GUITARIST DOUG ALDRICH REMINISCES ABOUT THE TIME RONNIE JAMES DIO ALMOST GOT INTO A BAR FIGHT OVER AN NFL TEAM
XS Rock spoke with guitarist Doug Aldrich (Burning Rain, Dead Daisies, Revolution Saints). Excerpts from the interview appear below.
XS Rock: Another question by one of our readers is “Who do you think the best of the current crew of drummers are”? I’m going to guess you probably going to say Deen [Castronovo] as one of them…
Doug: Deen’s an amazing drummer and he’s still got a lot of life in him. There are guys you’re not talking about… Charlie Watts is killer. Neil Peart is killer, but these guys are kind of winding down a little bit. Guys like Deen, Brian Tichy of course and Blas Elias. These guys are still firing on all cylinders and wanting to get out there play. Especially Blas…he’s been like our secret weapon. He is so intense with his playing and he’s got a great reputation. He’s been kind of laying low for a while, raising his family and just kind of kicking it in Vegas and then he and I and I met during The Raiding The Rock Vault a couple years ago and I really was excited to get him involved on the record. He’s going to be a huge asset to the band. He just did a run with Trans-Siberian Orchestra which is a super intense gig and he was killing it. I would say my favorite guys right now are Deen, Brian Tichy, Blas and Frank Ferrer from Guns N Roses. He’s just kick-ass too. I mean Vinny Appice he’s got a lot of life left in him… he’s still kicking ass with Last In Line.
XS Rock: Another reader question, “What’s the ratio of male versus female fans that you have?
Doug: My ratio? I actually know what the ratio is… because it shows up every time I go on Instagram or Facebook. My wife would tell me. She’s the one that told me first that it’s about 80% male 20% female. So, it’s a lot of guitar players, guys and girls that play guitar and then there’s fans of the Dead Daisies, fans of Burning Rain or Whitesnake.
XS Rock: One of our readers wants to know if you would ever have any intention of returning to work with Whitesnake again?
Doug: I don’t have any plans, but of course if David (Coverdale) ever wanted me for something I would be happy to do it. I would love to work on anything, even if it was non-music related. I’ll always be there for him. Musically we had a great chemistry and we wrote some songs I’m really proud of like Forever More, Good To Be Bad and Love Will Set You Free…I love all of both of those studio albums. I was really proud of all the music and proud of the band and how it sounded, but in the end I had been away so much. I just really needed to spend time with my family. I was in the beginning of a new relationship and I needed to focus on that for a while. So he got Joel (Hoekstra) and Reb (Beach) together and that’s a killer team.
XS Rock: Tell me one of your favorite Ronnie James Dio stories?
Doug: The best one that comes to mind is Ronnie was a sports guy. He obviously loved music and that’s what he did for his whole life, but he loved sports. He loved the New York Giants football team. That was his team and I think he liked the Yankees. He was from northern Upstate New York. He always talked about the Giants and I love the Philadelphia Eagles. That’s my team that I’ve always supported since I was a kid and he didn’t like them but one day there was an Eagles game on and he’s like “I wish we could watch that game together. So I said, we can go to the sports bar down the street and we’ll watch it. So we went there and there was sports fans there and Ronnie’s very intense. He probably hadn’t been to a sports bar for a while. Ronnie James Dio doesn’t go hang out that much, so we might go to the pub or whatever… but the thing about it, as you know, on NFL Sunday people and their emotions are high. Some guy started yelling at me about the Eagles saying they suck and stuff like that and Ronnie got really upset. So Ronnie, he squared off with this guy who was about twice the size of Ronnie. Ronnie was just ready to throw down to protect my team. You don’t know how cool I thought that was … We ended up having to leave. All three of us. A of couple weeks later I went back to that bar and that guy was there and I said listen man, you know, no hard feelings right and he goes “That guy yelling at me was Ronnie James Dio?” Ronnie was ready to kick that guy’s ass and telling him to shut the f–k up. Ha Ha Ha.
XS Rock: Speaking of Ronnie, What do you think about the Dio hologram?
Doug: You know, I mean I would see it, if it was close by or if you had a good theater or something. I’d go see it to support the guys and and everything, but I can tell you that Ronnie would probably not like this. He would probably be like “This is not what I I signed up for”. A hologram?… it’s not really what he would want to be, I’m just guessing you know, that it’s something that Wendy (Dio) thought about and she decided that Ronnie would be fine with it. But I knew Ronnie well enough to know that he was very particular and he would prefer for them to let him just die and be in peace.
XS Rock: What kind of career do you think you would have had if you weren’t performing in a band, which is probably hard for you to even imagine, because like you said earlier…you’ve been doing this since you were a kid.
Doug: I never thought about it but I do love building things. If I had the skills to be a home builder that would be pretty cool. There’s a lot of money in it and it would be fun. That’s a hard question because I never really thought about it. Maybe at a younger age, I would have loved to been on a professional sports team. I would love to have been a basketball player but I’m just at 6 feet and I’m not super high jumper. My shots not great but I love basketball.
Read more at XS Rock.