back when he raised the horned hand

I just learned that Dio died a few days ago (May 30, 2010) of stomach cancer at age 67.

Image nicked from this blog.

Ronnie James Dio is a rock icon, one of the (grand)fathers of heavy metal. He was the guy who replaced Ozzy Osborne as frontman of Black Sabbath and is heralded as one of the greatest heavy metal vocalists of all time.

A younger Dio
Image from

Yes, I used to listen to Black Sabbath, and I'm not ashamed of that. Well, I listened though I was taught in church that rock is demonic and those metal lords are devil-worshippers, and I learned about all those Anti-Christ / Satanic worship symbols hidden in their album covers and lyrics. :p I didn't want to burn in hell of course - but that didn't stop me from listening to more "acceptable" forms of rock. xp

Speaking of "demonic symbols" - ever wonder why this hand-gesture is fashionable among rockers, metalheads and wannabes? IT'S BECAUSE OF DIO!

Dio is among those who popularized the cornato or "horned hand" (also called the devil's horns). He was one of the first - if not the first - to use them at performances, permanently relating the gesture to rock music. I don't think he intended to promote Satanic worship with it though - at least, not originally (that could've just come later, haha) - especially since he got it from his religious grandmother who believed it warded off evil. As far as I know, he just wanted to create a statement pogi pose that was different from Ozzy's.

If you've ever seen Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny (2006), he stars in the kickarse opening sequence as himself - or rather, his younger, early-'80s self with a bit of a receding hairline.

From the time he started in the 1970s, he never retired and just kept on rocking. In fact the news says he was working on a Black Sabbath project just before he passed away.
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