One of my best Dio memories is how his lyrics offended my mom back when I was in high school.
I was probably about 15 at the time and we went to the mall to do some shopping. I was looking around FYE and I convinced her to buy me a copy of Holy Diver. After the mall we drove around town doing some more errands. While we drove she let me put Holy Diver on even though she hates metal. We got through the first few songs and she didn't seem to hate it too
much. Then came Don't Talk to Strangers. Now, you're probably thinking "what the hell is offensive about that one?". Well, nothing but my mom is a pretty "religious" woman and so she was not a fan of the line "Don't go to heaven cause it's really only hell". She made me turn the CD player off after that.
Another great memory is touching horns with Dio during Mob Rules last August at the H&H show in Baltimore. Talk about one freakin hell of a way to start a show. Another great thing that night was having Dio stand right in front of me during the red light and smoke machine part of the extended version of Heaven and Hell. He was snarling and holding up the horns and he looked absolutely terrifying. He was a master of his craft and it was always such a treat to see him perform. My biggest regret is that I never got to see him solo. But oh well, I feel very blessed to have seen him the 3 times I did. Those were magical nights.