Wendy Dio responds to claims of cashing in on Ronnie’s death.
Ronnie James Dio – RIP
WENDY DIO Responds To Accusations That She Is Cashing In On RONNIE JAMES DIO’s Death – May 21, 2011
Thiago Sarkis of Brazil’s Roadie Crew magazine recently conducted an interview with Wendy Dio, the wife/manager of legendary heavy metal singer Ronnie James Dio. During the chat, Wendy shared her thoughts on Norwegian singer Jorn Lande’s "Dio" album; ex-DIO and current DEF LEPPARD guitarist Vivian Campbell; BLACK SABBATH and RAINBOW; and talked about her husband’s favorite songs; religious persuasion; and feelings towards death. A few excerpts from the interview follow below (provided exclusively to BLABBERMOUTH.NET by Thiago Sarkis).
On people accusing her of cashing in on Ronnie’s death:
Wendy Dio: "I feel very, very, very sad. It’s very hurtful, but I know what I’m doing for the fans. I know what Ronnie and I had together, so, you know, it’s a shame that people say things like that, but people do always say things like that. I’m sorry for them. Most of the fans are fantastic; [they are] wonderful fans that loved Ronnie so much and who know that I wouldn’t do anything to hurt Ronnie’s reputation. We’ve always fundraised. Ronnie and I always fundraised. For animals, for children, for everything. It’s only right that I continue in Ronnie’s aim to do that."
On whether she believes that those accusations are rooted in the fact that she and Ronnie were not involved as a couple for a number of years prior to his passing:
Wendy Dio: "Maybe. But in any relationships there are ups and downs. You part, and you go back. Then you part and you go back. Ronnie and I married in 1974. It’s a long time to be together with somebody who is a musician. Sometimes there are ramblings of people who don’t really know you, who don’t really know what’s going on… these people always say things."
On the meaning of death to Ronnie James Dio:
Wendy Dio: "I don’t think he was afraid. No, he wasn’t afraid of death. He was just pissed off that he didn’t get to do and finish things he wanted to do."
On Ronnie’s faith and religious persuasion:
Wendy Dio: "Ronnie was raised a Catholic, and he believed in something. Not necessarily the Catholic religion, but he did believe. He believed in an ultimate being. He believed the same that I do… That you are reborn, you come back, and there’s reincarnation. I hope he comes back at the same time as I do, so we can be together again."
On what the band HEAVEN & HELL meant to Ronnie:
Wendy Dio: "It was a joy. I think that it was really nice that he was able to finish what he began with BLACK SABBATH and to be with them again onstage.”
On Norwegian singer Jorn Lande’s "Dio" album and other musicians who who have paid tributes to Ronnie:
Wendy Dio: "Ah… I don’t know. I was very upset about the fact that [Jorn’s ‘Dio’ album] was released. Yes, I was. When somebody dies, if you wanna record a couple of tracks [as a tribute to that artist], that’s fine. But… to do a whole album of Ronnie’s songs? Why would you want to buy a reproduction when you can buy the original? There have been IRON MAIDEN songs dedicated to Ronnie live. That’s a real tribute. Rob Halford [JUDAS PRIEST] was an incredible friend of Ronnie. He did many tributes to Ronnie. Ian Gillan [DEEP PURPLE] was another friend of Ronnie. Klaus Meine [SCORPIONS] was a friend of Ronnie. All these people were friends of Ronnie and they all paid tributes to him in their own way without cashing in on anything."
On whether there are any unreleased Ronnie tracks and if there is any possibility of them seeing the light of day:
Wendy Dio: "There are maybe five, but I didn’t look at anything. I closed the studio up. I don’t have the strength to go in there right now. It’s still so hard to think about those things. We will see what happens and how it goes. I work all the time. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t miss Ronnie."
On Ronnie’s reaction when he was invited to join BLACK SABBATH:
Wendy Dio: "He wasn’t quite sure that it was the right band for him. But it turned out that it was. Monetarily-wise, we finally had some money, because we didn’t have any money in RAINBOW. We were finally able to buy a house, and that was nice. He was treated very well in SABBATH. I mean, they were all equal."
On the controversy surrounding Ronnie’s relationship with ex-DIO guitarist Vivian Campbell (in a 2003 interview Vivian called Ronnie "an awful businessman and, way more importantly, one of the vilest people in the industry."):
Wendy Dio: "[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."
On Ronnie’s favorite songs that he wrote himself:
Wendy Dio: "His favorite song was probably ‘Heaven And Hell’ [BLACK SABBATH]. But again, if you look at ‘Stargazer’ [RAINBOW] and ‘Gates Of Babylon’ [RAINBOW]… oh, these were majestic songs."
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