Drummer Vinny Appice has looked back on his final recording session with Ronnie James Dio.

The two musicians were longtime collaborators, having joined forces in Black Sabbath, Dio and Heaven & Hell. During an appearance on the The Double Stop podcast, Appice reflected on the metal icon's later years.

“I didn’t know he was that sick. He would complain about his stomach,” the drummer admitted, recalling the days before Dio’s diagnosis. “Then we found out he’s got cancer. Oh fuck. Stage four. They told Ronnie, ‘You’ve got stage four stomach cancer.’ But he thought it went to 10.”

Appice noted that Dio initially “seemed to respond” to treatment. Their last session in the studio together came when the singer had to record some overdubs for a Heaven & Hell live release.

READ MORE: Top 50 Classic Heavy Metal Albums

“He had to replace some part – like a little bit of a part, not much. Like a couple of words,” Appice explained. “It was just me, the engineer, Wyn Davis, and Ronnie. We’re in the studio and we’re going, ‘I wonder how this is going to go.’ Because he hasn’t sang, he’s been doing chemo.”

'It Was Amazing'

Once behind the mic, Dio managed to blow everyone’s expectations away – including his own.

“It was like, that was insane,” Appice recalled. “It was amazing. It was only a couple of words, but he had to fix a couple of parts. But he was like, ‘Yeah! Good news.’”

Not long afterward, Dio called Appice and said he wanted to rehearse for Heaven & Hell’s upcoming tour dates.

READ MORE: The Night Ronnie James Dio Played His Final Show

“Ronnie Called and said, ‘Look, I’d like to get together’ – because Geezer [Butler] lived in LA at the time – ‘with you and Geezer and me and just go through some stuff so I can sing.’”

“That never happened,” Appice glumly remarked. Dio died May 16, 2010.

Dio Albums Ranked

Ronnie James Dio’s discography is so extensive that you almost forget he recorded 10 albums with his own self-named band.

Gallery Credit: Eduardo Rivadavia

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