You might have read Bob Dylan being interviewed by Jeff Slate (paywall version). Well worth reading, if you haven’t already.
The Official Bob Dylan Site reposted the WSJ Q&A, which includes this answer:
When you first hear a song, it might be related to what time of day you hear it. Maybe at daybreak – at dawn with the sun in your face – it would probably stay with you longer than if you heard it at dusk. Or maybe, if you first hear it at sunset, it would probably mean something different, than if you heard it first at 2 in the afternoon. Or maybe you hear something in the dead of night, in the darkness, with night eyes. Maybe it’ll be “Eleanor Rigby,” and it puts you in touch with your ancient ancestors. You’re liable to remember that for a while. “Star Gazer,” the Ronnie James Dio song would probably mean a lot more to you if you first heard it at midnight under a full moon beneath an expanding universe, than if you first heard it in the middle of a dreary day with rain pouring down.
(click here to continue reading non-paywalled Bob Dylan Q&A about “The Philosophy of Modern Song” | The Official Bob Dylan Site.)
I lost track of Ronnie James Dio’s solo career after his first two LPs, so I don’t know if he ever played Stargazer live. But in my mind, this epic song is from the band that Dio was the singer and lyricist for, Rainbow, for a couple of records, including Rising, and is a favorite of mine as well. The band was really Ritchie Blackmore’s, he gets co-credit on Stargazer. Ronnie James Dio’s operatic voice is the star, as is usually the case.
Here’s a YouTube version
I can see why Bob Dylan is a fan, there are some religious undertones to the lyric, as well as some subtext of rock star hubris. Or maybe Bob just appreciates Dio’s powerful voice? Or maybe they hung out in New York? Who knows.