Vivian Campbell On Revisiting Dio: ‘I Wrote Those Riffs. I’m Going To Take Them Back’
It’s been well documented that Def Leppard’s Vivian Campbell had a complicated relationship with Ronnie James Dio during the time that he was playing guitar for Dio. But their collaboration was certainly a successful one, illuminating Campbell’s talents as a guitar player as record sales brought three gold and platinum albums for the Dio band, beginning with the band’s debut release ‘Holy Diver’ in 1982.
The band's third album ‘Sacred Heart,’ would be the final release to feature Campbell, who was fired by Dio, a situation which drummer Vinny Appice says was “chalked down to business decisions” that Campbell didn’t agree with. The parting would bring years of tension between Campbell and Dio and it became a subject of harsh commentary in interviews.
In a new discussion with Cleveland Scene, Campbell recalls one interview where he called Dio “one of the vilest people in the industry” and says that the interview came at a bad time when he was jet-lagged and he now says, “I do regret my choice of language.” But he also says that he does have “strong feelings” about his time in the Dio band.
“I had a poor relationship with Ronnie and his wife Wendy. Musically, it was great and I was proud of the records and still am. I thought the band was amazing. I had a hard time with Ronnie and he had a real hard time with me,” says Campbell
It’s been said in the past that Campbell quit the band and he still bristles when thinking about that statement. “I didn’t quit that band. They quit me. I’m proud of those records and for years and years, Ronnie and Wendy excluded me from that.”
Campbell’s recent announcement of his plan to reunite the original Dio band represents his goal to “take the bull by the horns” and reclaim his spot in the Dio legacy. He explains, “No one deserves to be onstage playing those songs from a guitar player point of view more than me. I wrote those riffs. I’m going to take them back.”
Though he's made his plans known about reuniting the lineup from his time in the band, dates have yet to be announced.