Legendary heavy metal vocalist Ronnie James Dio recently spoke to the U.K.'s Terrorizer magazine (web site) about George W. Bush and Ozzy Osbourne, among many other things.
On Bush, Dio said: "I've never supported him and certainly would never vote for him. I think he's a fool and a man without forethought. I have no confidence in him whatsoever. I think he's an idiot, I really do. He has done nothing to our country but drag it down to the ground. Some parts of our country are approaching third-world status. You can see that in New Orleans with what happened with the hurricane. He wasn't prepared, he didn't wanna be prepared and I'll go on record as saying he's a fool. He is. It's something we as Americans never thought we would see because we pride ourselves on being the most progressive, futuristic country there is, and then suddenly our chest was bared open and it's like, 'Oh, this is what you really are.' All the talk of how blacks are treated in America and it's covered up all the time — it's true, is it? I guess it is. What you have to understand is that those black faces you saw on TV didn't have the capability to get out of town. They didn't have money to go anywhere. They didn't have cars. And when you get out of the city of New Orleans proper, you're dealing with swampy backwards areas where people have lived in shacks all their lives — and are happy to do it — but as soon as the catastrophe started, they couldn't go, and where was the government to take them away? Where's this wonderful government that Bush promised us? They had Amtrak trains offering to take them away and the government said, 'Nah, we don't need that.' Unfortunately, it once again made us look like a bunch of racists."
On Ozzy, Dio stated: "He's not what I am, he's not what Ian Gillan is, he's not what Rob Halford is. If being a performer is stumbling around on stage, then I guess he's a performer. His character has become a characterization of himself, so people go to see if he'll fall off the stage, how many times he'll stumble or how many buckets of water he can throw. What has that got to do with music? To me, it's always been about music. If you can be a performer — I mean, there are some great singers who cannot perform at all — but if you can do all of that, you've got the bull by the horns. I've been lucky enough to be able to do that, but it starts and ends with the music. You're only as good as the songs you create.
"Unfortunately, Ozzy has been cast in the role, by other people, of somewhat of a fool. That's not a good enough reflection of what he thinks, so I'm not having a go at him. He's one of the creators of heavy metal music, but what he has become is the product of what people have wanted him to become, so they can make money out of him. He's the drug-abused stumble-bum that they have allowed him to be. They're like, 'Give him a few more pills and he'll get back on stage,' and that's a real shame. He doesn't deserve it and I would always like to have remembered Ozzy for what he created, not what I have occasionally seen on a reality show. It's harrowing; I just can't take it. He's a sweet guy. The times I spent with Ozzy in the old days — he was a lovely guy to be around, great sense of humor. But he's been used."
Read the full interview in Terrorizer issue 140, on sale January 5.