[lastfm]Metallica[/lastfm] drummer [lastfm]Lars Ulrich[/lastfm] is the most recent musician to reach out in response to the death of influential rocker Ronnie James Dio. The vocalist of [lastfm]Black Sabbath[/lastfm], [lastfm]Rainbow[/lastfm], [lastfm]Dio[/lastfm], and [lastfm]Heaven and Hell[/lastfm] died Saturday, May 16 at the age of 67 succumbing to a battle with stomach cancer.
The drummer recounts a childhood encounter with [lastfm]Dio[/lastfm] influential in his formative years:
I made the pilgrimage to the Plaza Hotel to see if I could somehow grab a picture, an autograph, a moment, anything. A few hours later you came out and were so kind and caring… pictures, autographs and a couple minutes of casual banter. I was on top of the world, inspired and ready for anything.
When we finally got a chance to play together in Austria in 2007, even though I may not have let on, I was literally transformed back to that little snot-nosed kid who you met and inspired 31 years earlier.
Download festival organizers will rename “The Second Stage” to the “Ronnie James Dio Stage” in tribute.