Chris Lee of the Los Angeles Times reports:Former BLACK SABBATH frontman and heavy metal icon Ronnie James Dio recalls first hearing about Tenacious D — that is, the metal-inspired comic rock duo of Jack Black and Kyle Gass — in 2001, when they released "Dio", a song that argues: "Dio has rocked for a long, long time / Now it's time for him to pass the torch … You're too old to rock, no more rockin' for you!" "Someone called me and said, 'You gotta hear this,' " says Dio, longtime frontman of his multi-platinum selling band, DIO. " 'They want you to quit.' " Instead, the hard-rock legend — widely credited with popularizing metal's raised index and pinkie finger "moloch" salute — chose to interpret the song as a paean. "The message was, 'We really like you and when the time comes, pass the torch to us and we'll carry on what you do,' " he says. Largely as a result of the rocker's open-mindedness and sense of humor (Dio once showed up in cartoon form on an episode of "South Park" to perform his classic "Holy Diver"), he will appear in Black and Gass' November rock comedy, "Tenacious D: The Pick of Destiny". In the film, Dio plays an apparition of himself — a kind of heavy metal Yoda — who counsels the 10-year-old Black on how to make good his dreams of rock grandeur. "The kid's sitting on the bed and he starts to sing to a huge poster of me — he's asking me what to do, saying all he really wants to do is rock 'n' roll," Dio says. "Then I come alive from the poster and tell him: Go to Hollywood where you'll meet your partner and rock 'n' roll forever."