Viv’s too busy – but he also believes it’s too difficult to find someone who can sing like icon Ronnie


Original and best: The first Dio lineup including Campbell, right

Vivian Campbell doesn’t want to take part in any of the upcoming Dio tribute albums – but not for the reasons most might suspect.

The guitarist, who had an infamously difficult relationship with the iconic singer before moving on to play with Def Leppard and Thin Lizzy, says he doesn’t have time to commit to the project. But more important, he doubts anyone can be found to replicate Dio’s voice.

Campbell tells InsideHeavy: “I haven’t been asked, but I’m not too sure I’d want to. Even if I did, I’m not available – I’m about to go on tour with Def Leppard and I’ve been playing with Lizzy, so it’s a pretty busy schedule.

“I’d only be interested in playing with the original guys, Vinny Appice on drums, Jimmy Bain on bass and Claude Schnell on keyboards.

“And I can’t imagine who would sing it. It would need to be one hell of a singer, because Ronnie was definitely the best of the genre. I can’t imagine too many guys can sing like that.”

The war of words between Campbell and Dio continued at a low level after the guitarist was sacked in 1986. The singer died last year but his wife and manager Wendy recently repeated that Campbell “always said he hated all the albums he played on with Ronnie.”

But Campbell states: “Musically it was great. The first incarnation of the Dio band was hands-down the best, and the first two records were really strong.

“After that something happened. A lot of people to this day think I turned my back on the band, but that’s not true: Ronnie fired me half-way through the Sacred Heart tour. I never wanted to leave, but Ronnie had a different idea. We never spoke again.

“He was so much older than me – it was like being in a band with your dad, and in my case, your stepdad. We didn’t have a lot in common other than the music; it was a very strained relationship. I’m sure it was as awkward for him as it was for me.”

Related stories: