WENDY DIO - “The Fans And Everybody Were Moved To Tears”

August 14, 2016, a year ago

By Greg Prato

feature heavy metal dio dio disciples

WENDY DIO - “The Fans And Everybody Were Moved To Tears”

Undoubtedly, the biggest highlight of this year’s Wacken Festival occurred during Dio Disciples’ set, when a hologram of the late/great Ronnie James Dio fronted the band for a rendition of the Dio classic, ‘We Rock.’ And Ronnie’s wife/manager, Wendy Dio, recently spoke with BraveWords about how the idea came up for the hologram. “About a year ago, this gentleman, Jeff Pezzuti from Eyellusion, came to me with the idea. He was working with a hologram company, and I thought it was quite interesting. So I said, ‘As long as I could be in control - because I’m very protective of Ronnie - let’s see how it looks.’ It was a long, long process. We did it and we hoped the fans would love it. So it’s sort of giving the people that did see Ronnie a chance to see him again, and those who never got a chance to see him, to see him playing with this live band.”

Expectedly, the audience’s reaction was over-the-top, and also, emotional. “It was fantastic. 75,000 people. I went down into the pit to watch it - because you can only see it from the front - and we were all crying. The fans and everybody were moved to tears. And I thought because I had seen it all the way along…when we first got the idea together, it was very emotional for me. But then the process of going through it and making it was right, I had seen it so many times that I thought it wouldn’t affect me. But when I saw him there with the live band, it was definitely a tear-jerker.”

There have been questions as to where the footage of Ronnie came from. And as Wendy explained, it was a combination of separate video and audio, merged together. “It was taken some live footage that we had, and then we isolated a live recording of Ronnie’s voice, and it goes together. It was a very long process, because it has never been done before, where a live band has played with a hologram. So the band has to learn everything and make sure everything was in sync with what Ronnie was singing. The band was great - of course, Craig Goldy has played with Ronnie for so many years and toured with Ronnie for so long, and Simon Wright, and Scott Warren had been with Ronnie for 17 years - even when Ronnie went to Heaven and Hell and Sabbath, he took him with him. And then we have Bjorn [Englen], who is a younger bass player, and then of course, always two singers - because nobody could ever replace Ronnie, and we don’t want to replace him, we just want to keep his music and his legend alive - so we had Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens and Oni Logan.”

Wendy also discussed if the hologram will be seen again at other Dio Disciples performances. “We’re thinking we might do a debut of it again for America - somewhere in America. We’re talking also about maybe doing some touring next year, with six songs that Ronnie would come in and out during the performance. That’s on the back burner - we’re still talking about it, seeing what the reaction is, seeing if people like it. We did it with love, and as I said, we thought it was a great way to keep Ronnie’s music and his legend alive. We actually did record two tracks - we recorded ‘Rainbow in the Dark’ and ‘We Rock.’ But we decided just to use the one track [‘We Rock’].”

Lastly, are there any updates regarding Ronnie’s autobiography, since the last time Wendy spoke with BraveWords here? “I’ve got to finish, and I will do it - I promise it will be up next year. It’s just that there are so many things going on - obviously, the hologram took up a lot of my time, and also all the charity stuff I do takes up a lot of time.”

Featured Audio

ROBB FINLAYSON - "Winter's Apprentice" (Independent)

ROBB FINLAYSON - "Winter's Apprentice" (Independent)

Featured Video

TRAGUL Premiers "The Tree Of Life"

TRAGUL Premiers "The Tree Of Life"

Latest Reviews