Former Queensrÿche lead singer Geoff Tate opened up about working with late musician Ronnie James Dio for a special project during his latest interview with The Eddie Trunk Podcast.
‘Hear ‘n Aid’ was a charity record organized by Ronnie James Dio, Jimmy Bain, and Vivian Campbell and released on May 26, 1986. They invited 40 heavy metal and rock musicians such as Rob Halford, Yngwie Malmsteen, Vince Neil, and Ted Nugent to perform and record a song from the album.
So 40 musicians gathered in a studio and recorded ‘Stars’ and the rest of the songs from ‘Hear ‘n Aid’ were performed by Rush, Accept, Motörhead, KISS, and Scorpions, but many couldn’t join them because of their busy schedules. The project aimed to help African people who were struggling with famine.
As one of the singers, who participated in the project and sang in ‘Stars,’ Geoff Tate recalled the recording session saying that he was scared to death after Ronnie James Dio invited him to the charity project. Tate explained the reason behind his fear and highlighted that he was new in the business.
Tate also revealed that he was so intimidated that he wore his sunglasses all the time. He was probably one of the least famous musicians among all these legendary artists who had produced countless hit records. However, Dio was always there to support and help him during that process.
In Tate’s words, he said:
“I was scared to death, completely overwhelmed by it. I wasn’t until I talked with Ronnie on the phone and he invited me down. Ronnie wanted me to do it so I said ‘Absolutely,’ Ronnie was a mentor to me. He was a fantastic singer. We went to L.A., and when I showed up at the studio, it was like a circus going on.
I have never seen so many people and all of these famous musicians… I was new to the business at that time just making the second or third record. I was so lucky. Ronnie taught me the studio and showed me where the microphone was. He got me everything I needed. He was just singing the way he does, and I’m standing on the other side of the glass and looking from there.
All of these famous musicians are in the control room listening, and there were Neal Schon and Ted Nugent in there. The place was full of these super musicians, watching the session, listening to it. I was just shaking and intimidated. I just sat there with sunglasses all the time, and I couldn’t take them off, I was just looking through the window, listening.”
You can listen to the song below.