I’ve had a Dio Dream Evil shirt for about ten years, even though Dio is only my fourth favorite band that Ronnie James Dio fronted. But I never felt like I was wearing it for the wrong reasons. I actually do like Dio, and they had probably the best visuals of any of RJD’s projects. The cover art to Dream Evil, with its pile-up of occult symbols and the looming presence of the Dio “mascot” (Wikipedia tells me his name is Murray), might be my favorite by the band.

The shirt was already old when someone thrifted it and gave it to me. Years of wear have rendered it a fragile web of cotton and ink, so I rarely wear it out anymore. I decided to bust it out Saturday night for no real reason other than it had been a while. I ended up wearing it all the way through Sunday, so I had it on when I heard the news that Ronnie James Dio had died. Of course it was a complete coincidence, but the human mind loves to make coincidences seem meaningful, so for a second I felt somehow responsible for his death. Then we put on Holy Diver and did some headbanging and felt a little better.