Saturday, April 17, 2010

Viv Campbell - Dio and Def Lepard

It was late 1983. I had just moved to another city, all alone in a small efficiency apartment. I was listening to a lot of heavy metal music. Randy Rhoads was gone, Quiet Riot was just getting to be big and metal was getting hot again.

I had just bought “Bark at the Moon”, the first release by Ozzy after Randy’s death. Jake E. Lee was his new guitarist, and was in great form on this debut release.

One night I turned on the radio and heard the distinctive voice of Ronnie James Dio. I was a big fan of his work with Blackmore’s Rainbow during the bands short life in the late 70’s.

The song was “Rainbow in the Dark.” I was amazed to hear the fantastic guitar solo by the young Vivian Campbell. Vivian, right alongside Jake E. Lee, were setting the standard for great guitar playing.

Randy’s death left a big gap in the metal music scene, and these two were poised to take over that spot.
Here is a live concert of Dio and Campbell playing “Rainbow in the Dark.”

Viv was only 21 years old when he cut this song (only two months younger than me!) . He was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland in 1962. He joined Dio after Jake E. Lee left the band.

Dio had three songs that he had written while Jake was in the band - Stand Up And Shout, Don't Talk To Strangers and Holy Diver. All of these songs appeared on the album and became radio hits. A concert video, called In Concert, from this tour was released. The band also played at The Monsters Of Rock festival in 1983.

Dio recorded the follow up to Holy Diver, called The Last in Line , which became as successful as Holy Diver and charted at #23. The Last in Line, We Rock and Mystery all became radio hits.
Viv left the band in 1986 to join Whitesnake, but was fired in 1988.

He joined Def Lepard in 1992, where he has fit in quite comfortably, as he has been with the band ever since.

Dio has continued to be one of the best voices in rock. He was great on Rainbow and kept Black Sabbath alive after Ozzy was fired.

From Wikipedia:

On 25 November 2009, his wife/manager announced that Dio was diagnosed with stomach cancer:
"Ronnie has been diagnosed with the early stages of stomach cancer. We are starting treatment immediately at the Mayo Clinic. After he kills this dragon, Ronnie will be back on stage, where he belongs, doing what he loves best, performing for his fans. Long live rock and roll, long live Ronnie James Dio. Thanks to all the friends and fans from all over the world that have sent well wishes. This has really helped to keep his spirit up."
On 14 March 2010, Dio's wife and manager Wendy posted an online update on his condition:

"It has been Ronnie's 7th chemo, another cat scan and another endoscopy, and the results are good - the main tumour has shrunk considerably, and our visits to Houston (cancer clinic in Texas) are now every three weeks instead of every two weeks."

I do wish him well and hope he beats this cancer.

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