It’s not that often when metal creeps its way into mainstream pop culture. So when metal/hard rock acts do actually pop up in beloved sitcoms, dramatic films, cartoons or even reality series, it’s kind of awesome. So in the weekly column Remember When, Metal Insider recalls the most random instances of metal’s elite appearing in front of the camera.
The reaction to Ronnie James Dio’s hologram has been… mixed. With that in mind, let’s take a look back at something we can all agree was awesome: Dio’s cameo in the Tenacious D movie The Pick Of Destiny.
Tenacious D made their love of Dio known on their debut album with the track simply titled “Dio.” Even the late singer acknowledged their praise, having them appear in the video for “Push.” Tenacious D even won a Grammy for their more recent tribute to Dio… which as much as we love both Dio and Tenacious D still doesn’t sit well with us (and many others). So when Jack Black and Kyle Gass set forth to make a Tenacious D movie, two rock stars seemed guaranteed to make a cameo: Dio and Dave Grohl (who reprised his role as Satan from the “Tribute” video).
Dio’s appearance came during the “Kickapoo” musical scene. After an altercation with his religious father who doesn’t approve of his rock star aspirations, played by Meatloaf, a young Jack Black prays to a poster of Dio for guidance. The singer then pops out of the poster to tell the distraught JB that he must go forth on a journey to form the world’s most awesome band… Oh, did we mention that this was set as an epic rock opera?
The Pick Of Destiny may have been a disappointment at the box office, but metal fans will forever be grateful to Tenacious D for providing this on-screen moment from Dio. Even Jack Black considers his appearance to be the best part of the film, telling Rolling Stone that he “… really can’t imagine the movie without him. He was actually too good – by far, the best part of the movie. Look at how many downloads his scene has on YouTube. He’s a tough act to follow indeed!” In that same interview with Rolling Stone, Black also recalled recording Dio’s vocals in the studio, while also admitting “I was embarrassed because the song we wrote borrowed heavily from a song he wrote years before, [Black Sabbath’s] ‘Neon Knights,’ but while he recognized the similarities he graciously placed it in the category of an ‘homage’ and gave us his full blessing.”
Relive the “Kickapoo” musical scene from The Pick Of Destiny below.