Behind the Scenes of Heaven & Hell

As the excitement and anticipation builds for the Heaven & Hell shows this year, lots of things are happening. Earlier today I got an email from Steve Mignardi, who is Ronnie James Dio’s personal assistant. Steve alerted me to a blog he is running over on his myspace page which will detail some behind the scenes stuff from the road. He just started a few days ago, but even just from this stuff, it looks like things will be seriously good in this series as the tour gets on the road. I’m posting most of his existing entries here for you to catch up with. I’ll also be alerting you to new entries as well
I found this stuff very enlightening to read, and I think you will too. One of the tidbits gleaned from his series are that rehearsals have now completed.
If you enjoy these entries, head over to Steve’s Myspace page, and send him a line and let him know what you think. You can also read his entire series over there, too.

March 2, 2007:
Well March 1st is the day the crew flies in from all over the world. Converging in L.A for the start of rehearsals…with the stage set. Load in is Saturday the 3rd with actual rehearsals starting on Sunday.
My travel day started out good. I was going to take a bus to the airport. Then a train derailed close to my house and everyone taking the public trains were put on buses. I just assumed there would be delays. So I drove to the airport. The drive started out o.k. Then the snow storm started on my way. That was hell. Then the cheap bastards at park ‘n’ fly wanted to charge me $432.00 to park for a month…not the $102.00 they quoted me…new rule – never use park ‘n’ fly. I did find a place at Dixon and the 401 called Skyway park that let me park for $89.00 plus applicable taxes for the month.
My flight was delayed for a few hours due to the weather. A few e:mails and phone calls to Roger had me wondering where I was going to stay when I got to L.A. Not to worry. Ronnie was going to wait up for me regardless of the time. Being the son he never wanted (inside joke with Janice) this surprised me.
If I can figure out how to take the pictures from my camera and transfer them to my computer, I’ll post them. I’m going to call on Rudy Sarzo to get my computer working properly. Well maybe the computer works fine…could it be me? If I can’t get hold of Rudy before the tour starts, feel sorry for Vinny. He’s a computer wiz and we’re on the same bus.
I guess thats it for the first day. The second day will start with Ronnie doing phone interviews then we’re off shopping for luggage and pants…and maybe an Indian for lunch.
See ya’

March 3, 2007:
Well things are starting to heat up now. Ronnie and I took a drive over to the building that production is being set up in.
It was great to see some familiar faces and meet some new ones. We were greeted in the parking lot by the DIO work horse commonly known as Big Scott, who was as usual working his ass off getting the stage set uncrated and moved into place. He wasn’t doing it himself, he had help…but I didn’t get the names of the people helping him. Lorenzo (monitors), Chris (foh), Mark (ld) and Andre (drum tech) were there getting organised. Chuck is back and thats a good thing. Chuck helps Lorenzo keep things running smoothly. Geo was there as well. Geo is bus driver extrordinaire. Except us pesky Canadians won’t let him into the Country, so he’s in town getting all our coaches organised.
Special thanks to Andre for helping me learn more about my new laptop an the functions I can’t figure out…download is in…upload is out. The camera problem has been addressed but not corrected. Some photos have been put on a disc and will be downloaded soon…but not today.
We watched in amazement as the set was pain stakingly put together piece by piece. All the while lights were being worked on and people running around doing this and that. It was exciting to see.The set is brilliant, awesome…fucking stunning. It will be worth the wait.
I saw the set list as well…brilliant, awesome…fucking stunning. It will be worth the wait. No I won’t be posting it. A pleasant surprise or two from my point of view.
We went for a drive to beverage and more…doesn’t the name just say it all? So it’s time to have a rum and diet coke and sign off. I don’t drink and blog.
Tomorrow will be awesome. Production rehearsals with the band…

March 5, 2007:
If todays rehearsals are any indication of whats to come, look out. Bloody great. Everyone looked good and seemed to be enjoying themselves. A lot of joking about with each other.The band sounded good and tight. A few little details were being worked on. After almost five hours things wrapped up for the night…back at it tomorrow. One more day of full rehearsals and then the crew is on the move to Canada…my home and native land. Sorry ’bout that got a little patriotic.
The band has more press and then we follow the crew a day or two later. I have two different itinaries at the moment so I’m not sure of our departure date. I do have more Canadian money on me than U.S so it will be nice to get back to the Great White North.
Today took me back…way back. Heaven and Hell , Mob Rules and Dehumanizer tours all wrapped up into one.
Like I wrote yesterday, the set and set list is truly awesome. No one will go away disappointed.
Well its approaching midnight and we’re up early tomorrow. So its time for a dark rum and diet coke…an episode of Law and Order SVU.
Be responsible…don’t drink and blog.

March 6, 2007:
Well the last day of production rehearsals are over. It was a crazy, hectic day. Lots of press milling about. Interviews here and there. A film crew following just about everybody around. The band did find some time to get somethings worked out. The band is getting along great, Tony and Geezer were having some fun not quite dueling guitars, but something out of the Beverly Hillbilly’s theme song. The crew was still in there trying to focus lights and program different things. Trying to work around the band was not very productive. Not only do the crew have to finish everything, they have to load out tonight and head up to Vancouver. Load out should start around 10:00 p.m and last into the early hours of the morning. The first strike is the most “fun”, I don’t envy the crew, but if it wasn’t for their hard work none of this would happen.
While rehearsals are done, the band now have a couple days of press to do. It never ends for them either. The interview schedule is crazy.
We do have Thursday off to do our last minute running around a packing. Then it’s off to the witch…Vancouver.
Ronnie and I are back at the house. Stopped by Subways on the way home. Thank God we had already gone by KFC.
Gene Kirkland, world reknown photographer, stopped by the house for a quick hello and a drink. Yes indeed, fired him up the old dark rum and diet coke. While Gene was here I figured who better to help me with my camera problem. He figures its the cord, get a new one tomorrow.
I have added some old photos…I have over a 1000 from the last few years, I will get some of my favourites on here. It will be a slow process.
Thanks to all of you who want to be added,post comments and send me messages. I’m starting to get the hang of this now and I know once we hit the road this space will get much better.
Thanks and see ya’