Before Ronnie James Dio passed away on May 16, Heaven & Hell (the reformed, renamed Black Sabbath) planned a summer tour of Europe. Those shows, of course, were cancelled, but the band's remaining members Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Vinnie Appice are planning to play a one-off gig to celebrate the life and work of their fallen friend. The show will be held on Saturday, July 24, at the High Voltage Festival in London and proceeds will benefit Dio's Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund.
In a press release, Butler said, "It's going to be a very emotional occasion. Ronnie loved his fans like no one else I know and they loved him. It will be a privilege doing a gig in honor of his memory, and to help towards his charity. Above all, I hope it encourages people to have regular check-ups for this disease. Early detection is vital, and greatly improves the chance of a cure. I know everyone has heard that a million times before, but seeing one of your best friends die because we all think we're immune from this disease really brings it home. Do it for yourself, your family, your friends. Ronnie would be proud of you."
Though the former Elf, Rainbow and Black Sabbath singer was diminutive in stature, the size of his shoes to be filled is daunting. Stepping into that role are longtime Dio friend and former Deep Purple bassist/Black Sabbath vocalist Glenn Hughes and the somewhat unknown Norwegian singer Jorn Lande. Lande is best known in the UK for fronting the metal band Masterplan. He has also released several solo albums, including a tribute to Dio (for those wondering how this guy got the gig, check out the clips below).
Regarding the High Voltage set, Iommi added, "Ronnie's passing has left a huge hole; we hadn't anywhere near finished what we set out to do as a band together. He was so looking forward to the European tour and we hope this appearance will go some way to fulfilling that."
Jorn Lande And Pagans Mind
Mundanus Imperium (Featuring Jorn Lande), "Stargazer"
Jorn Lande, "Lonely Is The Word/Letters From Earth"
Thanks for the report to Gibson.com.