A new book, Sabbath: The Dio Years, will offer a deeper look at singer Ronnie James Dio’s tenure with Black Sabbath.
The coffee table tome will cover the vocalist’s full experience with the musicians, from joining the band before the Heaven and Hell album in 1979 to his period in the rebranded Heaven and Hell band, up until his death. It runs more than 400 pages, according to Classic Rock. The book, which features new interviews with guitarist Tony Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler, is scheduled to start shipping in early September.
“I first met Ronnie at our rehearsal house in Beverley Hills,” Butler said in a statement. “He arrived in this massive brown Cadillac that looked too big for him to drive. He seemed pleasant enough, but when he started singing I was blown away — so much power in such a diminutive stature. He quickly got to work on some of the ideas we had and turned them into songs for what would become the Heaven and Hell album.”
The publisher, Rufus, made the book with the full cooperation of the band. It features many images that have never been printed before and pictures of rare memorabilia. Among its many photos, there is a selection from the archives of Dio’s widow, Wendy Dio.
Iommi and Butler recently looked back on their time with Dio in an interview with Rolling Stone. In it, the bassist explained how he and Dio became close over the years. “We used to argue like husband and wife,” he said. “We would really go at it. And it’s hard to find people like that that you can really, really slag, and then the next day go and have a drink with them. It’s like being back in my family again, like the Irish family. Ronnie was totally outspoken. You always knew where you were with him, that’s for sure. And that we used to argue and stuff, and then make up and be best friends. And we were best friends when he passed away. I still go to his grave every year.”