Rest in peace, Ronald James Padovana, my friend. So deeply, deeply sad. Missing you so much. My deepest condolences to dear Wendy and everyone who loved Ronnie.
|To You, Ronald.
I'm so sad that You are gone and it hurts so much inside the heart. You are so deeply missed. I know You are no longer in pain, that you are in a better place now, and that gives comfort. And I know we'll meet again one day.
I become a fan of Your songs and Your singing the first time when I bought Your album "Holy Diver". I actually bought the album because of the album cover, but then, when listening to the songs, I was so amazed by Your great, warm voice and Your vocal skills, that I had to learn more about You and hear everything that You had sung before. And so many diamonds there was to be found there: the early days, Rainbow and Black Sabbath. I was so happy. You become immediately my favorite singer and You will forever be.
The first time I met you was at Sweden Rock Festival in 1999.
I had e-mailed Your Fan club and gotten a backstage pass. I was so nervous. When I finally met You, You were so kind and great. I could not say so much, just said that I loved the show, and You said "Thank you" and shook my hand. You said something more, or asked me something, but I can sadly not remember what it was now. I was still so nervous, but so very happy, too.
One of the fondest memories, is when You read the "Magica story" for Tapio and me in Your dressing room in the town Umeå during the "Monsters of the Millenium"-tour. It was so amazing. You had always told stories and magic through Your great lyrics and there You gave us this ultimate storytelling moment with You as The Storyteller. It was pure magic. I also remember that I just had seen Manowar (I think it was, or maybe Motörhead) and my ears were ringing from their loud show. But I could still hear You and this memory will forever be in my heart.
Another fond memory, is when my girlfriend at the time and me met You in Luleå. You gave us a hug and then asked us if we wanted anything (beer, wine or so) and my girlfriend said "thé?" and You and Craig first got surprised, but then You and Craig run away and got her thé with honey. That was so great of You.
A few years later we met again, again in Luleå, and You asked me if I lived in Luleå. I answered "I live in Piteå, 60 kilometers south of here" and You said: "Ah, you are a 'southern man'" and smiled :) A fun and great memory, too :)
Another time at Sweden Rock Festival, do not remember which year, we also met and I also got to meet the great Wendy. You were busy at that time, lots of people wanted to talk to You, but we met a short while and said hello and You and Wendy were kind and great. As always. So thankful for that. You have done so much for the music, but You never became a "diva" or had a bad attitude against anyone. You always showed respect and caring for everyone. We are many who can learn from You. Of course, if someone were bad to You, You could get angry. If I remember it right, I think You once said that You did not see yourself as "special", but instead "lucky" to have sung with the ones You had sung with and that that is a big difference. And so true. Still, to us all - You were and will always be special. One of a kind.
I'm so thankful, Ronald, for everything You gave us all and will continue to give us through all Your great songs. You will forever live on in our hearts and we will meet again one day.
Missing you. Rest in peace.
All the best,
down I'm swirling around