Eddie Munson was literally, The Last in Line

Today is World Rock Day, baby. We’ll talk about that in a moment. But on the day the world celebrates music and Peace, it’s worth mentioning the hero of the moment, Eddie Munson (Joseph Quinn) whose brief stint on Stranger Things is uniting the world with a rare passion for an unlikely hero who gave his life to prevent Evil from winning. It was in vain? We don’t know yet. But today we are going to talk about Eddie rocker, the greatest metal of all time.


The popularity of Metallica and the insertion of Master of Puppets may be praised, but I had higher expectations for the musical selection of Eddie, a fan of Iron Maiden (so much so that… well… Eddie is the symbol of the band) and most of all, Ronnie James Dio. And then, maybe even more, Eddie was wearing a denim jacket honoring Dio, with the album The Last In Line, from 1983, giving a gentle spoiler for the character’s fate.

Ronnie James Dio is considered one of the greatest vocalists of all time. His voice remains unrivaled even 12 years after his death from stomach cancer at age 67. The American is credited with having “invented” the greatest symbol of heavy metal, the gesture of imitating a horn with the hands when referring to the Devil. The singer learned from his grandmother, Italian, and repeated the symbol when his songs referred to evil. He picked up. Eternalized.

But Dio was much, much more than an “influencer”. He was one of the best lyricists and frontmen in rock. In the late 1960s, when his band Elf opened for Deep Purple, he caught the attention of iconic guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, who signed him when he formed Rainbow in 1975. Just four years later, Dio had the difficult task of replacing Ozzy Osborne at the head of Black Sabbath, but his musical contribution to the band created some of heavy metal’s greatest classics, such as Heaven and Hell (1980), to name just one of several hits. Although the song speaks precisely of the fight against good and evil, warning that the devil is dangerous and plays with human innocence, the title, the guitars and the voice of Dio (God, in Italian) also became a reference for those who claimed that heavy metal was the rhythm of Devil worshippers, as Eddie was treated in Stranger Things.

When he left Black Sabbath, Ronnie James Dio formed his own band, Dio. His debut album, Holy Diver, went platinum and solidified the musician’s position among the best. The Last in Line, from 1983, is considered his masterpiece.

As an avid reader of fantasy tales, Sir Walter Scott, and science fiction, Dio was an unrivaled lyricist, intelligently bringing the geek universe to the stage. Very typical of the 1980s, their shows had dragons, sword fights, and everything that Dungeons and Dragons fans (look at Eddie Munson again) loved. “When I became a songwriter, I thought what better thing to do than do what no one else is doing… tell fantasy tales. The smartest thing I’ve ever done,” Dio said in an interview.

Eddie’s jacket? It came from the vocalist’s own estate. Costume designer Amy Parris explained in an interview. “We contacted the estate [of the late Ronnie James Dio to buy band shirts]. His widow [Wendy Dio] is in charge of everything, and she offered to send us vintage t-shirts, which was a real dream.”

Eddie’s look was a tribute to the singer even mimicking his hair. Amazing.

As for the song, well, I expected Eddie to be “last in line”. Master of Puppets is messing with everyone, but The Last in Line‘s lyrics were perfect for the scene.

We’re a ship without a storm
The cold without the warm
Light inside the darkness that it needs, yeah

We’re a laugh without a tear
The hope without the fear
We are coming – home

We’re off to the witch
We may never never never come home
But the magic that we’ll feel
Is worth a lifetime

We’re all born upon the cross
We’re the throw before the toss
You can release yourself
But the only way is down

We don’t come alone
We are fire we are stone
We’re the hand that writes
Then quickly moves away

We’ll know for the first time
If we’re evil or divine
We’re the last in line
We’re the last in line

Two eyes from the east
It’s the angel or the beast
And the answer lies between
The good and bad
We search for the truth
We could die upon the tooth
But the thrill of just the chase
Is worth the pain

We’ll know for the first time
If we’re evil or divine
We’re the last in line
We’re the last in line

We’re off to the witch
We may never never never come home
But the magic that we’ll feel
Is worth a lifetime

We’re all born upon the cross
You know we’re the throw before the toss
You can release yourself
But the only way to go is down

We’ll know for the first time
If we’re evil or divine
We’re the last in line
We’re the last in line
See all we shine

We’re the last in
We’re the last in
We’re the last in
We’re the last in
We’re the last in
We’re the first in line, oh

We’re a ship without a storm
We’re the cold inside the warm
We’re the laugh without a tear
We’re the far without the near

We’re the last in line
We’re the last in line
We’re the last in line
See how we shine
We’re the last in line

I was at Dio’s last show in Brazil, a year before his death and six months before he identified cancer that took his life in less than a year. Here is my tribute to him, on World Rock Day.

And, for Eddie Munson.

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