In one of the more improbable turns in heavy metal history, Wendy Dio started up a celebrity bowling championship for her Stand Up And Shout charity, a cancer research charity developed in honor of her deceased husband, the iconic Ronnie James Dio. When we were asked to interview Wendy Dio and Steven Adler of Guns 'N' Roses fame about the Bowl For Ronnie event on October 6th, we leaped at the occasion. It's an event that features A-list celebrities and rock stars from across the LA scene, and accessible to everyone. The next edition of Bowl For Ronnie is going to be hosted by metal radio legend, Eddie Trunk, and take place at Pinz Bowling Center in Studio City. We got to delve into a little more about the event with Ms. Dio and Adler himself. Check it!
Grab tickets for the October 6th event here: http://www.diocancerfund.org/
How are you guys doing?
Wendy (W): We are doing very well!
Steven (S): We were just bummed out about Tom Petty! Our friend Mary just saw them last Monday! You just have to really appreciate each moment. How many years has it been since Ronnie died? Seven and a half years of no rock and no love from a great man because of a stupid disease. That's why we're doing this benefit for the Dio Stand Up And Shout foundation this Friday. We'll have a great time, there will be a lot of rockers and movie stars and I will be giving out free hugs. Come find me. It will be a lot of fun. It's for a great benefit. If they come up for a cure for cancer in my lifetime everything Wendy is doing will be worth it.
W: We are trying hard!
S: You're doing it! I admire you!
W: It's amazing that everyone else is giving their time and talent for this. It's humbling that so many people are giving their time and talents for this event.
S: It's because we all love Ronnie and we all love you. Both of you were so wonderful to all fans of rock music for so many decades. If I can do anything to support you and Ronnie I'm there.
W: Thank you Steven, I appreciate that very much and I will be first in line for a hug!
First and foremost – I was reading about the ethos behind Stand Up And Shout, to what extent is that defined by Ronnie's vision?
S: Every one of those is in line with Ronnie's he IS Stand Up And Shout.
W: And of course it's his song! We brought in the bowling because in 1986 we were supporting TJ Martell and they had a bowling fundraiser and Ronnie actually won a trophy!
S: No way!
W: I still have it. I might bring it out so everyone can see it. So when we did the memorial for Ronnie for his 5th year of passing we decided we would include bowling as well. Everyone came out for it and we had the event and it was a great event and we decided to make it an annual event and we have so may people giving their time and talent!
S: We have so many great actors like Johnny Depp, Eddie Murphy, Bill Burr, so many great people. Everybody is so supportive.
W: Of course no one is performing but you can bowl with celebrity bowlers!
Who is the most the most unexpected celebrity who wanted to get involved?
W: We have had Jack Black in the past who was supporting us when he wasn't shooting. But of course now we have Steven Adler – can't get much bigger than that! We got Doug Aldrich too!
S: It's just so much fun!
W: It's a lot of fun raising money for the cause. Eddie Trunk will have a celebrity team. You can win a raffle to be a part of the celebrity team and hang out in the VIP. Or you can just come as a bowler or spectator. Or you can win one of the raffles to bowl with the celebrities.
That's kind of insane to think about…
S: I want to get in the VIP!
W: (Laughter) You're always in there Steven!
S: My mom is coming! She can bowl like a motherfucker!
W: Rock Feinstein Ronnie's cousin is a great bowler! Tom Morello brings his own ball!
It's strange that Tom Morello brings his own ball…
W: He did last year! This year he has previous engagements he's trying to get out of. Eddie is trying to bring him in. Doug Aldrich will be on Eddie's team. He always has a great team and he keeps some of celebrities under his hat until the day of. Steven is on the KLOS team against Eddie Trunk!
S: Eddie Trunk is going down then!
W: He won last year you had better beat him. If you bid on the auction for the KLOS team you can bowl with Steven and they have celebrities on their team. So you can party with him in the VIP room and he will give you plenty of hugs.
S: Hugs are free. I give them twenty times a day, everybody gets one!
W: We have a lot of other people coming like Phil Buckner from Fuel, the Black Star Riders guys coming. Matt Dunca and Joey Barro are coming, all the Dio's Disciples guys, member of Whitesnake, I think Lita might be coming up too.
S: Robert Dunn will be there too!
W: We just got news that Mickey Dee from Scorpions will be there and that Ahmet Zappa will be there.
What are you personally most excited about?
W: I'm excited about having fun with the musicians and raising money for the cancer fund! We are going to present a few checks to the team we work with for saliva testing.
S: Dr Kapoor who directs it will be there. He's a hell of a bowler, he's like a secret weapon. I'm having him on my team – he's good.
How did your relationship with Dr Kapoor start?
W: He's on my board for the cancer foundation. I have two attorneys, an accountant, various companies who work with us, the manager of Black Star Riders is a part of it too. Sharon Weiss does publicity for us too. Our team is full of people from the professional world who do a great job.
S: All great people. Great minds.
W: They are all coming out for Ronnie. It's a lot of fun, everybody has fun.
S: Last time I was there I remember going home and I had so much fun my jaw hurt from smiling and laughing so much, that's what a great time it is. You really have to go. It's a lot of fun.
W: People get trophies for winning too. We have celebrity trophies and corporate trophies but also trophies for everyone else. We even have the Horses Ass for the worst bowler.
S: I want that one!
W: We have lovely silent auctions, custom made bowling balls and pins and a wine basket. I'm going to bid on the pins myself!
S: I want the bowling ball, that's what I want.
W: We have some other good news too! Ronnie's cousin from upstate New York, Rock Feinstein from Elf will be heading the East coast chapter. Next year they will have a Bowling for Ronnie and a Ride for Ronnie. There will be an all star jam then as well.
Considering how many musicians you will have at the event have you considered having a jam there?
S: Well we had a great one at the ride.
W: At the alley there isn't really anywhere to perform. There's just a VIP room to hang out in and the musicians come downstairs for the celebrity bowling and have fun with the raffle. There will be hijinks going on I can assure you.
S: Oh yeah! Like I said, my jaw hurt from smiling last night!