Special Report by Greg Prato
Former Dio guitarist Craig Goldy is set to issue his first original material since the 2004 Dio disc, Master of the Moon - two tracks that pay tribute to Ronnie, titled 'Hole in My Heart' and 'Dark Rainbow.' Serving as Dio's guitarist for several different stints from 1986 through 2010 (and appearing on such other recordings as Intermission, Dream Evil, and Magica, in addition to being a member of Dio Disciples), Goldy enlisted the help of former Quiet Riot singer Mark Huff to provide vocals on the tunes. Goldy recently spoke exclusively to BraveWords about the tracks (which will be available for purchase today (May 16th) on the fourth anniversary of Dio's death via Goldy's Craig's website
- there will be a link to where you can download the songs).
BraveWords: I understand there is some new music on the way.
Craig Goldy: "I'm going to be doing my own personal tribute to my mentor, friend, band mate, family member and often father and brother figure' - Mr. Ronnie James Dio - the most amazing man I have ever known! I mentioned at his public memorial service that when I do some original material next, that I will use what I have learned from working side by side with the master for so many years, in such a way, that I could only hope to make him proud. When Wendy Dio heard the first draft of these two songs, the first thing she said was, 'Wow, Ronnie would be proud of you!' And the second thing she said was, 'Who's that singing?' In a later email after listening to the final versions, she said that they made her cry, and called them 'your beautiful songs'."
BraveWords: How did the idea come about?
Craig Goldy: "I've been wanting to do my own personal tribute to Ronnie for a long time now, I recently got an opportunity to get theses two songs professionally mixed, they came out so well...that it was then that I decided to release these two songs on May 16th, the fourth anniversary of his passing. And in a further attempt to honor him and his memory, for every purchased download a donation to the Stand Up and Shout Cancer Research Foundation will be made, or to the charity or cause of the individual downloader's choice, in which to honor their lost loved ones in the manner they seem fit. As Ronnie gave to so many different people and causes throughout his whole life and career, this would be one more way in which to honor him. So if they have a preference, they would email me their choice to firstname.lastname@example.org, otherwise, if not specified, I'm sure you can guess where the donation will be made! I came from an abusive family - both physically and verbally - in and out of hospitals for quite a lot of my childhood, so I took to the streets at the age of 16 to get away from the abuse. Ronnie was the voice I turned to in my time of need. He was - and still is - my favorite singer, so I listened to him all the time anyway, but I'm hoping that one of these songs can be such for any of his fans that are still hurting inside from missing him as much as I do, and they can turn to one of these when their pain is felt while during the time that missing him hits. If that happens, then this truly would be an honor and tribute to him in full."
BraveWords: And who is the singer on the two tracks?
Craig Goldy: "The singer - whose identity I've been keeping in secret - is Mark Huff, and it's been causing quite a stir that way. Mark Huff, is currently best known for his time served in Quiet Riot between 2010-2012. Mark underwent emergency brain surgery, and literally came back from the dead, better than ever and with a new perspective on life. He got my attention while in San Diego when Mark was doing a local thing to keep his 'pipes' in shape as lead singer for the Deep Purple tribute band called 'Deeper Purple.' I was so captivated by Mark being able to handle three singers in one - he was doing all the Coverdale stuff, and then right into the Ian Gillian era and some Dio material as well. The guy was three singers in one. And that is when I approached him to work together on some song ideas that I had about Ronnie. I haven't been excited to work on any original music with another vocalist since Ronnie's passing. And I believe Mark is one of the best vocalists left on this planet. So, luckily for me, he had been flying under the radar here in San Diego, and we are now putting a band together. It is time for me to move forward, and I will also honor Ronnie in the way I treat the fans like he did, and continue to produce quality music like he and I have done in the past."
BraveWords: Have you received feedback from fans yet about the songs?
Craig Goldy: "No one has heard them yet, except for a few key people in the music industry, which is how I got my new manager...quite a powerful man, but I did put a little blurb out on Facebook that some new material was coming out soon and that two songs were earmarked as a special tribute to Ronnie. I got some heartfelt praise and comments on my first page that were just amazing letting me know that the fans still love me and can't wait to hear the new songs. Some of their comments just blew me away, and was both an honor and a humbling experience. Thank you Greg for your time and professionalism, and I hope the fans will like the new songs and will climb aboard with me in this tribute to Ronnie!"