During a recent appearance on Cobras & Fire, guitarist Jake E. Lee talked about spending six weeks in Dio’s band in 1982, shortly before getting an invitation to join Ozzy’s group.
Jake and Ronnie reportedly wrote a number of songs together. Directly asked on why he thinks Dio fired him, Lee replied (via Blabbermouth):
“I think that [Ronnie] was looking for more of a European sort of sound. ‘Cause back then, and maybe to this day – I don’t know – heavy metal, you had the American version and you had the European version.
“And the American version relied a lot on Van Halen; that was kind of the American metal sound. And I am more of that school – of Eddie Van Halen, Southern California. There was a bunch of us. And I was more of that.
“Maybe a little busier on my rhythm stuff than Dio would have liked. And I think that was the main reason.”
Jake’s explanation seems to match statements made by Dio’s widow Wendy, who told Metal Hammer that Ronnie “liked the way British musicians thought,” adding, “I think that’s why he wanted to have British players in the band” before making 1983’s “Holy Diver” album.