ELF (1970–75). Ronnie James Dio (vocals/bass), David Feinstein (guitar), Mickey Lee Sould (guitar/keyboards), Gary Driscoll (drums).
Elf was one of the early bands that future Black Sabbath, Rainbow, and Dio singer Ronnie James Dio toiled in before he hit the limelight. The band started in 1970 and played a lighter, more progressive sound than Dio would later pioneer with Rainbow, Sabbath, and eventually Dio. The band consisted of Dio (who also played bass) as well as keyboard/guitarist Mickey Lee Sould, guitarist David Feinstein, and drummer Gary Driscoll. In 1975 most of the band, including Dio, left to form Rainbow with Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore. While Elf were not the best known of Dio’s many bands, they demonstrated the potential of Dio as a frontman and also helped pave the way for the regular use of fantasy-related lyrics common to the metal lyrical lexicon (outside of Sabbath and Led Zeppelin).
Discography: Elf (Epic, 1972); LA./59 (MGM, 1974); Trying to Burn the Sun (MGM, 1975); The Gargantuan (Safari, 1978); Carolina County Ball (Safari, 1994).