Whenever I was 8 years old, I started listening to Ozzy Osbourne. Soon after that I started listening to Black Sabbath.
I had all the Ozzy era Sabbath stuff. Then on a Greatest Hits package I heard the song Heaven and Hell. After that, it was all about Dio. I used to own at least 6 or 7 of his albums, and they changed my life, and propelled my interest in Heavy Metal.
Over the years though, as that interest propelled forward, I basically forgot how much I admired his music, and skipped out on the only chance I've ever had to see him, which was in 2007 whenever Heaven and Hell was touring with Motorhead, Testament, and Judas Priest. I now regret that.
It's funny how things work out though. Yesterday, a friend was at my house and he just happened to have a copy of Mob Rules with him, so I loaded it onto my computer, and I remembered how much I admired Dio's work. Then today, I learned of his death.
So, I had no choice but to go out and look for the old Dio albums I used to own. I picked up Dream Evil, The Last in Line, and Heaven and Hell. I wasn't able to find my childhood favorite, "Strange Highways", though, but that's ok.
His music will live on forever inside of me, and I will never forget about him again.
I've lost track of just about everything.