Amazing ROCK FOR RONNIE Year of the Dragon Concert Event Brings in $80,000 for Dio Cancer Fund

Wendy Dio Presents Eddie Trunk with “King of Rock ‘n Roll” Award  (Photo by PG Brunelli)

The ROCK FOR RONNIE “Year of the Dragon” Concert Celebration, which took place on Sunday, May 19, 2024, at the Lou Bredlow Pavilion at Warner Center Park in Woodland Hills, CA, raised some $80,000 for the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund (www.diocancerfund.org). Metal veterans Quiet Riot topped the lineup, which also included Dio Disciples, southern rock band Jason Charles MillerBilly McNicol, newcomers X-COMM and a jam by Eddie Trunk’s All-Star Band.

Radio and television personality Eddie Trunk, who is heard on SiriusXM’s 103 Faction Talk channel, once again hosted and was presented with the special “King of Rock ‘n Roll” award from Wendy Dio for his support of the charity since its inception. “I was both honored and surprised by Wendy Dio on stage at the Rock for Ronnie when she presented me with the ‘King of Rock ‘n Roll’ award for my work with the Dio Cancer Fund,” says Trunk. “Thank you to Wendy and thanks to all the fans and bands that joined us to raise funds and celebrate Ronnie James Dio.”

Dr. David Wong, whose team at the UCLA School of Dentistry has had the support of the Dio Cancer Fund since 2016, was on hand to accept a check for $25,000 toward his team’s research to develop a simple, non-invasive saliva swab test for early cancer detection. His team’s progress in researching salivary biomarkers for gastric cancer has allowed them to prepare to submit their findings to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for a “Gastric Cancer Biomarker Characterization Center” grant in the coming weeks. Cancer fingerprints are 7 times more prevalent in saliva than in blood.

VIP seating for the concert was sold out in advance. The afternoon kicked off with young, up-and-coming band X-COMM, led by drummer Revel Ian, son of Anthrax’ Scott Ian and his musician wife Pearl Aday, and bandmates Adan Escort, Michael Gatto and Jay Vargas.

The band Billy McNicol, consisting of Billy McNicol (drums/vocals), Bhargav Choudhury (guitar) and CJ Wilson (bass), followed.

Returning to the ROCK FOR RONNIE this year by popular demand was Jason Charles Miller, along with his band comprising Allie Kay and Gary Joseph Potter Jr. on guitars; Will Smith on bass and drummer Nick Mason. 

Then Dio Disciples, featuring Terry Ilous and Dyna Shirasaki on vocals, took the stage. The lineup included Simon Wright on drums, Scott Warren on keyboards, Ira Black on guitar and Sean McNabb on bass guitar.

Rock icon Lita Ford asked PBS Guitar Builder to the Stars Jim Cara, who has designed custom guitars for her, Gene Simmons and Ace Frehley of Kiss and Brad Gillis of Night Ranger, among others (www.caraguitars.com), to create a one-of-a-kind DIO/Dio Cancer Fund guitar, which she played on two songs during in her All-Star Band appearance. The unique instrument, emblazoned with a DIO logo that lights up, was later auctioned and brought in $11,500 for the charity.

A guitar signed by all the members of Quiet Riot was also auctioned off and sold for an additional $7000.

All-Star Band participants also included vocalists/guitarists Abby Gennett (Slunt), Brett Scallions (Fuel); guitarists Doug Aldrich (Dio, Dead Daisies, Whitesnake), Marc Ferrari (Keel), Tracii Guns (LA Guns), Patrick Kennison (Lita Ford), Robert Sarzo (Hurricane); bass players Marten Andersson (Lita Ford), Julia Lage (Vixen) and Marty O’Brien (Daughtry, Lita Ford); vocalists Dewey Bragg (Kill Devil Hill), Andry Lagiou, Keith Saint John (Montrose, Kingdom Come), Patrick Stone (Budderside), Neil Turbin; keyboard player Dennis Atlas (QRST, Rock the Vault), drummers Ronnie Ciago (BrandX, Circa), Glen Sobel (Alice Cooper, Hollywood Vampires), Daniel Bermudez (Wilt) and Brian Tichy (Whitesnake) and sax player Scott Page (Pink Floyd, Toto, Supertramp), among others.