The New York Times released an online hodgepodge of musicians we lost during 2010, and have omitted three major losses during the year that should anger metalheads across the Earth. In their year review, the Times has snubbed Ronnie James Dio (Black Sabbath, Dio), Peter Steele (Type O Negative), and Paul Gray (Slipknot).
You can view the New York Times montage over at their site if you can be bothered. I’m not embedding it here, because for my part, I’m disgusted they’ve overlooked three significant musicians — presumably just because they’re from the metal genre. The grounds upon which I make this assumption are that there is no metal whatsoever in their “tribute.” Rock, Soul, Pop, R&B, Hip Hop, Post-Punk are all included in the company of Funk, Disco, and others. Metal (and related genres) are nowhere to be seen.
Considering that Ronnie James Dio is even now one of the biggest influences in Hard Rock and Heavy Metal around the world, I’m shocked that they’ve disregarded him. The man helped define hard rock and metal during the Seventies and Eighties, and has been pointed to by artists such as Henry Rollins, Jack Black, and many other contemporary figures as a key reason they decided to take the career paths they chose.
Also as shocking is the omission of Peter Steele who is not only part of the metal scene, but also of the New York scene as well. I’ve spoken with several people who live in the area, including Geeks of Doom editors Empress Eve and Dave3 who live in Steele’s old Brooklyn neighborhood, who have stories they tell of how much a loved figure he was in the region not just for his music, but for the person he was.
The New York Times unmistakably has no clue. Don’t get me wrong… I’m not venting just because this is about metal, I’m venting because I am a music fan at heart — I listen to a lot, and the genres that have sprung forth in the last couple of decades owe much to the innovators in Hard Rock and Heavy Metal. To omit them in a homage or tribute is disrespectful to the musicians and their fans, and is an indicator that the New York Times are lacking in wisdom when reflecting on those who have made significant contributions to the music industry.