For someone who’s been a lifelong fan of Ronnie James Dio, Dio: Dreamers Never Die is a dream come true. The documentary goes deep into the life and times of one of the most iconic voices and people in the history of metal. Through tons of archival footage, new interviews with metal and rock luminaries like Sebastian Bach, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, Glenn Hughes, Vinny Appice, Lita Ford, Rob Halford, Jack Black, and also features interviews with Wendy Dio and Eddie Trunk. The film is 100% authorized by the Dio estate, so this isn’t some hit-piece Behind The Music style doc. This willfully goes through some of the painful moments in Dio’s career but also celebrates the life and times of one of the best singers in human history.
What’s on display here goes from the ’50s doo-wop singer (yes, Dio did doo-wop) to the heavy metal icon with Black Sabbath, Rainbow, and his solo career in the Dio band. For fans of the man and his music, this is the most comprehensive look we’re going to get at Ronnie James Dio. It’s carefully crafted and features tons of archival footage of Ronnie throughout his life.
Man On The Silver Mountain
The best word to describe Dio: Dreamers Never Die would be triumphant. It was a word that described so much of what Dio did and how his music makes people feel. Craig Goldy‘s story in the documentary about when he first heard “Man On The Silver Mountain” is precisely how many of us felt when we first heard Dio’s voice throughout our lives. My first time was “Holy Diver” on an episode of South Park of all places. If you’re watching this documentary, then you should know the career of Dio pretty well. However, his work before Rainbow and Black Sabbath is just as fascinating here. The triumph of his career might be later on, but seeing the beginnings of Ronnie and his early bands was a real treat.
It also goes into how Wendy Dio and Ronnie met and their courtship. Most of these documentaries about rock or metal stars really gloss over personal relationships and family. That’s secondary a lot of the time, but for Ronnie, Wendy was a gigantic part of his life. She was his wife and his manager. She did a lot of the business side for him, and she’s a huge part of this documentary. It’s refreshing to see their courtship and how she shaped his career. On the heartbreaking side of things, she also goes into his last days, and the moment he died. I was hugely influenced in my life by Dio, and hearing about his last moments with her was gutwrenching.
There are plenty of great stories on display here though. The creation of the Holy Diver album cover is among the best. Also, hearing how much Ronnie hated “Rainbow In The Dark” and tried to destroy it after the keyboards were added is a nice twist on the classic story about that track.
The Only Real Issues With Dreamers Never Die
Dio: Dreamers Never Die can’t go over everything throughout Dio’s career. That would need an entire series of documentaries. However, the doc does really gloss over the latter portion of Dio’s career. They don’t even mention his second stint in Black Sabbath and the Dehumanizer album. His later albums with Dio are played for laughs from an interview and it’s kind of a shame. They might not be Holy Diver or The Last In Line, but all of his albums have merit in some way. It would only really add a couple of minutes to talk about this era and give people more knowledge about this era of the man. Either way, it’s a small thing for Dio superfans that doesn’t really detract that much from the documentary.
If you want the best documentary on the life of Ronnie James Dio out there, Dio: Dreamers Never Die is among the best rock/metal documentaries ever made. Check it out in theaters beginning September 28th & October 2nd. Grab tickets from DioDreamersNeverDie.com.
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