While he’s only been dead for a little over a week, Ronnie James Dio has been a national treasure for decades. His hometown of Portsmouth, New Hampshire has honored him by… well, not doing anything. Decibel writer and former Portsmouth resident Shawn Macomber is demanding that Ronald James Padanova be immortalized in the town where he was born in an editorial that ran last week on Portsmouth news portal seacoastonline.com:
I live in Philadelphia where the Betsy Ross House — in which Ross, who probably didn’t sew the first American flag, may not have actually lived — is considered a national landmark, yet my former home of Portsmouth boasts not so much as a plaque trumpeting it as the irrefutable birthplace of Ronnie James Dio, the Black Sabbath/Rainbow/Dio frontman who not only penned such timeless anthems as “Rainbow in the Dark” and “Neon Knights,” but also popularized the iconic “devil’s horns” as heavy metaldom’s official salute.
Macomber brings up an extremely valid point in his editorial. Dio went to high school in Cortland, NY, where they christened Dio Way all the way back in 1988. The least Portsmouth could do is give him a plaque or name a street after him. What he really deserves is a statue in the center of town. At the very least, it should look like Stevie Ray Vaughan’s in Austin, but if they’re actually going to make one, it makes the most sense to have him immortalized killing a dragon, like the title of his album, and the cover of the Intermission EP, picture above. So what do you say, Portsmouth?