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Guitarist Vivian Campbell Remorseful Over Past Comments Made About Ronnie James Dio

Vivian Campbell and Ronnie James Dio
Mary Ouellette,

Current Def Leppard guitarist Vivian Campbell spent most of his career in the ‘80s playing in the band Dio with Ronnie James Dio. When Campbell parted ways with Dio in 1986, it wasn’t on the best terms and the war of words between the two continued throughout their careers. Now, years later, Campbell admits that he regrets some of the things he said about the late singer.

In a new interview with 107.7 KRXO in Oklahoma City, Okla., Campbell talked about that difficult period of his career and what brought him back to revisit the Dio material with the original lineup of the band and singer Andrew Freeman filling in for the legendary Dio. Campbell explained that he and Ronnie never really saw eye to eye, explaining, “It was well documented that Ronnie and I had a very contentious personal relationship; our relationship only worked on a musical level and not on a personal level. So it was difficult.”

When the two parted ways, things only got worse. Campbell felt the band portrayed his departure as one of choice while he contests that he was kicked out of Dio. He alludes to that one action in particular as kicking off what would be an epic level of mud-slinging between the two for years to come. “I regret a lot of the things I said about him,” admits Campbell. “I’m sure if Ronnie was still alive, he would regret a lot of the things he said about me.”

While there was always friction, Campbell thinks that music fans seem to forget one thing. “We all contributed to the songwriting in Dio. I wrote a lot of those songs and a lot of people tend to forget that,” Campbell explains. However, time does tend to heal old wounds and Campbell has reached a place where it’s important for him to revisit that time period. “The fact is, it was very difficult for me to even listen to those songs for decades,” said Campbell. “Enough time has passed where I’m able to go back and reflect upon that and actually take ownership of it again, and embrace it for what it was.”

Campbell hopes that revisiting the Dio lineup will help celebrate the band and their legacy, although many Ronnie James Dio fans do not seem to share that sentiment. Listen to the full interview with Vivian Campbell here.

‘The Very Beast of Dio, Vol. 2' Due Out October 9

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