In a new interview with "The Neil Jones Rock Show" on TotalRock, guitarist Doug Aldrich, who was a member of DIO for a short period between 2002 and 2006, was asked if he has seen "Dio: Dreamers Never Die", the first-ever career-spanning documentary on the life and times of legendary metal icon Ronnie James Dio, and whether he was approached to take part in it. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I did see it. I went to the premiere. And there's a couple of photos of me in it, and there's a small little blip where I say 'Ronnie's amazing' or something.
"I filmed a whole bunch of stuff — I mean, I probably spent, like, two hours [being interviewed for the documentary]," he explained. "And one of the cameramen came up to me at the premiere, and he goes, 'Man, you outtakes, the stuff that didn't make it, was so killer.' And I remember what I did. I took the guys in my studio and played them [an unreleased] track, a demo that Ronnie had done. He wanted me to put a solo on it. And he had done the bass and guitar and sang. He played rhythm guitar and played bass on it and Simon [Wright, then-DIO drummer], I would imagine, did the drum programming on it. But it's a haunting tune that nobody's ever heard before. And I played it for them. It didn't make it into the movie.
"The movie is a very upbeat, uplifting film about Ronnie's life," Doug added. "There's so much to cover, I can imagine that, first of all, maybe they wanted to stay away from the stuff that was gonna be too emotional. And also there's only so much time. The movie, I think, is pretty long already, so imagine everybody's interviews being all in there; it would be a 24-hour movie."
The full interview can be heard on "The Neil Jones Rock Show" on TotalRock.
Nearly two years ago, Aldrich told Danny Stoakes that Dio was, in his opinion, "the best heavy metal singer ever. There's a lot of great ones — Rob Halford [JUDAS PRIEST] and Bruce Dickinson [IRON MAIDEN]. All these guys — Biff Byford [SAXON] — they're all killer, but Ronnie, for me, that's the guy that… That [BLACK] SABBATH album was so incredible, the 'Heaven And Hell' album."
Asked what it was like to play classic songs from RAINBOW, BLACK SABBATH and DIO with Ronnie, Doug said: "It was great. I actually could find really comfort in playing both Vivian's [Campbell] stuff and Tony Iommi's. My style is based a little bit on guys like Tony Iommi and also another guy called Gary Moore, who you know. Viv was influenced by Gary, so some of his stuff came a little more natural for me. And Tony was a heavy pentatonic player, and I love the pentatonic scale. So that was always fun. But playing those riffs, like 'Children Of The Sea' — oh, man. And then the [Ritchie] Blackmore stuff, I would do my best to not… I'm a completely different player than Ritchie Blackmore. I guess everyone does their own thing. I love Ritchie — I love how he approached the guitar. He reminded me of all the good things from [Jimi] Hendrix and Jeff Beck combined, and he was putting his original [spin on it]. So, playing his stuff, I would use a Strat.'
He continued: "One of the scariest parts of that [2005 tour where we recorded the] 'Holy Diver - Live' [album] is that we were doing 'Gates Of Babylon' — it's off the 'Long Live Rock 'N' Roll' album — and, man, that solo scared the shit out of me. I did a pretty good version on that night — it was pretty good; it wasn't perfect. I was just, like, 'I've just gotta get through… Once I get through that solo, if I do it halfway decent, I'm gonna be totally confident.' And then I got through that solo, and it was a great show."
In a 2015 interview with CrypticRock.com, Aldrich said that he was "only really in [DIO] for about a year, but in that year, we did do the 'Killing The Dragon' record. I got to contribute to that record with a couple of songs also, which was nice," he said. "We did a lot in that first year. We did that record, a bunch of touring, and a live DVD called 'Evil Or Divine - Live In New York City' . Then I joined WHITESNAKE, but I kept coming back to DIO. There was a couple of tours in 2005. Ronnie said, 'Would you come on tour with me?' I said, 'Absolutely, I just have to speak to David about it.' David said, 'Cool, just make sure you come back,' because we had talked about some new music and he did not want me to split."
Having also played with LION, HOUSE OF LORDS, BAD MOON RISING, HURRICANE and Glenn Hughes, Aldrich joined THE DEAD DAISIES in 2016 and can be heard on that band's last four albums, 2016's "Make Some Noise", 2018's "Burn It Down", 2021's "Holy Ground" and 2022's "Radiance".
Ronnie James Dio, best known for his work with BLACK SABBATH, RAINBOW and DIO, died of stomach cancer in May 2010 at the age of 67.
"Dio: Dreamers Never Die" will have its television premiere on Showtime on December 1. It will also be available to stream via the Showtime app.