The wife of the late Ronnie James Dio, Wendy Dio, says that she doesn’t think her late husband and former DIO guitarist Vivian Campbell would have made up if the vocalist was still alive.
Ronnie, Vivian, drummer Vinny Appice and bassist Jimmy Bain were the initial lineup of DIO who would play on the band’s first three albums — 1983’s “Holy Diver”, 1984’s “The Last In Line” and 1985’s “Sacred Heart” — before Campbell would leave in 1987 to join WHITESNAKE. The guitarist would later on slam Ronnie’s need for total control of the band, claiming that finances played a major part his exit from the group. Specifically, Campbell said that “it had become increasingly clear” to him that “Wendy (as Ronnie’s manager) was determined to separate Ronnie from the band. She didn’t see DIO as one creative unit. Ronnie knew better, but I suspect that in an effort to win back Wendy’s love” after the couple split, “he was willing to bend to her whims. Thus began the beginning of the end for the original DIO band.”
Wendy was asked in a new interview with Ultimate Classic Rock if it was important for her to revisit Ronnie’s falling out with Vivian in the just-released memoir, “Rainbow In The Dark: The Autobiography”. (Wendy, along with writer Mick Wall, completed the book after Ronnie’s death). Wendy replied: “I wanted to, because I am so sick to death of hearing Vivian saying things like, ‘Ronnie paid me a hundred dollars a week.’ Well, how did he buy a Ferrari with a hundred dollars a week? Ronnie was always fair to his people. It costs a lot of money to put that show on. All of the time, we paid for everything — buses, trucks, hotels, per diems, lighting, sound and everything else. I think he treated the band very fairly. The problem is Vivian, for some reason, decided he wanted to be Ronnie. Well, you know, the band was called DIO. But the fact was that Ronnie had already been in RAINBOW and paid his dues and then in BLACK SABBATH and paid his dues. He wasn’t just off the street and a nobody. I got really upset. I get really upset when I hear him saying all of the things about Ronnie. Ronnie isn’t here to defend himself. I will. I have all of the paperwork to prove that. How much he did get paid. That just kind of upsets me that people will say, ‘Oh, Ronnie was cheap.’ Well, Ronnie was never ever cheap at all.”
Asked if she thinks there would have been a chance to reconcile the relationship between Ronnie and Vivian, Wendy replied: “No. I don’t think so, because there was too many nasty things by both of them said in the press, and I think you can’t undo those things.”
Campbell, Appice and (the now deceased) Jimmy Bain reunited in 2012 alongside singer Andrew Freeman to form LAST IN LINE.