In a brand new interview with the “Totally Driven Radio” podcast, legendary drummer Vinny Appice (BLACK SABBATH, DIO, HEAVEN & HELL) was asked what Wendy Dio’s reaction has been to LAST IN LINE, the band he formed in 2012 with fellow original DIO members Vivian Campbell (drums) and Jimmy Bain (bass) alongside singer Andrew Freeman. He responded: “Well, she’s not involved in this in any way, shape or form. I don’t know… I haven’t really talked to her and asked what she thought. So she’s not involved in this. I don’t really know what she thinks about it. She probably hates it. I don’t know. But you know? We’re out there pushing everything — pushing the old songs, then keeping everything alive too. So you can’t knock that.”
When LAST IN LINE formed, the intent was to celebrate Ronnie James Dio’s early work by reuniting the members of the original DIO lineup. After playing shows that featured a setlist composed exclusively of material from the first three DIO albums, the band decided to move forward and create new music in a similar vein.
LAST IN LINE released its debut album, “Heavy Crown”, on February 19 via Frontiers Music Srl.
Campbell recently told Billboard magazine that Wendy — who managed Ronnie James Dio for much of his career — has nothing to do with, and no love for, LAST IN LINE. “Vinny still has occasional contact with her,” Campbell said, “and when we first started doing this project, she said something along the lines of, ‘Ronnie would be spinning in his grave.’ So there you go.”
In a 2011 interview with Brazil’s Roadie Crew magazine, Wendy stated about the controversy surrounding Ronnie’s relationship with Campbell (in a 2003 interview Vivian called Ronnie “an awful businessman and, way more importantly, one of the vilest people in the industry.”), “[Vivian] always said that he hated all the albums that he played on with Ronnie, and that was very hurtful to Ronnie. Very hurtful. Would you like someone who said something like that about your albums? He said a lot of things in the press that I don’t wanna get into, because it really wasn’t Ronnie’s feud at all. Ronnie didn’t fire him. I fired [Vivian]. He wanted as much money as Ronnie wanted. He thought he was as important as Ronnie was, and that was just wrong. But I don’t wanna get into that. It’s water under the bridge. It doesn’t matter.”
Vivian later told KNAC.com that he and Ronnie James Dio never got to mend fences prior to the singer’s 2010 death. He said: “We only talked to each other through the press, which is never, ever, ever a good idea. We were both guilty of saying really stupid and hurtful things. I’d like to think that we would have made up. I think if Ronnie and I had bumped into each other on the street, I think after a couple of minutes, we might have agreed to go to the pub for a pint and we could have probably worked things out.”
Campbell went on to claim that “Wendy Dio never wanted DIO to be a band. She always wanted it to be about Ronnie, the solo artist. In her mind, it didn’t matter who was in the band with Ronnie, who was standing behind him — bass player, guitar players, drummers, whatever; we were all interchangeable. I strongly disagree with that. I think every musician is unique, like our own fingerprint. The way you play, the way you don’t play. The gaps you leave, the timing, the tonality you have, everything is unique to an individual, and when you find three or four people that work together and create a great sound, that’s the chemistry of a band. That’s unique. When you start pulling people out of that equation, it’s never going to be the same. It’s always going to be a facsimile.”