Viv Campbell: Dio's widow wanted Ronnie to go solo

Vivian Campbell says that Wendy Dio didn’t want her husband Ronnie to form his band in the early 80s.

The former Dio and current Def Leppard guitarist says that Ronnie’s wife and then-manager thought each member of the group was replaceable.

Campbell tells KNAC (via Blabbermouth): “The unfortunate truth is that Wendy Dio never wanted Dio to be a band. She always wanted it to be about Ronnie, the solo artist.

“In her mind, it didn’t matter who was in the band with Ronnie, who was standing behind him – bass player, guitar players, drummers, whatever. We were all interchangeable.

“I strongly disagree with that. When you find three or four people that work together and create a great sound, that’s the chemistry of a band. That’s unique. When you start pulling people out of that equation, it’s never going to be the same.”

Campbell also admits that the late frontman’s widow didn’t give her blessing to Last In Line, the Dio spin-off that the original members of the band formed in 2012.

He adds: ”Vinny Appice still has occasional contact with Wendy. When we first started doing Last In Line, she said something along the lines of, ‘Ronnie would be spinning in his grave.’ So there you go.”

Last In Line bassist Jimmy Bain died from lung cancer last month, aged 68, while the band were taking part in Def Leppard’s cruising festival in the Bahamas.

Campbell recently admitted the future of the band was in doubt after Bain’s death. They also cancelled the tour they’d planned to support their debut album, Heavy Crown.


  1. Devil In Me
  2. Martyr
  3. Starmaker
  4. Burn This House Down
  5. I Am Revolution
  6. Blame It On Me
  7. In Flames
  8. Already Dead
  9. Curse The Day
  10. Orange Glow
  11. Heavy Crown
  12. The Sickness

Former TeamRock news desk member Christina joined our team in late 2015, and although her time working on online rock news was fairly brief, she made a huge impact by contributing close to 1500 stories. Christina also interviewed artists including Deftones frontman Chino Moreno and worked at the Download festival. In late 2016, Christina left rock journalism to pursue a career in current affairs. In 2021, she was named Local Weekly Feature Writer of the Year at the Scottish Press Awards.