Vivian Campbell, renowned guitarist for Def Leppard, Last In Line and Riverdogs, was recently interviewed by Clint Switzer for the Music Mania Podcast and spoke about his departure from Dio.
Campbell stated (as transcribed by Blabbermouth with slight edits):
“Absolutely. Yeah, it’s very cathartic for me to be able to do this. If Ronnie were alive, he’d approve. Then again, if Ronnie were still alive, I would have never done it. If there was a still a version of the Dio band out there playing, I would never put Last In Line together. It just seemed that after Ronnie had passed away, it was a chance for me to reassess that situation. It was unfortunate that things ended the way they did with Ronnie.
I’m sure, knowing Ronnie the way I knew him, I’m sure if we had met each other under the right circumstances, without other people around us, one night, we could of have sat down and had a beer and probably of made amends, hopefully. That was never to be. We both made the mistake of going after each other through the media, which is never a good idea. But you get sucked into these things. So, relationships are complicated. My relationship with Ronnie was always very complicated, even at the best of times. It didn’t end well. One thing that really bugged me over the years was that everyone thinks that I left the Dio band, that I turned my back on it.
I did turn my back on it, but only after I was fired. That’s why I turned my back on it. It left such a bad taste in my mouth. I’d given so much to that band for those early albums and to Ronnie. All I wanted was to be paid at least more than the roadcrew. [Laughs] That was conflated into my wanting equal share with Ronnie, which is absolutely not true. It was such an ugly business and the way that I was slandered by the Dio camp and they said that I left the band. I actually did not.
I was fired in the middle of a tour. It hurt me so much for so many years, I just wanted nothing to do with it. Only after Ronnie passed away and with the passage of so many years and perhaps my having cancer diagnosis as well and dealing with all that makes you reassess a lot of things in life. I was able to go back to that and realize that despite the hurt that was there from the way they treated me, it was still my heritage. I still created those songs and those albums with Ronnie and with Jimmy [Bain, bass] and Vinny [Appice, drums].
We all gave our heart and soul into that. It was very, very much a collaborative group effort. It’s very, very much our heritage. It’s much my heritage as it was Jimmy Bain‘s as it was Vinny Appice‘s as it was Ronnie‘s. It’s nice to be able to get back that and see it in a whole different light and enjoy it.”
Interview with Vivian Campbell by Music Mania Podcast: