fans, for whom his consideration led to countless hours of signing autographs and posing for photos so that no one would be left feeling disappointed. "He possessed one of the greatest voices in all of heavy metal, and had a heart to match it," said TWISTED SISTER guitarist Jay Jay French at the time of Dio's passing. "He was the nicest, classiest person you would ever want to meet."
"Rainbow In The Dark: The Autobiography" 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.
To bring the book to completion, Wendy, whom Ronnie met in 1975, married in 1978 and became his manager following his painful departure from RAINBOW, fleshed out certain unfinished sections with additional details and her own observations of specific events covered in the book. 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. She worked with esteemed British music journalist and author Mick Wall, who, as a rock music writer for publications such as Classic Rock, Mojo, The Times and a variety of others, had interviewed Ronnie countless times, to finalize the manuscript. 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".