RONNIE JAMES DIO - "I Only Wanted To Be A Baseball Player"

May 17, 2020, 4 years ago

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RONNIE JAMES DIO - "I Only Wanted To Be A Baseball Player"

May 16th marked 10 years since the death of Ronnie James Dio (Elf, Black Sabbath, Dio, Heaven & Hell) due to stomach cancer.

In the video below, filmed on May 10, 2007, Dio was interviewed by Mark Weiss in Philadelphia, PA during the Heaven & Hell Tour. An excerpt has been transcribed as follows:

"I started at five years old as a trumpet player, which was my Dad's idea," reveals Dio. "I only wanted to be a baseball player, never wanted to be a trumpet player; or any musician. I just wanted to be a baseball player. But he, early on, told me I was going to have to have some musical education as well because he felt it was important for me as a human being, as a young guy growing up, and not just have a sports fixation and learn your ABCs in school."

Ronnie James Dio is featured in an incredible new book, The Decade That Rocked: The Photography Of Mark "Weissguy" Weiss, which will be published on June 2nd by Insight Editions.

This 378 page (including three 6-page gatefolds) hardcover book measures 9.2 x 12.8 inches and weighs 5 pounds. Written by Richard Bienstock, The Decade That Rocked includes a foreword by Rob Halford of Judas Priest, an afterword by radio and tv personality Eddie Trunk, as well as contributions by Daniel Siwek.

Featuring the iconic and never-before-published photography of Mark Weiss, The Decade That Rocked covers the biggest names from the ’80s hard rock scene—including Jon Bon Jovi, Ozzy Osbourne, Mötley Crüe, Van Halen, and more—in an illustrated homage to the music and mayhem of rock’s most colorful decade.

The 1980s were an era of musical excess, filled with spandex, makeup, big hair, groupies, and loud, guitar-driven rock ’n’ roll. Photographer Mark Weiss lived at the heart of it all, documenting the biggest and most dangerous bands of the time—legends ranging from Van Halen, Ozzy Osbourne, Aerosmith, and Mötley Crüe to Metallica, Guns N’ Roses, Bon Jovi, KISS, and many more. The Decade That Rocked showcases onstage and backstage moments and never-before-seen images from the period’s most historic concerts, events, and album covers—all captured through the lens of Mark “Weissguy” Weiss.

Growing up in Matawan, New Jersey, Mark filled his teenage nights sneaking into concerts to shoot the biggest acts of the ’70s. After being arrested for selling photographs outside a KISS concert in 1977, he walked into the offices of Circus with his portfolio and soon landed his first centerfold spread—a photo of Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler. Soon after, he became the publication’s staff photographer. Throughout the ’80s, his photos were seen by millions, appearing in countless magazines around the world and on the covers of the most iconic albums of the decade.

Dig into Mark’s archives and take a tour through never-before-seen photos of a teenage Jon Bon Jovi, and behind-the-scenes and unreleased images from the album shoot for Bon Jovi’s Slippery When Wet and the band’s decade-ending historic performance at the Moscow Music Peace Festival. Travel to Washington, DC, as Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider sits before Congress to combat censorship at the infamous PMRC hearings.

Captured from the unique vantage point of a photographer who lived and breathed the ’80s in all its grit and glory, The Decade That Rocked brings to life the no-holds-barred sounds and sights that changed the world of hard rock and metal forever.

Pre-order your copy now via Send in your pre-order receipt to and receive a 8" x 11" photo of the cover of The Decade That Rocked signed by photographer Mark Weiss valued at $200. Just pay for shipping and handling.

(Photos courtesy of Mark Weiss)


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