DC4/Ex-DIO Guitarist Rowan Robertson - Good Time Metal Oldies Radio Interview Available

June 10, 2010, 7 years ago

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DC4/ex-DIO guitarist Rowan Robertson recently spoke with Jason Saulnier at the Good Time Metal Oldies radio show. The interview is available in two parts below.

Robertson recently posted a blog after the passing of Ronnie James Dio. It recounts fond memories of his tenure with Dio. It reads as follows:

"With this terrible turn of events, amongst all the feelings it brings up, I am taken back to a wonderful time in my life where every day I spent, shall we say, in the prescence of the king! I would rehearse six, I think days a week with Dio, in various rehearsal studios around the San Fernando Valley and Burbank. So many memories of people, places, events; pictures in my head of Ronnie telling stories or cracking jokes. His mannerisms come back to me still. I remember years later I hung out with Craig Goldy and a certain cartoon charachter voice slipped out - Ronnie was particularly fond of Mel Blanc's voice characterizations on those classic old cartoons like Yosemite Sam, and Sylvester. Craig said, 'wow! you've even got the lisp down!'

Ronnie had a dog called Buster when I met him and, of course, for a while many around Dio got treated with the nick name too. I can hear him saying, 'whaddya say there, Buster.. whaddaya reckon Buss???' with that classic Sylvester lisp. He was a very funny charming man. It's not for me to say anything about him other than perhaps, when asked, to recall some of the great funny and warm moments I shared in.

My first nickname given to me by him was 'Shnick'. This happened because at my audition over there in 'The Alley' rehearsal rooms on Lankershim Blvd (still live near it), I was setting up my pedals and guitar, getting ready to play the first notes with the man. Ronnie said to me, I remember it well, 'I really want this to work.' He always gave me his confidence and bolstered up my self belief. Anyway, there I was setting up my pedals and fiddling with things ready to go, when I managed to trip myself up on my own gear and nearly fall off the stage. Ronnie looked over from his place of preparation behind the centre stage mic and calls, 'Oh great, we've got Baryshnikov over here!' Baryshnikov of course being a famous ballet dancer. From then on, my name was 'Shnick'. My first car became the Shnick mobile, my publishing company was called Shnick music.

We had such fun in rehearsal too. It was in a studio opposite Sound City - where Holy Diver and maybe other Dio albums were recorded - where we were in writing for Lock Up The Wolves. The first of four or five locations where that album was written. First day of rehearsal we went for a drive, out to local thrift stores to pick up odds and ends, old table lamps, gadgets, fun things to put in the studio. There was, I think, a wooden wall piece with an old etched drawing of a horse pulling a carriage with passengers. May have been Vinny who scralled above it in black paint, 'Ye Old Robertsons' in reference to my name. Jimmy Bain was in the band back then too. He took me to the Rainbow a lot where I aquired another nickname, Mr Vomit... ha ha. So, anyway, I had taken all these paints that we were painting on the studio walls with, spray cans too, and gone completely ballistic with them before Ronnie got into the studio one day. When He arrived, the room was thick with paint fumes and he was, I think, none too impressed that the air was unsingable, if not un breathable. But, he didnt mind. He would always say that one mistake was no big deal, two of the same mistakes is understandable, and three? well, we needed to talk, heh heh.

I fell asleep on the studio couch one day and woke to hear him playing a made up country song on guitar as a joke...' dream on little cowboy/ and may your dreams come true...' I still remember the melody."

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