VIVIAN CAMPBELL On Working With RONNIE JAMES DIO: 'It Was Kind Of Like Being In A Band With Your Stepdad'

December 3, 2017

DEF LEPPARD and LAST IN LINE guitarist Vivian Campbell was interviewed by U105's "The Breakfast Show With Maurice Jay" last month about receiving this year's Oh Yeah Legend Award, which recognizes the exceptional contribution of a musician or music industry figure from Northern Ireland. You can now watch the chat below.

Asked what it was like to work with Ronnie James Dio in the original incarnation of the DIO band in the early 1980s, Vivian said: "It was very surreal. It was strange. I mean, musically, it was great; it was very dynamic. But I always felt very uncomfortable around Ronnie, because I was a fan — I was a huge fan. It was kind of like being in a band with your stepdad, in a way, because he was very protective of me. And trying to protect me from Los Angeles in the 1980s, you can imagine what was going on. [Laughs] And I appreciated that.

"We had a very strange relationship, but it really was like being in a band with your step parent, 'cause he was just about old enough to be my dad," Vivian continued. "And I had so much respect for him professionally. I was literally listening to [BLACK SABBATH's] 'Mob Rules' and [RAINBOW's] 'Rainbow Rising' and 'Long Live Rock 'N' Roll', all that stuff, and then the phone rings, and it's Dio. So it was bizarre; it really was."

Campbell and Ronnie James Dio worked together on the first three DIO albums — 1983's "Holy Diver", 1984's "The Last in Line" and 1985's "Sacred Heart" — before the guitarist left to join WHITESNAKE in 1987. Vivian later publicly took issue with Ronnie's need for total control of the band, claiming that finances played a major part in the bad blood that preceded the split.

"The DIO thing, it was three albums, three tours," Vivian told "The Breakfast Show With Maurice Jay". The business side of it didn't work out too well." However, according to Campbell, "It wasn't about money; it was about principle. I'm very big on principle. I believe when somebody shakes your hand and looks you in the eye and you make an agreement, you have an agreement. And when people start reneging on agreements, I have an issue with that. I'm very big on principle."

Even though the rest of Vivian's bandmates in DIO agreed with the guitarist, he was the only one that spoke up, eventually resulting in his dismissal from the group.

"I was a squeaky wheel, because I wasn't married, I didn't have a mortgage, I had nothing to lose," Campbell said. "I'm thinking, 'Hey, a deal's a deal. What's happening here?' So it was easy for them to just get rid of me. But it is what it is. That's water under the bridge, as they say."

Campbell, drummer Vinny Appice and bassist Jimmy Bain were part of the original DIO lineup, which reunited in 2012 alongside singer Andrew Freeman to form LAST IN LINE.

When LAST IN LINE formed, the intent was to celebrate Ronnie James Dio's early work by reuniting the members of the original DIO lineup. After playing shows that featured a setlist composed exclusively of material from the first three DIO albums, the band decided to move forward and create new music in a similar vein.

Find more on Vivian campbell
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • reddit
  • email

Comments Disclaimer And Information

BLABBERMOUTH.NET uses the Facebook Comments plugin to let people comment on content on the site using their Facebook account. The comments reside on Facebook servers and are not stored on BLABBERMOUTH.NET. To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@) with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).