IN a new Interview with Ultimate Guitar, Doug Aldrich, guitarist of WHITESNAKE was about Ronnie James Dio.
You also played with Dio [in the early 2000s]. What was it like working with Dio?
“It was great. I mean, Ronnie… He brought the best out in everybody, he always did. And he brought really good things out of me for sure. I’m grateful for the chance to work with Ronnie.
“If it wasn’t for Ronnie, I probably wouldn’t have gotten the Whitesnake gig, for one. He was great. I learned a lot from Ronnie. I learned how to control… To basically control the stage and own the stage.
“And… I miss him. A lot.”
You were basically at the same time part of two really big bands. You were in Dio’s band and at the same time, you were in Whitesnake. That sounds like it’s very difficult. What was it like handling these two bands at the same time?
“Pretty much I was in Whitesnake, it was my full-time gig. David [Coverdale] would let me go off and do a tour or such with Ronnie if Whitesnake was not busy. Kind of like now I’m in Dead Daisies and I’m able to do Burning Rain if the Dead Daisies is off.”
What would be the main difference between working with Coverdale and Dio?
“I would say that the biggest difference is with Ronnie. He was very set on what he wanted to do and he was very focused about trying to get a specific sound, a specific thing. With David, it was a little more open. He liked to experiment a lot. He tried different things.
“But they’re both bigger-than-life personalities and I was the right-hand man. Especially with David. I felt really honored that he chose me to help him resurrect Whitesnake.
“I was trying to keep the bluesy side more alive because the last Whitesnake music that I had heard was with Steve Vai and it was kind of going in a different direction than the original Whitesnake started.
“So I just brought it to the way I thought it should be.”
What were your favorite songs when you played with Dio? Was there any song that you could say was challenging?
“With Dio, one of the biggest challenge songs was playing Rainbow’s ‘Gates of Babylon.’ That song was insane, man. So cool… It was scary because I wanted it to be perfect. I wanted to do a great job.
“In the end, you look at ‘Holy Diver – Live’ and it turned out pretty good. Of course, you always feel like you could do better, you know? You never know.”