Ronnie James Dio (Dio, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Heaven and Hell), Slash (Guns N’ Roses, Velvet Revolver) and Terry Bozzio (Missing Persons, Frank Zappa) Inducted into Hollywood’s RockWalk
by Lexa Vonn
Photos by Lexa Vonn
It was a chilling evening at the Guitar Center on Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood on Jan. 17th, 2007. But that didn’t stop dozens of fans from coming out to witness history in the making as Ronnie James Dio, Slash and Terry Bozzio were inducted into the world famous RockWalk. The legendary musicians were joined by friends, fans and family as well as fellow band members as they lay their gifted hands down in cement blocks to be immortalized forever. The RockWalk is described as “the only sidewalk gallery dedicated to honoring those artists who have made a significant impact and lasting contribution to the growth and evolution of rock n’ roll, blues and R&B.”
The night began in a frenzy as metal fans lined the boulavard on either side of Guitar Center. Sandwiched in between newscasters and paparazzi, I made my way to the front of the velvet rope to get some candid shots. First up to be inducted was Terry Bozzio, the legendary drummer who made his rock n’ roll debut in 1975 playing with Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention. During his three years with Zappa, Terry recorded over 10 albums, including the premier of the infamous "Black Page", which Zappa wrote for Terry. Terry then went on to perform with many bands, including MISSING PERSONS, which he formed with ex-ZAPPA guitarist Warren Cuccurullo in 1979. Most of the young crowd present at the event had little knowledge of Bozzio’s work, but cheered him on as he placed his hands in the cement plaque, nonetheless.
Next on the agenda was heavy metal hero, Ronnie James Dio, who probably had the biggest fan turnout of the night. Ronnie James Dio first achieved recognition when his band ELF supported the British band DEEP PURPLE on several U.S. tours. He later went on to sing on Roger Glover's famed solo project "The Butterfly Ball" and fronted such groups as Ritchie Blackmore's RAINBOW and BLACK SABBATH. After leaving BLACK SABBATH, Ronnie went on to record many solo albums, including "Holy Driver", "Last in Line", "Angry Machines", and "Magica". Ronnie will once again be hitting the road with former SABBATH bandmates Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Vinny Appice with their new group HEAVEN AND HELL. Ronnie approached the podium throwing the devil horns to the delight of camera crews and fans alike. Despite his dark image, he came off sincere and intelligible during his acceptance speech.
Finally, the moment I had been waiting for arrived as Slash was called to the podium after fellow G N’ R/Velvet Revolver member, Duff McKagan delivered a heartwarming trip down memory lane that summarized both his friendship and musical career with his longtime band mate. On hand to watch Slash place his hands in the sidewalk was his mother, wife, son and members of the G N’ R/Velvet Revolver family including Scott Weiland and Matt Sorum.
With his trademark Les Paul, top hat and omnipresent cigarette, Slash is a guitar icon of a generation. After picking up a guitar for the first time at 15, Slash challenged and destroyed the stagnant musical scene in 1986 when he helped to found one of the biggest bands rock n' roll has ever known, GUNS N' ROSES. After leaving GN'R, Slash recorded and toured with his band SLASH'S SNAKEPIT as well as recorded and performed with a multitude of artists, including Michael Jackson, Iggy Pop, Eric Clapton, Carole King, and Diddy, to name a few. In 2004, along with former GN'R members Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum, guitarist Dave Kushner (WASTED YOUTH) and lead singer Scott Weiland (STONE TEMPLE PILOTS), Slash formed his current band VELVET REVOLVER whose debut album, "Contraband", garnered raved reviews and received a Grammy in 2004 for "Best Hard Rock Performance" for the song "Slither".
Slash has always been one of my all time favorite guitar players and being present during his RockWalk induction was a true honor. He came decked out in his signature Slash top hat, leather and shades and blessed the onlookers with his cool mystery. When I loaded the pictures I had taken of Slash onto my computer, I noticed that some weird orbs of light had shown up around him on the film. The orbs were white with a purple border and didn’t seem to show up in any of the other shots despite the fact that I was stationed in the same spot for the entire evening. The light particularly hovered by his hands, leading one to wonder if his talent is linked to some supernatural presence? Well, it would certainly explain the beauty of his playing!
The ceremony was finally topped off with the three artists signing their names in the cement and each one being presented with a plaque to take home. The trio of rock legends were all smiles as they posed for the cameras one last time. I was just happy to have had the opportunity to witness a piece of rock n’ roll history in the making.
Previous inductees to the RockWalk include JIMI HENDRIX, ERIC CLAPTON, JOHNNY CASH, AEROSMITH, IRON MAIDEN, VAN HALEN, JAMES BROWN, the RAMONES, Zakk Wylde (BLACK LABEL SOCIETY, OZZY OSBOURNE) and many more.
© 2007 Crypt Magazine. All Rights Reserved.