RONNIE ROMERO Calls Out ADRIAN VANDENBERG For Not Telling 'The Truth' About End Of Their Working Relationship

October 26, 2023

In a new interview with Artists On Record Starring ADIKA Live!, Chilean-born singer Ronnie Romero (Ritchie Blackmore's RAINBOW) explained why he parted ways with VANDENBERG after recording only one album with the Adrian Vandenberg-led group, 2020's "2020". He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I don't like when people, they tell a version of a story just to show that, 'I'm cool, and if something happens, it was not my fault. It was because somebody else.' And I think that's not fair. It is not bad to tell the truth."

He continued: "We did a record, and we did a good record, and we worked in L.A. doing this record with [producer] Bob Marlette. And it was great; it was a great experience. I think we did a great record. The people really liked it. But, unfortunately, COVID happened. And then recently I saw that [Adrian] said that he was looking for another singer because he wanted to play shows and I was not available, which is not true. And I have e-mails — tons of e-mails — telling to him during the COVID, even with my wife telling them, like, 'We should do a video clip anyways. We can do it this way. I can shoot my parts in Bucharest,' because I live in Bucharest in Romania. 'I can shoot my parts here and you can shoot your part there in in Netherlands. And I can do it by myself because I do video clips I can put the edit together and we can do something.' And it was many times I said that. And he was, like, 'I don't know. I don't know. COVID. I don't know. COVID.' And we ended up doing just videos [with] lyrics. And then suddenly, one day, he was planning to maybe to make some shows after the lockdown because there was, obviously, the main idea to play some shows, and 'we're gonna play this, we're gonna play that.' And then, suddenly, I remember one day I saw it on Instagram, there's a VANDENBERG show [that was scheduled]. And at that time I was talking with Michael Schenker to make shows with Michael Schenker. And I said 'yes' to Michael Schenker because I didn't have any news from VANDENBERG to play shows. So, what happened, they [VANDENBERG] were planning a tour with me but without telling me because somebody on the management office, they forgot to put me on copy on the e-mails. So, they thought that was okay for me to make the tour because I didn't say anything. So when I learned and I discovered that they were planning to make shows, I was committed with Michael Schenker. So Adrian told me, 'Well, this is your band. We did a record together. We should go together with a tour.' And I said, 'You're right.' So I talked to Michael Schenker, and there is a proof of that, if you ask to Michael Schenker management. I said, 'Listen. There's a misunderstanding here. There is this problem. Sorry, I cannot do the tour with you and Michael Schenker. I need to go with VANDENBERG.' And they understood. And I came back to VANDENBERG and I said, 'I talked to them already, so I'm free. We can do the tour.' And [Adrian] was, like, 'Ah, well, I talked to the record label, and they think that it's better to find another singer.' So that was it."

Ronnie added: "If somebody comes in and says, 'That's not true,' I have all the e-mails, all the communications in messenger, everything that... 'Listen, I just quit Michael Schenker to make the tour with you, and now you're telling me that it's not happening because... Why? Because the record label told you that they should find another singer. Because of a tour, nobody told me. Because somebody on your management forgot to put me on copy on the e-mails.'"

He continued: "And actually, also, we were planning after to make a statement together saying that we are no longer together playing, I'm no longer in the band. And he was telling me, 'Yeah, I'm gonna do something. Let me talk to the record label. Let me talk to the manager. I will come back to you tomorrow.' And then he didn't come back, and then another week and another week and another week [went by]. And I was pushing him to, 'Let's make a statement because the people [are] asking if I'm gonna play the shows with you, and that is my face on the flyers. So I think that's not correct.' And he was saying, 'Yeah,' whatever. And then suddenly he made a statement saying that I'm not in the band anymore because I'm playing in too many projects, I'm involved in too many things and I don't have time for VANDENBERG, which is not true."

Asked by host Stefan Adika if he thinks Adrian's "ego" was the reason their relationship broke down the way it did, Ronnie said: "Well, I think in a way, obviously, it's because his name is Adrian Vandenberg, so he can't be the bad guy. 'So who am I gonna blame? I'm gonna blame the new guy. Of course. And it's very convenient for me that the guy is playing in a lot of bands. So there's a story that the people can believe.' Obviously the people believe in him because he said, 'No. I wanted to play shows and Ronnie is involved in too many projects and didn't have time,' which, on the eyes of the fans, it is true. But they don't know the real story, that I was pushing him to make shows. I was pushing him to make video clips. I was pushing him to make something with the band during the pandemic. And also even I organized, and my wife, she organized to make a couple of acoustic showcases in Romania, because we had a very short lockdown here in Romania because the COVID was not that bad here and we were allowed to play shows with a reduced audience. So we organized a showcase with acoustic songs in Hard Rock I in Bucharest. She organized that because she wanted to show the band. And [Adrian] didn't want to."

Romero reiterated that he had every intention of playing shows with VANDENBERG in support of the "2020" album. "I got committed with Michael Schenker and then, because of I discovered we [VANDENBERG] have a tour — somebody forgot to tell me — I quit Michael Schenker to make the VANDENBERG tour," he said. "And then [Adrian] came in and said, 'No, listen, I'm gonna find another singer.'"

As for where his relationship with Adrian stands today, Ronnie said: "We ended up not in a good way, [and] that was it."

Last month, Adrian told Chris Akin Presents about VANDENBERG's split with Romero: "Almost everybody's life got thrown upside down when COVID hit. Ronnie lives in Romania, and in that part of the world they were allowed quite a lot earlier than we [were] in Holland, Germany, France and England and stuff to start doing shows again. So Ronnie lives from his music, of course, obviously — he does like a zillion of zillion projects — so he started earlier putting stuff in his agenda. And then when we were finally allowed to tour, our agendas didn't match anymore. So I didn't want to wait for another 10 months because I'd been sitting on my ass touring-wise for almost three years; it was impossible to tour. So we parted ways. I said, 'Sorry, man. I really wanna tour. And you are already doing shows. I wanna do shows.' I couldn't wait. So, yeah, that's when I decided, 'I have to find another singer.'"

VANDENBERG has since recruited Swedish vocalist Mats Levén to replace Romero.

Levén made his recording debut with VANDENBERG on the band's fifth full-length offering, "Sin", which was released on August 25 via Mascot Records/Mascot Label Group.

Photo credit: Alex Solca

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