The heavy-metal world has lost one of its greats. Ronnie James Dio—who, in 1979, replaced Ozzy Osbourne as Black Sabbath’s frontman—passed away Sunday at age 67 after a battle with stomach cancer.
Twenty-four years earlier, the hard-rocking singer chatted with host Bob “Mr. Media” Andelman, then a pop-music critic for the Tampa Tribune.
During the 35-minute, never-before-aired interview, Ronnie, who also sang for Elf and Rainbow during his 50-year career, discussed how he was preparing for his golden years.
“I just bought a building, in Los Angeles—on Sunset Boulevard,” he told Bob.
“It’s a building that was owned by Charlie Chaplin. It’s going to be a sound- stage for videos; for full-scale productions. It also has room for smaller bands. We’ll potentially have a recording studio there on the property.
“Again, something to ensure that, later in life, I’ll be able to produce. Because some day I’ll be too old to run around the stage. Though that won’t hopefully happen for a long while yet.
“I’m building something that will allow me to carry on as a musician, because that’s what I do best.”
Ronnie also chatted about The Monkees, who were then in the midst of a reunion tour.
“When they first came on, I quite liked them. I liked Last Train to Clarksville,” he said of the Pre-Fab Four’s single from the summer of 1964, which hit No. 1 with a bullet.
“I know it was all a bit of a sham. But I know that Mickey Dolenz sang. And Davy Jones sang. And Mike Nesmith sang. And Peter Tork did something.
“They were just a creation, but I like the way they were handled— even though they didn’t play the music themselves.”
To hear Ronnie’s full interview, click here.