In a recent conversation with Metal Express Radio, former Dio drummer Vinny Appice remembered the time on his 1980-1982 time in Black Sabbath.
Here’s what he said:
“I got a call, I was in Chicago doing a Ludwig drum shoot for all the charmers that Ludwig had, and it was a really cool event, and I got a call saying that somebody from Black Sabbath called.
“So when I got home [to Los Angeles, CA], I think it was the next day I called the number, and it was a tour manager for Sabbath, they told me that they’re in town for four days and that Bill Ward left the tour and are now looking for a drummer, and they heard about me.
“Then he asked me if I wanted to come down at a hotel and meet Tony [Iommi, guitar]. I said, ‘Yeah, that would be great.’ And I went down to the hotel, this was in Hollywood, and I went down and met Tony.
“Tony came into the room and he had an album under his arm, which was my band Axis, a three-piece band, and it was produced and recorded by Andy Johns [1978’s ‘It’s a Circus World’], who did a lot of Zeppelin stuff, so there were some good-sounding drums on the record.
“It was a really good band. So, Tony liked the record – he said, ‘This is good.’ He liked my drumming, and we hit it off really well. He invited me the next day to go down to the rehearsal studios, and I did, and I met Geezer [Butler, bass], Ronnie, and Geoff Nichols, the keyboard player.
“And then we started working. He goes, ‘What do you want to play?’ And I just happened to hear [1980’s] ‘Neon Knights’ on the radio – I didn’t know the song, but I heard it, so, ‘Well, how about ‘Neon Knights’?’
“I knew the tempo was kind of fast, and it stopped once, so it’s kind of easy.
“So that’s the song we first played together, and then they were all happy that it seemed to fit, and they said, ‘Well, you want to do it?’ So I said, ‘Yeah, absolutely.’ And that’s how I got in the band.”
Asked: Did you have the option of staying in the band or were you just, ‘I want to do this thing with Ronnie’?
“I had the option pretty much of staying with Tony and Geezer, and Ronnie asked me – he had the solo deal all along, he was going to do a solo album while he was in Black Sabbath, and he would have invited all his friends on the album, different musicians and stuff.
“But since things are turning differently, he thought, ‘I’ll use that solo deal to start my own band finally.’ So I decided to go with Ronnie and put this band together, and that’s how we put Dio together and did the  ‘Holy Diver’ record.”