By William Derham
Now in it’s 5th year, the Ride for Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer event is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable fund formed in honor of the legendary Ronnie James Dio who lost his life to stomach cancer on May 16, 2010. It successfully brings together devoted fans and musicians to honor his enormous musical legacy of contributing his powerful vocals in Black Sabbath, Rainbow, and Dio while raising funds to promote cancer research.
Approx 300 motorcyclists joined the R4R at Harley-Davidson of Glendale, culminating with a concert at Los Encinos Park in Encino kicking off a glorious day of rockin’ good vibes and stellar performances. In addition to the stompin’ rock jams afoot, fans were able to buy raffle tickets for a chance to win rock memorabilia and a silent auction for various rock swag items. Live auctions for one-of-a-kind rock collectibles were held from the stage between artist performances. Food was available from G’s Taco Spot, Slammin’ Sliders and The Grilled Cheese Truck.
Once again radio and television personality Eddie Trunk hosted the day long affair featuring SADIE & THE TRIBE, fronted by renowned fitness and yoga instructor Sadie Nardini, the mainly female DIO cover band DIA, BUDDERSIDE, DC4 (featuring former DIO guitarist Rowan Robertson), L.A.’s own BULLETBOYS. PETTY CASH did a bang up job of alternating Tom Petty and Johnny Cash tunes for their eclectic, energetic set.
EDDIE TRUNK’S ALL STAR BAND included Dewey Bragg (KILL DEVIL HILL, DAY OF ERRORS); Jimmy Burkard (WEST BOUND, BILLY IDOL); Mike Dupke (DEE SNIDER, W.A.S.P.); Dicki Fliszar (JACK RUSSELL’S GREAT WHITE); Abby Gennet (SLUNT, THE RIOT BRIDES); Ace Von Johnson (FASTER PUSSYCAT, L..A GUNS); Sam Bam Koltun (BUDDERSIDE, KNEE HIGH FOX); Johnny Martin (L.A. GUNS, ADLER’S APPETITE); actor/musician Sean McNabb (LYNCH MOB, DOKKEN); Jerry Montano (HELLYEAH, DANZIG), Michael Oliveri (LEATHERWOLF); Joey Scott (LIZZY BORDEN); Neil Turbin (BLEED THE HUNGER, ANTHRAX); Chris Turbis (BOYS OF SUMMER, MR. CROWLEY); Scott Warren (DIO); Chas West (WEST BOUND, BONHAM, LYNCH MOB); Simon Wright (DIO, AC/DC, UFO), and Randy Rhoads’s brother singer Kelle Rhoads who performed with his band members Nikki Lane Taylor and Gregory Alan Coates.
Speaking of Nikki Lane Taylor, her infectious, high energy stage presence and stand out vocals set her at the top of my “One-to-Watch” list!
If all this action wasn’t enough entertainment, the Wow Factor got turned up to 11 when Eddie Trunk introduced surprise guest, Foo Fighter front man, Dave Grohl for the finale covering Thin Lizzy’s “Jailbreak” and Motorhead’s obscure track “Bomber”…and the crowd went wild!
Rumor has it that Dave was shopping with his daughters at the local Smart & Final grocery store when someone asked him if he knew about the Ride For Ronnie. He didn’t but came over (with his adorable daughters) and lent his star power to cap off a great day of rock power with a bang.
“I am here on this beautiful day in Encino because everybody loves Ronnie James Dio. He was my neighbor actually; we lived down the street from each other. I encourage everybody to come out and support the cause because it’s a beautiful day with a bunch of beautiful people, and we hope to see you next year.” Dave explained in a statement before heading home, hinting he may return next year to join the festivities.
Dr. David Wong from the UCLA School of Dentistry reported to the crowd that his team’s simple, non-invasive saliva test for the early detection of cancer, known as EFIRM (electric field-induced release and measurement) technology, has just received regulatory approval, in part due to financial support from the Dio Cancer Fund. Staff from Kapoor Medical along with members Dr. Wong’s team were on hand to field questions about the latest innovations in cancer prevention and screening and distributed complimentary sunscreen.
This year’s bash brought in $46,000 for the Fund’s mission of cancer prevention, research and education. Wendy Dio, Ronnie’s widow and founder/president of the charity was on deck meeting fans and posing for photos throughout the day.
As always the Ride offers a chance to see some top notch musicians come together to honor the legacy of one of rock’s iconic vocalist and all around sweet heart ,RJD in a idyllic, intimate, setting.