Playboy Mansion
Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

Kat Von D, Eric Hendrikx, Rita Haney, Mike Vallely

On November 1st, 2011, after a day well-spent interviewing and photographing Ben Harper at his Santa Monica residence for an upcoming article in Revolt In Style Magazine (, I attended the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund Awards Gala at the famed Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles. I accompanied honoree Rita Haney, and our guests Kat Von D and Mike and Ann Vallely. Also in attendance was Slash, Glen Hughes, Keith Emerson, Craig Goldy, Rudy Sarzo and many other rockers and supporters. VH1’s That Metal Show host Eddie Trunk served as special guest emcee and surprised recipient of the Long Live Rock ‘N Roll Award.

Among the honorees, the King of Rock ‘n Roll Award went to Ronnie James Dio’s longtime bandmate and friend Terry “Geezer” Butler, bassist for Black Sabbath and Heaven & Hell. Rita Haney, a tireless fund-raiser, founder of Dimebash in memory of her late boyfriend “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott of the band Pantera, accepted the Stand Up and Shout Award for her continuous contributions to the Dio Cancer Fund.

Blacktooth Grins and shots of Patron were shared between myself, Rita and Wendy Dio. Another big highlight was chatting with Geezer, a man of very few words. After the awards Rita, Ann, Mike and I took an escorted tour of the Playboy Mansion grounds, including the infamous Grotto and the Zoo. And to finish the night proper, and in pure rocker fashion, Rita, Wendy, Eddie and I, with friends in tow, dropped into the Rainbow Bar and Grill for a late night snack.