Former DIO, BLACK SABBATH and HEAVEN & HELL drummer Vinny Appice has confirmed to Professor Of Rock that legendary singer Ronnie James Dio "never warmed up" before hitting the stage. Appice recalled (see video below): "[Ronnie would be] backstage. Right before the show, I'd go to his dressing room and we'd hang out. There'd be people there. He's having a drink. And then they'd come in and go, 'Okay, we've gotta go.' And we'd walk on stage. And usually singers warm up. Every other singer I've played with tried to warm up some way or other, some with tapes. Even Ozzy [Osbourne] warmed up — he had the vocal tape going."
Vinny's latest comments echoed those made by his former SABBATH and HEAVEN & HELL bandmate Tony Iommi, who told The Midland Rocks in 2018 interview: "[Ronnie] had such an amazing voice — he could just do stuff that was so natural to him and he would never warm up. He had a different regime to everybody else, like Ozzy for example he always warms up before he goes on stage. But with Ronnie, he could be sitting here talking and having a drink and then he could go straight on stage — no warm-up — and sing like he was like a superhero."
A year ago, DISTURBED frontman David Draiman told U.K.'s Planet Rock that Dio "humbled" him about his vocal abilities.
"One time I went to see him in Chicago at the House Of Blues and was fortunate enough to go backstage and say hello," David recalled. "And he's doing his usual — he's got a glass of wine in one hand and a cigarette in the other. And I was just so taken with the opportunity to meet him — one of my greatest sources of inspiration and an idol of mine; one of the most majestic rock voices that ever existed. And I pulled him to the side for a minute. I'm, like, 'Ronnie, could I ask you a question?' 'Sure. What would you like to ask?' 'What do you do for your warm-up? How do you get ready for the show?' And he goes ahead and puts his hand on my shoulder and he looks me in the eyes and he says, 'Brother, if you have to warm up, you don't have it.' [Laughs] And I was crushed. I literally felt like four inches tall at the time. And he said that he was messing with me. But literally, the man never warmed up — the wine and the cigarettes was the warm-up."
Dio replaced Ozzy in BLACK SABBATH in 1980, recording the "Heaven And Hell" and "Mob Rules" albums, plus "Live Evil", before leaving in 1982. He rejoined the group 10 years later for an album called "Dehumanizer", and again teamed with the group under the HEAVEN & HELL banner in 2006. HEAVEN & HELL released an album called "The Devil You Know" in 2009.
Dio died of stomach cancer on May 16, 2010 at the age of 67.