On Thursday, Oct. 25, the fourth annual Bowl for Ronnie takes place at the Pinz Bowling Center in Studio City. Much like the annual Ride for Ronnie event, Bowl for Ronnie raises money for the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund.
Teams of rockers, including Steven Adler (Guns N’ Roses), Doug Aldrich (Dio), Fred Coury (Cinderella), Adam Jones (Tool), Alex Kane (AntiProduct, Shark Island, etc.), Otep Shamaya, Jeff Scott Soto and Ahmet Zappa, among many others, will compete against one another, with varying degrees of skill.
The cause is very close to bowler Chuck Billy’s heart, as the Testament mainman is a cancer survivor himself.
“Here I am, 17 years later after my cancer bout,” Billy says. “Anything I can do and be a part of, I will. My time with Ronnie makes it more personal and special.”
Billy says he goes way back with Ronnie James Dio, as Testament toured with a Dio-led Black Sabbath.
“So we had a lot of time together, and just kept in touch over the years, seeing him through the festivals, became good friends,” Billy says. “Seeing Wendy [Dio] as well. Once the event came up, she asked me if I wanted to do it and, of course, I agreed to be a part of it. Having the opportunity again, my schedule was open, so when I heard about it I called and said that I wanted to come down and do it again.”
Another bowler will be recent L.A. Weekly cover star and Rage Against the Machine/Prophets of Rage guitarist Tom Morello.
“I’m a big fan of Dio, a big fan of defeating cancer, and I have my own bowling ball,” Morello told us. “Where else would I be on the 25th? Eddie Trunk invites me every year and I look forward to bowling with metal friends and fans.”
TV and radio personality Eddie Trunk hosts the event and will be captaining a team that includes Morello. Trunk has been involved with just about every Ride for Ronnie and Bowl for Ronnie event, at the request of Ronnie’s wife, Wendy Dio.
“Ronnie was a dear friend,” Trunk says. “Having done radio and TV myself for decades, he was a frequent guest, and we had become friends over the years. Wendy used to always tell me that he was not a huge fan of doing interviews but I was the one guy he enjoyed talking to. Ever since he passed away, they had come to me about doing some stuff with the cancer fund that was started in his name. I told Wendy that I would be happy to help out in any way I can, contribute in any way I can.”
Trunk says his bowling skills are not good, but the evening is not about that. Kinda.
“I’m awful,” Trunk says. “I put together a team every year — Tom is on my team every year. We put together a great team, and I’ll reach out to some of the artists that I know about getting onboard and bowling, and they’ll often say, ‘I’m not gonna do it, I’m a terrible bowler,’ and I say to them the same thing: ‘It’s not about that at all.’ There are some that are great bowlers, but this isn’t about that. It’s about having fun and raising money by putting your name behind it. Whether you bowl 50 or 300, everyone is welcome. It can get competitive. Tom is actually pretty competitive about it. My game is usually pretty bad, although two years ago we won. Last year we came in third place, so we’ve got some work to do.”
The cause is, of course, the reason for the event’s existence. Chuck Billy says men need to get better at getting checked. To stop being so damned stubborn.
“People always wait until it’s too late maybe, myself included,” Billy says. “I didn’t go to the doctor for a checkup since like high school playing sports. Until they found the cancer, I just didn’t go to the doctor much. I was never too sick. Never broke a bone, either, so I was fortunate. But now I go once a year for my cancer checkups, and I do every six months blood tests and blood work. I do a physical once a year. I’m on it myself now. Proactive toward it. Making sure I keep up with my health. Paying attention to my health more so than I did in the past before I got ill.”
Bowl for Ronnie takes place at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 25, at Pinz Bowling Center, Studio City. For more info, go to diocancerfund.org.