Vivian Campbell: Dio needed proper manager, not wife Wendy

Vivian Campbell
Vivian Campbell (Image credit: Getty)

Vivian Campbell says Dio needed a “proper” band manager – and not the singer’s ex-wife Wendy.

The guitarist, who says he was fired by Wendy because he refused to accept a new contract, says the woman was not “musical” enough to understand that the group were a “creative unit” – and they weren’t just Ronnie James Dio’s “backing band.”

He tells All That Shreds: “I would like to make emphasis on the point that I was fired from the band. So many people here 30-something years later people still think that I left Dio, but it was never my intention to leave the band.

“The reason I was fired from the band was that I refused to accept a contract that they offered me which was contrary to the original agreement Ronnie had made with Jimmy, Vinny and myself when the band was first formed. Wendy had different ideas for how it was going to be and for me it was a matter of principle and I refused to sign the contract and that’s why I was fired.”

Campbell has previously spoken out about Wendy – claiming she wanted Dio to be a solo act and thought each band member was replaceable.

He continues: “The original Dio band was a four-piece creative unit and Wendy never understood that. She’s not musical. So, Ronnie and I, I think would have been fine. She doesn’t know that the sign of a great band is the sum of the parts.”

Campbell also says that, despite his occasionally “awkward” relationship with Dio, he’d have worked with him again if Wendy hadn’t been on the scene.

He says: “Hypothetically if somebody else, if Ronnie had a proper manager and not his ex-wife, I would have never been fired from the band and Ronnie and I would’ve never had an issue. We didn’t communicate very well together on a personal level, but on a musical level we worked well together.

“Would I have gotten back together with Ronnie? Yes, but Wendy Dio never would have never allowed it to happen if she was involved in his career. Right up until his death she was involved in his career. I’m going to go with ‘no’ on that.”

Campbell’s Dio offshoot project Last In Line released a lyric video for their track Already Dead last month. They’re currently on the road in Europe in support of their debut album, Heavy Crown.

Last In Line: Heavy Crown tour dates

Nov 13: Zwolle Hedon, Netherlands
Nov 14: Paris Le Trianon, France
Nov 16: Strasbourg La Laiterie, France
Nov 17: Stuttgart LKA Longhorn, Germany
Nov 18: Telfs Rathaussaal, Austria
Nov 19: Zlin Winter Masters Of Rock, Czech Republic
Nov 21: Warsaw Progresja Music Zone, Poland
Nov 22: Berlin Huzleys Neue Welt, Germany
Nov 23: Cologne Luxor Koln, Germany
Nov 25: London O2 Academy Islington, UK
Nov 27: Bristol Bierkeller, UK
Nov 28: Nottingham Rescue Rooms, UK
Nov 30: Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall, UK
Dec 01: Newcastle O2 Academy, UK
Dec 02: Sheffield Corporation, UK
Dec 03: Belfast Limelight, UK

2016 Preview: Last In Line

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.