Campbell “saddened” he didn’t reconcile with Ronnie James Dio

Viv Campbell
Viv Campbell

Former Dio guitarist Viv Campbell says he’s “saddened” that he and the late Ronnie James Dio never had the chance to make peace with each other.

Campbell played on the first three Dio albums but the two camps parted ways acrimoniously in 1986, with Campbell replaced in the lineup by Craig Goldy.

But looking back on the strained relationship he had with Dio, Campbell says he’s sure they could have put their differences aside.

He tells Rock Talk With Mitch Lafon: “In many ways I’m kind of saddened that Ronnie and I never had a chance to make it up.

“I know that there was a part of Ronnie that was really dark and really angry but I know that there was another part of him that was really sweet and forthcoming.

“And I think that under the right circumstances, Ronnie and I would have sat down and had a beer and made our peace and we could have even worked together again and it would have been great.”

But he adds: “There’s a lot of gatekeepers in this industry and one of the things that they do very well is keep people apart. So it wouldn’t have happened as long as those gatekeepers were there.”

Campbell confirmed in March this year that Dio offshoot Last In Line had six tracks written for the follow-up to 2016’s Heavy Crown.

And he’s checked in with an update on the record’s progress, which the band hope to release in early 2018.

Campbell says: “We’ve got about 50% of it written. We begin in the next couple of weeks to do some more shows and we’ll do some more writing.

“We’ll go back in the studio again with Jeff Pilson to produce – we start on September 11. But given Jeff’s schedule and our schedule, it probably won’t be delivered until December, so it would be early 2018 before it gets out.”

He adds: “The new songs are really interesting. I can hear the growth of the band and the growth of the style and the songwriting. Some of the arrangements are a bit more complex than they were on the first album and it’s been a real joy.”

Campbell returned to Riverdogs for their new album California and will head out on the road again with Def Leppard across South America throughout September and October.

Vivian Campbell on Last In Line ‘passion project’