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At Dick O'Dow's with Ronnie James Dio

"Making your way in the world today takes everything you've got. Taking a break from all your worries, sure would help a lot. Wouldn't you like to get away? Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name, and they're always glad you came. You wanna be where you can see, our troubles are all the same. You wanna be where everybody knows your name."

Yesterday was one of those days for me. It was a rough one. And I did just want to go somewhere where everyone knows my name.

For me, that place is Dick O’Dow's in Birmingham, Michigan. I started hanging out there in 1999 and the owner, bartenders, and managers are not just staff; they’re my friends.

Dick O'Dows Irish Pub in Birmingham, Michigan.And that was exactly what I needed to take a break from my worries. But who would have thought it was actually going to be my husband whose night would take a turn in a great direction.

As soon as we walked into the bar, my husband spotted him. It was one of his rock gods, one of his heavy metal heroes, Ronnie James Dio.

Now, I wouldn’t normally let my husband talk to celebrities when they are out enjoying themselves. I think that is one reason so many sports stars and rock gods like the place. Nobody bothers them.

But, the manager and our friend, Tom, asked my husband if he would like to be introduced. Of course, the husband said yes.

Dick O'Dow's slogan is, "A drink comes before a story." Ronnie and my husband shared many stories. They talked and talked and talked. At one point I went over to save Ronnie and asked him if my husband was chatting too much. Ronnie said no, that it was he who was bending my husband’s ear.

They talked about the band Rainbow and Ronnie’s time with Black Sabbath. Ronnie told him that he has total respect for Ozzy Osbourne as an artist. They talked about cars and how Ronnie owned some real shitty cars for a celebrity. His favorite car was a Mini Cooper S 1300, the old version that you don’t see around here much but are plentiful in England.

Turns out they have a mutual friend and they talked about that. They wouldn’t stop talking! Ronnie said the economy was also affecting his business and remarked that AC/DC couldn’t even fill The Palace of Auburn Hills last weekend.

Ronnie said that he loves Birmingham and he likes my little local pub, Dick O’Dow's, as well.

Needless to say, my husband was over the moon.

My husband, me, my brother, and Ronnie James DioIt was a great night out and Ronnie was amazing to both my husband and me. He offered to buy us a round of drinks and we declined. But the fantastic thing was that he didn’t just say goodbye when he was leaving. He hugged us and kissed me on the cheek. He said, “God bless.” Truly, a class act.

I am a regular at Dick O’Dow's because of the staff but I also meet the most incredible, down to earth people there. And celebrity or not, Ronnie James Dio, fits into that category.

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Reader Comments (12)

I almost went to see Ronnie at Pine Knob tonight. Reading what a personable and down-to-earth guy he is makes me regret not going even more than I already did.

Great story. Thanks for sharing this.

August 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTodd

I've met and worked along side many celebs, he was so genuine and kind. If my husband wasn't working away in Brighton tonight we'd be at the concert!

August 21, 2009 | Registered CommenterBecks Davis

What a wonderful story. I've had a major crush on Ronnie James Dio for a long time, although I'm too far south of the hill to consider myself a fan girl. He's always seemed to be a very genuine person as well as quite intelligent and well-spoken. A true gentleman, or as you said, a class act.

Great photo. Everyone looks so happy! Being Irish, I've got to ask, was RJD drinking Guinness?

August 21, 2009 | Unregistered Commenteriilana

Thanks for the comment iilana.
You know, he's no youngster. I had to google him because I was curious how old he was. He's 68, but you'd never know it.

He wasn't drinking Guinness. I think he was drinking Smithwicks.

August 21, 2009 | Registered CommenterBecks Davis

I heard there are a lot of celebrities who go there. It is great to have a bar where everyone knows your name though and you can share stories no matter who they are.

August 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJamie Favreau

Isn't Google both a blessing and a curse? Nobody can keep their age a secret anymore. RJD does not look his age and you'd never know it from the stage performances he does with Heaven & Hell.

I remember listening to the first Rainbow album back in 1975. I had no idea until recent years that the singer in Rainbow back then was Ronnie James Dio. He has had a long and wonderful career.

Your husband must be thrilled. How exciting to meet your hero and find out he's a really, nice person. A few years back I had the same experience with my favorite senator. In an Irish pub in Boston no less. Something about those Irish pubs.

Anyhow, I wanted to thank you for this post. I'm going to see RJD perform in Boston for the first time ever. I'm not much of a concert-goer, but I do love his music. The concert is going to be fantastic and a great time, but in part I'm going to show my support and respect as well. Your post makes me glad I made that decision.

August 22, 2009 | Unregistered Commenteriilana

i just showed my husband the picture. he's all bummed because he likes dio. AND black sabbath. he's oozing and dripping in this green goop called jealousy right now!!

August 22, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermelissa

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August 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTed

Yes, I've seen quite a few celebs there (including some Red Wings).

I think my math is crap, I think he's only 67! Have a great time at the concert!

We could photoshop your husband into the picture if that would make him feel better!

Why, thank you!

August 24, 2009 | Registered CommenterBecks Davis

Like the look of Dick O'Dows and the company you keep. Not to be out done we met Vince Earl on our cruise. There's a little job for you to find out who he is !!!!

September 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMick Ward

I think you'd fit right in at Dick's having a pint or two. You'll have to come visit us on this side of the pond some time and check it out. I do admit, I had to Google Vince Earl. That's awesome that you met him!

September 8, 2009 | Registered CommenterBecks Davis

Not to be out done we met Vince Earl on our cruise.

May 13, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterkursi tamu jati

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