A&GS Presents: Ride For Ronnie At Los Encinos Park!! – Los Angeles, CA 5/6/18

A sunny 90-degree day filled with beautiful motorcycles, good booze, and rock ‘n’ roll sounds like a dream day, and on May 6, this was my day. I was honored to have the opportunity to attend and cover the fourth annual Ride for Ronnie motorcycle rally and concert, hosted by Eddie Trunk and Melissa Maxx of 95.5 KLOS. The event is a benefit to The Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund, which last year raised over $40,000 through ticket sales, donations, and live and silent auctions of one-of-a-kind rock collectibles.

This year’s lineup included Steven Adler’s All Star Band featuring Steven Adler (Guns N’ Roses), Constantine Maroulis (American Idol, Rock of Ages), Ricky Warwick (Black Star Riders, Thin Lizzy), and many more in this rotating band of truly all stars! Dio Disciples, Beastö Blancö (featuring Chuck Garric and Calico Cooper, daughter of rock icon Alice Cooper), Classless Act (featuring Slash’s son, London Hudson), One More From the Road (Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute band) and Railgun joined this year’s lineup, what a fun day!

The day started at Harley-Davidson of Glendale at 9am for a continental breakfast, then it was pedals up at 11am to ride through the streets of Los Angeles to Los Encinos Park. The roar of the bikes arriving started at about 11:30am; I watched bikes and riders come in and park, and the energy was immediately at a high. I knew this was going to be a great show, filled with great people. Many riders were more than happy to ham it up for the photographers, and at one point I decided to take a short 30-second video clip for my Instagram account. I watched nearly 300 bikes pull in, and in that 30-seconds I decided to film, one rider stops to look at me and says “Erica, right?” I recently moved to Los Angeles, so people recognizing me is still odd, haha.

Bikers and spectators rushed into the concert to watch Railgun, who I sadly missed while taking photos of the bikes. I saw video the following day and was sad I missed their set, please check them out. Second band up was Classless Act, debuting their first performance. I highly recommend you check these boys out! They created quite the buzz amongst those who saw them. In between each band there were live auctions and raffles that included some amazing items such as signed guitars, VIP packages, tour pamphlets, and many other things that one would be hard-pressed to find!

Next up was One More From the Road. Many classics were covered, but a crowd favorite is the one that made me smile ear to ear. I had just been joking with a friend that there is always someone in a crowd that yells “Play Free Bird!!”, how funny would it be to actually hear it one day. Well this band had reason to play it, and closed out their set with a fantastic cover of that very song.

The sun was warm now, and the crowd was concerned that Beastö Blancö might melt in such bright sunlight. The goth-rock looking band owned the stage, and everyone was dancing, banging their heads, and having a great time. This was my personal favorite performance of the day, and the energy they brought and stage props created a memorable set for sure! I will be adding this band to my list of must-see’s for touring.

What is a Ronnie James Dio fundraiser without Dio Disciples?!? Tim “Ripper” Owens and Oni Logan (Lynch Mob) do a great job as frontmen singing the songs. I have heard other cover bands, and let’s face it, they are terrible. Not this group though! The surviving members and friends of Dio played a set that Ronnie himself would have enjoyed the hell out of. Heads were banging, bodies were moving, and horns were raised!

Closing out the amazing day was Steven Adler’s All-Star Band, with a rotation of amazing musicians that will melt any faces. Last year’s performance by them was electrifying, and this year was no different (minus the absence of rain). Every person that played this year in the band you could tell they were happy to be there, doing what they were doing. The hour set flew by in what seemed like a few short minutes.

The day ended with everyone smiling and saying goodbyes until next year, and the roar of the bikes faded into the silence of birds chirping. This year was the largest turn out for Ride for Ronnie, and I am eager to see the final number for how much was raised. Recently, the Dio Cancer Fund has committed money to support the research of Dr. David Wong and his team at UCLA in developing a simple, non-invasive saliva test for the early detection of cancer, keeping with the Fund’s mission of cancer prevention, research and education. If you were unable to attend this year’s event, please feel free to donate online at http://diocancerfund.org/


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