Just enough cloud cover on Sunday, May 5 made for a gorgeous Southern California day for the fifth annual "Ride For Ronnie" motorcycle ride and concert, benefiting the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund. Some 300 motorcycle riders joined the Ride at Harley-Davidson of Glendale, culminating with a concert at Los Encinos Park in Encino where a surprise performance by the FOO FIGHTERS' Dave Grohl added to an exciting afternoon of rock music.
This year's "Ride For Ronnie" brought in $46,000 for the Fund's mission of cancer prevention, research and education for a cure for this dreaded disease that has touched all of us in some fashion.
Wendy Dio, Ronnie's widow and founder/president of the charity, led the procession of bikes around the northern edge of the San Fernando Valley with celebrity participants including Glendale Harley's Oliver Shokouh, actors Robert Patrick ("Terminator", "Scorpion", "Mayans M.C."), Star Fields ("Sons of Anarchy", "Mayans M.C."), Al Coronel ("The Last Ship", "Bosch"), Frankie Loyale ("Mayans M.C."), Cathy Zukimoto, Chris Bruno ("The Dead Zone") and Kristy Swanson ("Buffy The Vampire Slayer", "Seal Team") along with her husband champion ice skater Lloyd Eisler, FASTER PUSSYCAT's Taime Downe and actor/musician Sean McNabb, who also performed during the concert portion.
The afternoon concert was hosted by radio and television personality Eddie Trunk, and it featured SADIE & THE TRIBE, fronted by renowned fitness and yoga instructor Sadie Nardini, the mainly female DIO cover band DIA, and Los Angeles rock bands BUDDERSIDE, DC4 (featuring former DIO guitarist Rowan Robertson), BULLETBOYS and PETTY CASH, playing a mashup of the music of Tom Petty and Johnny Cash, featuring Todd Morse (THE OFFSPRING), Jason Womack (FUEL), Phil Buckman (FUEL) and Kemble Walters and Dylan Howard of ÆGES.
Several stellar rock musicians under the banner of EDDIE TRUNK'S ALL STAR BAND closed out the afternoon of live music with a set of rock classics. FOO FIGHTERS frontman Dave Grohl surprised the crowd by joining BLACK STAR RIDERS' Ricky Warwick and Robbie Crane and Keith Nelson (BUCKCHERRY) on performances of THIN LIZZY's "Jailbreak" and MOTÖRHEAD's "Bomber".
Said Grohl, who was accompanied by his daughters at the event: "I am here on this beautiful day in Encino because everybody loves Ronnie James Dio. He was my neighbor actually; we lived down the street from each other. I encourage everybody to come out and support the cause because it's a beautiful day with a bunch of beautiful people, and we hope to see you next year."
Among the other participants in EDDIE TRUNK'S ALL STAR BAND were Dewey Bragg (KILL DEVIL HILL, DAY OF ERRORS); Jimmy Burkard (WEST BOUND, BILLY IDOL); Mike Dupke (DEE SNIDER, W.A.S.P.); Dicki Fliszar (JACK RUSSELL'S GREAT WHITE); Abby Gennet (SLUNT, THE RIOT BRIDES); Ace Von Johnson (FASTER PUSSYCAT, L..A GUNS); Sam Bam Koltun (BUDDERSIDE, KNEE HIGH FOX); Johnny Martin (L.A. GUNS, ADLER'S APPETITE); actor/musician Sean McNabb (LYNCH MOB, DOKKEN); Jerry Montano (HELLYEAH, DANZIG), Michael Oliveri (LEATHERWOLF); Joey Scott (LIZZY BORDEN); Neil Turbin (BLEED THE HUNGER, ANTHRAX); Chris Turbis (BOYS OF SUMMER, MR. CROWLEY); Scott Warren (DIO); Chas West (WEST BOUND, BONHAM, LYNCH MOB); Simon Wright (DIO, AC/DC, UFO), and Randy Rhoads's brother singer Kelle Rhoads who performed with his band members Nikki Lane Taylor and Gregory Alan Coates.
Dr. David Wong from the UCLA School of Dentistry reported to the crowd that his team's simple, non-invasive saliva test for the early detection of cancer, known as EFIRM (electric field-induced release and measurement) technology, has just received regulatory approval, in part due to financial support from the Dio Cancer Fund. Staff from Kapoor Medical along with members Dr. Wong's team were on hand to field questions about the latest innovations in cancer prevention and screening and distributed complimentary sunscreen.
Attendees were treated to music, a raffle, silent auction and retail vendors. Live auctions for one-of-a-kind rock collectibles were held from the stage between artist performances. Food was available from G's Taco Spot, Slammin' Sliders and The Grilled Cheese Truck.