By: Gary Graff
A slew of top guitarists and their bands have donated guitars for the Icons & Idols Rock N' Roll Auction, which will be held December 1-2 at Julien's Auctions in Beverly Hills, California, to benefit the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund.
Among those contributing signed instruments are Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi, Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, Metallica, Bon Jovi, former Guns N' Roses six-stringer Slash, Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave, The Nightwatchman), Def Leppard and Iron Maiden. Eddie Van Halen has chipped in a prototype guitar bearing his name, while "Twilight" star Robert Pattinson has signed an ESP acoustic/electric axe.
DBZ Guitars, meanwhile, has designed a hand-carved custom Dio memorial guitar.
A number of non-guitar items will also be auctioned, including a dollar bill signed by all four Beatles, and memorabilia and clothing from Michael Jackson and Frank Sinatra.
Julien's will put everything on preview exhibition starting November 19 and will take bids both in person and online. Dio passed away May 16, 2010 at the age of 67 after battling stomach cancer.
Craig Goldy, a four-time guitarist in Dio's bands and now leader of the Dio Disciples tribute group, tells us that it's important to keeping Dio's legacy alive by any means necessary:
"If we just sat around and did nothing, not everybody would forget Ronnie, 'cause how could you do that, but at the same time a lot of people are being introduced and reintroduced to his music. It's like everybody is mourning the loss of Ronnie but at the same time celebrating what a great musician he was and the great music he created and what a great person he was. So we're not just keeping his music alive but also the idea of just how important a person he was, and how important he was to the world."
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