On Sunday hundreds and hundreds of motorcycles lined the streets just adjacent to Los Encinos State Historic Park as bikers, motorcycle riders and metalheads all gathered to celebrate the life and legacy of heavy metal singer Ronnie James Dio for the fifth annual Ride for Ronnie event, which raises funds for cancer research. Dio died in 2010 at the age of 67. He was performing with Heaven & Hell and his solo band in the year prior to his death.
The motorcycle caravan at Ride for Ronnie began at 11 a.m. and saw riders cruising through the streets of L.A. and the San Fernando Valley as they raced from the Harley-Davidson in Glendale to Los Encinos State Park. Ronnie's wife, Wendy Dio, was there and made a special appearance on stage with the research doctors behind who are working on the frontlines to battle cancer. Last year's ride raised $50,000 for research.
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The event was hosted by heavy metal radio personality Eddie Trunk and featured performances by Sadie and the Tribe, female-fronted Dio tribute band DIA, DC4, Petty Cash, Budderside, Bulletboys and the Eddie Trunk All-Star Band, which featured a plethora of rock musicians including former members of Dio, UFO, W.A.S.P., AC/DC, Thin Lizzy, Dokken, and many more. The festivities also included silent auctions for tons of heavy metal/rock memorabilia, as well as informational booths on cancer screening and prevention.
The day was full of hard rock, heavy metal music and an appreciation for the late, great singer of Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath and his own band. Concluding the day's events, the Eddie Trunk All-Star Band included an impromptu performance from Foo Fighter Dave Grohl, pounding the drums on some classic songs: "Jailbreak," by Thin Lizzy and "Bomber" by Motorhead. All in all this was a beautiful day which paid tribute to one of the most iconic singers of heavy metal while doing a whole load of good.