As we wipe the Grammy’s spit off of his grave, today’s edition of Massive Metal Monday is dedicated to the memory of metal’s greatest vocalist, Ronnie James Dio.
The last shred of any credibility that the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences ever held amongst the metal community was put to rest last night when the Grammy for “Best Metal or Hard Rock Performance” went to Tenacious D for their cover of Dio’s “Last In Line.” Don’t get me wrong, I love Tenacious D, but they are, at best, a reverent parody of heavy metal. The fact that Grammy voters think that this, or any cover version, is more worthy of recognition than that of any of the hundreds of absolutely stellar original performances turned in across the metal spectrum last year is nothing short of disrespectful and appalling. SHAME ON YOU NARAS!
Meanwhile, let us crank up the legendary original recording of the title track of Dio‘s second album, The Last In Line and salute RJD with the devil horns on one hand and NARAS with a single digit of the other.
When I was growing up in rural Indiana in the early ’80s, there was very limited access to heavy music. These were the days before MTV blew up with the whole hair metal, Headbangers Ball phenomenon. But on Sunday nights, there was a two-hour radio show that came from WOXY, just across the state line in Oxford, Ohio (home of Miami University of Ohio). It was called Massive Metal for the Masses and I would wait all week for it to air. It was through this show that I was introduced to bands like Venom, Bathory, WASP, Michael Schenker Group, Slayer, and countless others. This Monday weekly column is my tip of the hat to that show. I call it Massive Metal Monday. Every week, I will pay tribute to defining moments by the artists that laid the groundwork for heavy metal to become the worldwide cultural bond for all of us metal heads.