The world is now a lot less metalMay 18, 2010
Metal god Ronnie James Dio died on Sunday at the age of 67. We were surprised he was that old to begin with, especially since that means he was 35 when he took over as lead singer of Black Sabbath from Ozzy Osbourne. We were doubly surprised that Ozzy outlived Dio, even though Ozzy is five years younger. Still, considering all the drugs and drinking Ozzy’s done, wouldn’t you have given Dio better odds of living longer?
Anyway, this has given rise to another debate about music between Tina the Lesbian and I. The last time we had one I was arguing that Huey Lewis is better than Kurt Cobain, a debate I believe I won. Now we move on to Ronnie James Dio and Kurt Cobain.
“Ronnie James Dio is certainly the better the singer,” I say. “You can actually understand what he’s saying.”
“But it’s not like he put metal on the map,” says Tina the Lesbian. “Cobain’s success with Nirvana put 90’s alternative music into the consciousness of the mainstream.”
“Dio popularized the ‘metal horns‘,” I say. “I would say that’s a much more important contribution to the world of music than fucking alternative or grunge music. Miserable people in flannel tuning down their guitars and mumbling their lyrics…”
“Isn’t possible to like Ronnie James Dio and not run down Kurt Cobain?” says Tina the Lesbian. “Both are fun to listen to, but I just like Nirvana more.”
“No, because I had to go through my formative years in the 90’s hearing everyone riding Kurt Cobain’s dick when it came to music,” I say. “Do you know what it’s like to go through high school hating pretty much all of your friends’ taste in music, and having them loathe yours in return.”
“Well, you love hair metal and 80’s pop,” says Tina the Lesbian. “Considering the alternative movement of the 90’s was born of a dislike of those two things, yeah I can see how you’d take the grunge era as a direct insult.”
“And a direct insult to artists like Ronnie James Dio,” I say. “He was still writing epics about the battle between good and evil, and getting passed over for hacks like Pearl Jam and Collective Soul and Live. And none of those bands ever put a song that comes even close to how awesome Holy Diver is.”
“Isn’t it about time you let go of this grudge?” says Tina the Lesbian. “We’re almost two decades removed from the 90’s. Your early adoption of 80’s nostalgia through those dark times was handsomely rewarded with its current and lengthy revival. The war’s over. You and Huey Lewis and Ronnie James Dio won.”
“In the words of Gul Dukat on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, ‘A true victory is to make your enemy realize they were wrong to oppose you in the first place; to force them to acknowledge your greatness,” I say. “And too few people realize they were wrong to oppose me, and even fewer acknowledge my greatness.”
“I would say you’re a vindictive bastard and a half,” says Tina the Lesbian, “but I feel the same way about gay marriage. I not only want it to be legal nationwide, I want all those who fought to keep it illegal to shamefully realize how utterly wrong they were to ever deny us that right.”
“Yeah, well the fights I pick have meaning to me and me alone,” I say.
And the soundtrack to my fights is awesome.