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SHOW PREVIEW: Detroit Dio Tribute benefit show Sat. May 18 with Jason Quayle interview

This Saturday night (May 18) marks the 4th annual Detroit Dio Tribute Benefit show for
the Ronnie James Dio "Stand Up and Shout" cancer fund and the Mount Clemens Regional Healthcare Foundation for cancer related illness.

All bands will be playing sets consisting of songs that Ronnie James Dio sang on throughout his career.

This year's bands include::
- Rainbow Rising featuring Maxine & Roxy Petrucci, with Rachel May
- Acoustic Doom featuring Brian Thomas of Halloween
- Banned From H.E.L.L., a Black Sabbath Tribute for the Dio Years.
- Dark Avenger
- Suckerpunch
- Stargazer
- EVILplay
Rock N' Roll memorabilia will be sold at the show by Rock N' Rummage.

The show is taking place at  
The Detroit Pub
33401 Harper Ave. in Clinton Twp, MI 48035

Advanced Ticket Sales at Brown Paper Tickets. 
or buy them at the door !
7PM doors. $10 donation.

This night of Dio music to benefit cancer treatment and research is organized by Jason Quayle (guitarist for local Sabbath tribute bands Banned from E.A.R.T.H. and Banned from H.E.L.L.)
MCB caught up with Jason to talk about the upcoming show and the legendary DIO.

MCB: What made you start the The Detroit Dio Tribute Cancer Fundraiser 4 years ago?
I was very shocked and upset by Dio’s passing. I had been following his progress on-line and as late as March of 2010 I had seen a video report from a chemo treatment he was going through. He seemed thin and in not the best of shape but he was still hopeful. Then 2 months later a single report came out that things had taken a turn for the worse and a few days later on May 16, 2010 he was gone.  I was texting a friend about it shortly after the news came out and almost simultaneously he and I said that we should put together a tribute to Ronnie and donate the money to charity.

MCB: Where does the money raised at this event go to?
The first few events after his passing we gave 100% of the money to the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout against cancer fund. Wendy Dio set it up shortly after his passing. Over the last 3 years they have raised almost a half million dollars. But after the second year I’d seen that most of the money was being spent out in California. All of them good causes related to cancer screening and prevention but still not local.  I wanted to find a local Michigan nonprofit charity to give a portion of the money to. A friend who has been heavily involved in the Detroit Dio Tribute, Elaina Bean, did a bunch of research for the tribute and she found that a lot of the charities have CEO’s set up to administer the funds and many of these people are earning six figure incomes which gets paid for from the donated funds. Sometimes less than 50% of the donated money actually sees its way to helping the people that it was intended for.  But what Elaina found was that the Mt. Clemens Regional Healthcare Foundation is administered by hospital staff already on the payroll. 100% of all the money going into the fund goes to people needing financial help. We can designate it to go towards cancer treatment, screening, or what have you.  So the last few events we’ve done a 66 1/3 – 33 1/3 spit of the funds raised.  The smaller portion we’ve sent to the Dio fund and the larger stays here in Southeast Michigan and is donated in the name of Ronnie James Dio.

MCB: Have you heard from anyone in the Dio camp in regards to the benefit shows?
Strangely not. I did have an opportunity to talk with Eddie Trunk face to face shortly after last year’s Detroit Dio Tribute when my band was performing at the I-ROCK as musical support for the cast of That Metal Show’s tour.  He talked about all things that they do with Wendy Dio and their fundraisers. He did look interested in what we do here locally and got what I felt was his approval but nothing beyond that. I have no real means to contact them directly on an official level. Once a year I call Niji Entertainment which is the company that deals with Dio music, paraphernalia, and things of that nature, and they also administer the fund, just to make sure that the mailing address that I have is correct before I send them our check but the conversation never goes beyond that. I’ve posted flyers, and event invitations on their Facebook walls. I have not been shy about sharing the event and have gotten no comments at all from them. I don’t want to speculate why they seem un-interested.  

MCB: Is it difficult to get so many bands together to perform the music of one artist?  
Oh no.  Every year I’ve had to turn bands down.  Interest is growing every year too.  This year if I would have tried a little harder we could have had 10 plus bands perform.  But what’s neat about this event is not all the bands performing are full time bands.  They may be just a group of musicians that all have a love for Dio and his music and want to participate so they just get together with other like minded musicians, come up with a set list and an impromptu name for the group and play.  Some bands have stayed together because of the Detroit Dio Tribute. Some not. But a lot of the individual musicians have been back year after year with various projects. It’s a lot of fun for everybody.

MCB: What seems to get the majority vote as the best Dio song that all bands want to perform?
That’s a hard one. There are a few tunes that are mainstays but songs like Mob Rules, Last in Line are some of the most popular. There are probably 10 or 15 songs that have been played every year but there has not been a large amount of duplication between bands within a show. Maybe 3 songs get played twice for the entire night.  After the first year which was almost total chaos I worked harder to track the songs and get the different groups to send me their set list that they were working on and work up set times and try to arrange the bands so that if certain songs were duplicated that those two bands did not play adjacent to each other.  Sometimes though no matter how hard we try it just happens. Now I have a Facebook group for all the participants and a lot of the set lists get worked out months in advance behind the scenes. The general public does not see all that prep work. For instance one of the projects that I’m working on this year started with our set list last November and we started rehearsals in December. We’d had about 15 songs that we were kicking around and as other bands started coming up with their lists we started dropping songs to make sure there was little or no duplication. There is an enormous amount of prep to make sure the set’s all jive together. Also coming up with the order of play has been difficult. Of the 23 or so musicians that are playing, a few of them play in multiple projects.  We tried to have things arranged so nobody played in back to back sets.

MCB: What is your personal Dio song over his entire career and why?

I would probably say the live version of Neon Knights on the Black Sabbath Live Evil album.  Just listen to it. You’ll understand. A close second is Children of the Sea also on Live Evil.

Check out this footage of Jason performing in Banned From H.E.L.L., his Black Sabbath Tribute band for the Dio Years...