Guitarist Vivian Campbell says Dio needed a “proper” band manager – and not the singer’s ex-wife Wendy.

Campbell, who says he was fired by Wendy because he refused to accept a new contract, says the woman was not “musical” enough to understand that the group were a “creative unit” – and they weren’t just Ronnie James Dio’s “backing band.”

He tells All That Shreds, “I would like to make emphasis on the point that I was fired from the band. So many people here 30-something years later people still think that I left Dio, but it was never my intention to leave the band.

The reason I was fired from the band was that I refused to accept a contract that they offered me which was contrary to the original agreement Ronnie had made with Jimmy, Vinny and myself when the band was first formed. Wendy had different ideas for how it was going to be and for me it was a matter of principle and I refused to sign the contract and that’s why I was fired.”

Campbell has previously spoken out about Wendy – claiming she wanted Dio to be a solo act and thought each band member was replaceable.

He continues, “The original Dio band was a four-piece creative unit and Wendy never understood that. She’s not musical. So, Ronnie and I, I think would have been fine. She doesn’t know that the sign of a great band is the sum of the parts.”

Campbell also says that, despite his occasionally “awkward” relationship with Dio, he’d have worked with him again if Wendy was no longer his manager.

He says, “Hypothetically if somebody else, if Ronnie had a proper manager and not his ex-wife, I would have never been fired from the band and Ronnie and I would’ve never had an issue. We didn’t communicate very well together on a personal level, but on a musical level we worked well together.

Would I have gotten back together with Ronnie? Yes, but Wendy Dio never would have never allowed it to happen if she was involved in his career. Right up until his death she was involved in his career. I’m going to go with ‘no’ on that.”

Campbell’s Dio offshoot project Last In Line released a lyric video for their track, Already Dead, last month. They’re currently on the road in Europe in support of their debut album, Heavy Crown.

additional source: Classic Rock via

6 Responses

  1. I have been following Vivian since his Sweet Savage days, but I am tired of him speaking ill of the Dio family . This guy has bashed the great Dio, and now his wife? He’s says Dio’s Disciples are a tribute band, but that’s exactly what his Last In Line project is…a tribute band! Heck, some people could argue he’s a tribute member in Def Leppard by replacing the great Steve Clark!

    Vivian, you are a great guitarist, but sometimes you make it very difficult to remain a fan of yours…

    1. No, not really the Dio Disciples have a revolving door of members and even says on their website: “Dio Disciples is a celebration of the music and spirit of Ronnie James Dio and features his former band mates and friends.” That is a tribute band.

      It also uses Dio’s name in the name of the band.

      Last in Line was the remaining original 3 members of the first Dio band…before Jimmy Bain died, and they recorded a full length album of original material, and cover some Dio songs.

      Which one of these bands is a tribute band?

      Vivian didn’t really talk much about Dio for years, but made it known he was unhappy with how it ended. Certainly, Dio never recreated the songs, sound or depth he had without those guys in the band

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