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“It’s not easy to be the first”: European success for reborn Dio

Eyellusion CEO Jeff Pezzuti has spoken of the “unforgettable experience” of taking its Ronnie James Dio hologram on the road, as the company wraps up a successful  first leg of its Dio Returns tour.

Dio Returns: The World Tourannounced last summer, kicked off in November and wrapped up at Trix (1,100-cap.) in Antwerp just before Christmas. The tour – produced in partnership with local promoters – is expected to visit the US this spring and play festivals globally through the summer.

The hologram, which is backed up by the late Dio’s former band, Dio Disciples, made its debut at Wacken Open Air in August 2016.

“Last month, we had the privilege of reuniting the late Ronnie James Dio’s fans in celebration of the timeless music he left behind,” says Pezzuti. “The incredible Dio band and our Ronnie James Dio hologram played seven countries and ten dates in 18 days. As the Dio Returns shows went on and word spread about this special experience, the crowds kept growing. By the final dates of the tour, thousands were coming out for an unforgettable experience.

“It’s not easy to be the first to do something in an industry that doesn’t change all that often. But we’re fans first”

“It’s not easy to be the first to do something in an industry that doesn’t change all that often. But we’re fans first. We had a vision that the music that has helped form the foundation of rock and roll should be passed down for generations and generations to enjoy. In the current business climate, that means live tours. After all, there’s nothing quite like leaving everything behind for just a night to join fellow fans for an unforgettable experience. It’s about the sound, the lights, the memories – just getting lost in the moment.

“A huge thank you to the extended Dio Family for their unflinching support as we set out together to make history. None of this would have been possible without Wendy Dio, the band, the crew and everyone else who believed in us. With a successful tour leg under our belt, we head to Pollstar Live! next month to meet again with the industry and start plotting the rest of the dates that will feature even more songs and a bigger stage show. Yes, we’re truly just getting started!”

In addition to Wendy Dio, Ronnie’s widow, LA-based Eyellusion is backed by veteran artist manager Todd Singerman and drummer Kenny Aronoff (John Cougar Mellencamp, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Meat Loaf, Smashing Pumpkins).

It recently secured to rights to produce a hologram of Frank Zappa, with dates for the Back on the Road tour due to be announced soon.

 


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First shows announced for 80-date Dio Returns tour

Eyellusion, the creator of the much talked-about hologram of the late Ronnie James Dio, has announced the initial run of dates for its first tour, Dio Returns: The World Tour.

The tour, which Eyellusion tells IQ will be produced in partnership with several local promoters, will make more than 80 stops in theatre-sized venues around the globe, kicking off in Finland on 30 November 2017.

The hologram, backed by Dio’s former band, will perform for the majority of the show, with a setlist that includes hits from across his career, including songs by Dio, Rainbow and Black Sabbath.

The initial European dates are:

Dio Returns is expected to visit to the United States in spring 2018, and play festivals across the world next summer.

“We like to think of Ronnie smiling down as we continue to find new ways to share his music with all generations of fans”

“Working with Eyellusion over the past year and a half to turn our dream of this tour into a reality has been absolutely incredible,” comments Dio’s widow and former manager, Wendy Dio. “No one has ever been able to put together a show and tour like this, and we like to think of Ronnie smiling down as we continue to find new ways to share his music with all generations of fans.

“We cannot wait to be able to finally bring this incredible experience to Ronnie’s fans around the world.”

Eyellusion CEO and founder Jeff Puzzti adds: “We’ve really only given Dio fans a small taste of what they’re going to see on this tour. We are creating a completely new hologram of Ronnie, designing an amazing light show and continuing to add more dates around the world to make sure that as many fans as possible get an opportunity to take part in this experience.”

Eyellusion – which in addition to Wendy Dio is backed by veteran artist manager Todd Singerman and drummer Kenny Aronoff (John Cougar Mellencamp, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Meat Loaf, Smashing Pumpkins) – is currently raising funding to secure the rights for holograms of other artists “and finance projects and tours in its growing pipeline”.

 


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Gene Simmons tries to trademark devil’s horns

It’s a hand gesture familiar to metalheads across the world – but if Gene Simmons has his way, the sign of the horns could soon his trademark.

In a new application to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the Kiss frontman is seeking to register “a hand gesture with the index and small fingers extended upward and the thumb extended perpendicular” for “entertainment, namely live, performances by a musical artist.”

The would-be trademark is pictured below:

Gene Simmons devil's horns trademark diagram

The trademark application, serial number 87482739, was filed on 9 June and accepted on Tuesday. It is expected to be assigned to an examiner within three months of filing.

Various musicians claim to have invented the sign of the horns (or devil’s horns), with the late Ronnie James Dio usually credited for popularising the gesture.

The application says Simmons (real name Chaim Witz) has been throwing the horns since “at least as early as 14 November 1974” – a date that corresponds with Kiss’s Hotter than Hell tour – although use of the gesture by figures as diverse as John Lennon (on the Yellow Submarine cover), Black Sabbath’s Geezer Butler, Frank Zappa, George Clinton and Gautama Buddha all predate Simmons’s claim (the Buddha’s by quite some time).

 


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Dio hologram gearing up for world tour

Eyellusion’s hologram of the late Ronnie James Dio – last seen at Wacken Open Air in August – made his US debut on Friday, at the Pollstar Awards in Los Angeles, ahead of a world tour planned for later this year.

As at W:O:A, ‘Ronnie’ was backed by his former band, now known as Dio’s Disciples, and performed ‘We Rock’, from 1984’s The Last in Line.

“We were thrilled to give this audience just a taste of the experience that we will start to tour globally later this year,” says Jeff Pezzuti, CEO of Eyellusion, an LA-based developer of holograms for the live music business. “This ‘We Rock’ performance is now being retired and production is underway on a full show.

“We are pulling out all the stops to create a live experience that is unlike anything Ronnie’s fans have seen before.”

 


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Dio throws the horns again as Wacken hologram

The late Ronnie James Dio made a surprise appearance at Wacken Open Air on Saturday, following in the footsteps of deceased contemporaries 2Pac, Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley to perform in hologram form with his former bandmates.

The likeness of Dio, who died from stomach cancer in 2010, was created by Eyellusion, a Los Angeles-based developer of holograms for the live music market which officially launched last weekend after “operating in stealth mode” for the past two years.

The Dio-gram joined Dio Disciples, comprising ex-members of his band, to close the German metal festival, which was attended by over 75,000 people and also featured performances from Iron Maiden, Bullet for My Valentine and Testament.

“When I first experienced Ronnie performing with his band as a hologram, I couldn’t believe my eyes and ears”

“When I first experienced the full production of Ronnie performing with his band as a hologram, I couldn’t believe my eyes and ears,” says Dio’s widow, Wendy, who manages Dio Disciples and also works in an industry relations role with Eyellusion. “With Eyellusion, we have been able to get Ronnie back up on stage where he belongs, ensuring that his music and memory live on. I want Ronnie’s fans around the world to share this experience.”

See a pic of ‘Dio’ in action below:

Ronnie James Dio hologram, Eyellusion, Wacken Open Air 2016