With apologies to Don McLean, who commemorated the deaths of Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and The Big Bopper with his eight-and-a-half minute opus American Pie, the music truly died yesterday when heavy metal rocker Ronnie James Dio passed away after a battle with stomach cancer.
Redhook still remembers the day back in the 80s when his older brother rushed into the house with Dio’s Holy Diver album and said, “Dude, check it out! When you turn Dio’s name upside it says, “˜Devil!’ “ We turned it over and, sure enough, there it was: D-E-V-I-L.
Wow. Working “devil” into your name and logo? That’s tattoo-like in its level of commitment. Some folks dedicate their lives to fighting cancer. Some fight crime. Some take a vow of celibacy. But Ronnie James Dio committed all 5′ 4″ of himself to rock and Satan. Not sure the Satan thing’s an admirable trait. All we know is that he has a tribute song from Tenacious D and the rest of us don’t.
What does any of this have to do with Redhook?
Well, when Dio was screeching Rainbow in the Dark in arenas across America in 1983, heavy metal lovers clad in black t-shirts and parachute pants were enjoying some of Redhook’s original brews.
And while the Redhook logo doesn’t offer anything mystical when you turn it upside down, a bottle of delicious Redhook Ale does.