Ronnie James Dio is one of the most prolific figures in the modern history of music. That goes without saying. Dio fronted not one, not two, but three of the most famous and respected acts in the history of rock in Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, and his own band. While not a physically large figure on stage, his persona more than made up for that. As his forthcoming autobiography, Rainbow in the Dark shows, his time with those bands are only a thumbnail of what is a much bigger overall career and life. Set for release July 27 through Permuted Press, the 244-page autobiography is a rich look at the first part of Dio’s life. The story featured therein serves as the book’s foundation and will be discussed shortly. The story’s transitions add to the story’s appeal and will be addressed a little later. The pictures that are incorporated into the story add a nice aesthetic element to the whole and round out the book’s most important elements. Each item noted is important in its own right to the whole of the book. All things considered, they make this book a welcome personal recounting of Ronnie James Dio’s life. It will leave audiences hoping that his widow, who compiled Dio’s writings for the book, will eventually release a follow-up that completes his story.
Permuted Press’ forthcoming Ronnie James Dio biography, Rainbow in the Dark is a book that every rock and hard rock fan will enjoy. Given, it is hardly the only biography or even autobiography ever released from any rock act, but is still fully enjoyable in its own right. Its engagement and entertainment comes in large part through its story. The story is told through Dio’s own words and starts in his childhood living in upstate New York. Right from the outset, audiences learn that ultimately, Dio’s grandparents are really to thank for him becoming a musician and performer. As he reveals here early on, they made Dio’s father and his siblings learn to play an instrument. His own father did the same to him, too, repeating history. If not for that, it is possible that Dio might have otherwise pursued a career in baseball. It was this fateful event that would set Dio on a lifelong course that would eventually see him and his band mates in Elf record for Deep Purple’s own Purple Records. Those recordings and tours with Deep Purple would eventually lead to the biggest part of his career. The stories that Dio shares along the way are, at times laugh-inspiring in the best way possible, and at other times so dramatic. Case in point is Dio’s recollection of the fateful night in which a crash involving a drunk driver claimed the life of one of his then band mates in Ronnie Dio and the Prophets and put his own life and that of another in jeopardy. One of the funnier recollections shared along the way comes as Dio shares how he used his stage name (as it turns out, Dio is not his real name. This will be left for audiences to learn for themselves. He was in fact Italian by direct descent) at a gig during his formative years and almost got himself tied up in the mob. Even later in the story, Dio shares another funny and albeit short anecdote about how he and Wendy Dio got used to living out of their suitcases while Dio was a member of Rainbow. Again it is only a short statement, but still will leave plenty of people laughing. Speaking of Wendy, she points out in the books preface that the story presented here culminates in her late, great husband debuting with his own band at Madison Square Garden in 1987. It also opens at that point before going back to Ronnie’s childhood. The whole story is so easy to read from start to finish because at no point do Ronnie’s notes try to be flowery. He uses simple language that is accessible to everybody. The result is that the story, which again spans 244 pages, can be finished in a day or two at the most. That accessibility and the equally engaging and entertaining stories do a lot to make this (hopefully first) part of RJD’s life and career so enthralling. The transitions that are used in telling his story play their own part in the story’s appeal.
The transitions that are used to help tell Ronnie James Dio’s story are so important because they are so clear and solid throughout the book. That is thanks to the way that Ronnie started and ended each of his writings. Those points perfectly connect the chapters. Add in clear division points that involve blank pages and pictures, and the whole makes the story progress that much more smoothly. Those blank pages and pictures are important because they feel almost like virtual commercial breaks within the story. They, together with the solid wording connecting the stories, completely ensure readers’ maintained engagement and entertainment, showing completely, the importance of the story’s transitions. Keeping all of this in mind, there is a lot for readers to alike about this story of Ronnie James Dio’s life and career. It still is just a portion of what makes the story so appealing. The noted pictures used between the chapters round out the story’s most important elements.
The pictures that are presented throughout Rainbow in the Dark are important because they honestly help to tell the story in their own right. Case in point is an early picture of Ronnie as a boy with his parents. Readers will note that Ronnie’s father is in a military uniform. That might help to explain the sense that Ronnie explains he got of his father. That sense in question is a determination to make sure one is one’s best self possible. That is a value that the military does in fact instill in its personnel young and old alike. A later picture of Ronnie with his band mates in Elf during the 1970s made them comparable to the look of bands, such as Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Allman Brothers Band, and others. Ronnie explains in the story that follows the story, a laugh-inducing anecdote about not wanting to cut those long locks, but seemingly having to in order to help market the band. It is another way in which the pictures tie in to the story to help enrich the reading experience. On another note, there is also a picture of Ronnie with Ritchie Blackmore in the early days of Rainbow backstage before a show. It helps to bridge two other chapters in which Ronnie talks about that part of his career. It is such a casual picture, clearly not staged. Together with his own words, it showed how happy Ronnie was at that time. Between these pictures and so many others, the pictures prove to tell the story here just as much as the story itself. Keeping this in mind along with the impact of the smooth transitions, the whole of these noted items makes Rainbow in the Dark a fully immersive, engaging and entertaining story of one of rock’s greatest figures.
Permuted Press’ forthcoming presentation of Rainbow in the Dark is a wonderfully engaging and entertaining look into the life and career of Ronnie James Dio. The story itself is told through Ronnie’s own words on pages up on pages of collected notes. The stories are at times laugh-inspiring and at others heartbreaking. Through it all, the stories are told simply, making the story fully accessible for readers. This is in itself, reason enough for audiences to read this story. The transitions that are used between the story[s chapters build on the appeal established by the story. That is because of their fluidity. The manner in which Ronnie ends and begins each story is the biggest part of that fluidity. The blank pages and pictures used between the chapters also play into that fluidity. That is because they allow readers a moment to take in everything before moving on to each chapter. Speaking of the pictures, they do well as visual aids, helping to tell the story just as much as Ronnie’s own words. In some cases, they add even more to the story. Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of this book. All things considered, they make Rainbow in the Dark a story that will appeal to a wide range of readers. The book is scheduled for release next Friday, July 27, through Permute Press. More information on the book is available along with all of Dio’s latest news at:
To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.