JAKE E. LEE Says His Six-Week Stint In DIO Ended Because His Guitar Playing Was Too 'American'

November 21, 2018

Jake E. Lee says that he was fired from DIO after only six weeks because Ronnie James Dio "was looking for more of a European sort of sound."

While enjoying a short-lived tenure as guitarist in ROUGH CUTT, Jake's playing caught the attention of the legendary heavy metal singer, whose wife had managed ROUGH CUTT. Jake and Ronnie reportedly wrote a bunch of songs together in 1982 before Ozzy tapped Jake to become the permanent replacement in the Osbourne band for the deceased Randy Rhoads.

Asked during a new interview with the "Cobras & Fire" podcast why he was fired from the DIO band, Jake replied (hear audio below): "I think that [Ronnie] was looking for more of a European sort of sound. 'Cause back then, and maybe to this day — I don't know — heavy metal, you had the American version and you had the European version. And the American version relied a lot on VAN HALEN; that was kind of the American metal sound. And I am more of that school — of Eddie Van Halen, Southern California. There was a bunch of us. And I was more of that. Maybe a little busier on my rhythm stuff than Dio would have liked. And I think that was the main reason."

Jake's explanation for why he was dismissed from DIO appears to have been corroborated by statements from Wendy Dio, who told Metal Hammer magazine that Ronnie "liked the way British musicians thought. I think that's why he wanted to have British players in the band" before making the "Holy Diver" album.

Lee played on two Ozzy records: "Bark At The Moon" and 1986's "The Ultimate Sin".

Jake and his band RED DRAGON CARTEL released a new album titled "Patina" on November 9.

Photo credit: Joseph Gorelick

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