Metal Injection West Coast correspondent Johnny Orlando Jr. attended the Ronnie James Dio memorial service at the Hall Of Liberty at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills in California on Sunday, May 30 and filed a special report. He spoke with many Dio fans who discussed what the legendary heavy metal singer meant to them. Orlando also talked to one member of the Westboro Baptist Church, a fringe Christian congregation from Kansas, which held a protest at Dio's public memorial service. The far right church announced its plans shortly after Dio's death, calling the late metal vocalist a "Satan-worshipper" and claiming he was "residing in hell."Also available is a six-minute report from the memorial service produced, directed and edited by Sean Carnage for SeanCarnage.com. More than 1,200 fans attended the public memorial service for Dio, who died of stomach cancer at the age of 67 two weeks earlier. The service, held at the Hall Of Liberty at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills in Los Angeles, featured performances by QUEENSRŸCHE singer Geoff Tate, former DEEP PURPLE bassist Glenn Hughes, ANTHRAX vocalist Joey Belladonna and others. There were also personal tributes from Ronnie's family members, bandmates and business associates, including his wife and manager Wendy and his son Dan Padovona, who warned everyone to take care of themselves and get screened early for cancer, saying, "(Don't) make the same mistake my dad made." According to the Associated Press, hundreds more gathered in the scorching heat outside the auditorium to watch the memorial on monitors. Dio, regarded as one of metal's finest and most influential voices, sang with BLACK SABBATH, RAINBOW and his own self-named band. Dio's cousin David "Rock" Feinstein, who played with him in the band ELF, told the attendees, "I know that Ronnie truly loved all of you. He had a great appreciation for your loyalty. I'm talking about all you out there, all the fans." A planned protest at the Dio memorial by the fringe Christian congregation of Kansas' Westboro Baptist Church was, according to one eyewitness, "cordoned off outside of Forest Lawn grounds proper and were small in number with an at least equal number of counter-protesters." Meanwhile, two major tribute concerts are in the works to celebrate Dio's life and music. The gigs, called the Ronnie James Dio "Stand Up And Shout" Memorial Concerts, will take place in London and Los Angeles this fall. A list of performers has yet to be determined. There are also plans to hold annual events in the years to follow to honor Dio's memory and to raise money for cancer awareness and support. Metal Injection report:
To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).