Drummer SIMON WRIGHT Talks RONNIE JAMES DIO - "He Was A Massive Part Of My Life"
December 25, 2018, 2 years ago
Drummer Simon Wright, known for his work with Dio and AC/DC and a member of Dio Disciples, recently guested on radio station WSOU 89.5 FM. During the interview, available below, he discussed working with and eventually caring for Ronnie James Dio when the singer became sick with stomach cancer.
Wright: "He was a massive part (of my life). When I joined Dio in 1990, it was a little, short run. I was only about three years with him when I first joined, and then I rejoined again in '98. And I ended up moving into his house. There were a few people staying there as well. I went through a horrible divorce and I was gonna quit. I said, 'I'm going back to England. I've had enough of all this. I'll stop playing drums.' So he said, 'No, don't do that. Just come over and just hang at my place and stuff, and get your head together...' and I ended up staying there for about 14 years (laughs). So he was quite a big part of my life. We got to know each other, we kind of bonded a bit more. We did a lot of work on the house together; not doing music, but just building things and stuff. And I looked after him a lot when he got really, really sick at home."
Ronnie passed away on May 16, 2010 at the age of 67.
Wright recently spoke with Illawarra Mercury about his time with the band in the '80s and performing their music as part of the Let There Be Rock - Orchestrated show, taking place in Australia.
On paper, marrying the bluesy, no-frills hard rock of AC/DC with an orchestra may seem like a bizarre concept.
Despite this, former AC/DC drummer Simon Wright has a “good feeling” about the Let There Be Rock - Orchestrated show, which launches in Australia.
“These will be our first shows, so it will be interesting,” Wright said from his home in Los Angeles. “James Morley from The Angels is the guy who has put all of this together. And he did some mock-ups, put some orchestra on top of some AC/DC songs, and it sounds amazing, just so powerful.”
The show features AC/DC songs performed by an international band, backed by a 30-piece symphony orchestra.
“A lot of different bands have dabbled with orchestras, like Metallica and Kiss... It definitely brings a whole new light and shade to the songs that we already know,” Wright said. “With the AC/DC stuff, it's the same thing. They sound so massive.”
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Without question, AC/DC are one of the greatest rock bands in history. Their mammoth power chord roar became one of the most influential hard rock sounds of the '70s and is synonymous to rock culture to this day. It continues to be one of the defining sounds of rock and metal, and combined with the larynx-shredding vocals of Bon Scott (1974 - 1980) and Brian Johnson (1980+), the band enjoyed commercial success well into the 2000s, even up until 2016 selling out stadium shows across the globe.
Let There Be Rock - Orchestrated is a world first and brings to light a unique production scale that brings the thunderstruck sounds of AC/DC in to a world all of its own, featuring a lineup of some of the world's best rockers coming together to form a super group and backed by a 30-piece Symphony Orchestra to power out the biggest sound ever created! As previously announced, this unique concert event will hit four stages in Australia this year in Melbourne, Perth, Sydney and Thirroul.
The team behind Let There Be Rock is pleased to announce that next year, on January 19th, Let There Be Rock - Orchestrated will bring down the house at the one and only currently scheduled US event, taking place at the Belasco Theater in Los Angeles (just before the 2019 NAMM Show). Tickets are on sale now via Eventbrite and can be purchased here.
A VIP meet & greet is also available to attendees and can be purchased via the Eventbrite link above. The meet & greet will take place post-show and will include a photo op with the entire all-star band, plus early entry into the theater for prime viewing position selection!
At Let There Be Rock, attendees will hear the full orchestrated rock arrangements of many AC/DC classics including "Highway To Hell", "You Shook Me All Night", "T.N.T", "Whole Lotta Rosie" and so many more in this two-hour concert production. Imagine Back In Black, the seminal anthem of generations, with the power of the 30-piece Symphony Orchestra conducted by Australia's most celebrated conductor - George Ellis, behind one of the most rocking super bands assembled!
Titled in recognition of AC/DC's fourth Australian album released in 1977, Let There Be Rock - Orchestrated will feature all the hits from AC/DC's career from both Bon Scott and Brian Johnson eras. With a second to none lineup featuring AC/DC and Dio's own Simon Wright, ex-Judas Priest and renowned heavy metal vocalist Tim 'Ripper' Owens, Guns N' Roses guitarist Richard Fortus, Cheap Trick drummer Daxx Nielsen, former Guns N' Roses guitarist Gilby Clarke, Whitesnake bassist Michael Devin, The Edgar Winter Group guitarist Doug Rappoport, Ugly Kid Joe vocalist Whit Crane, YouTube guitar phenomenon Fillipo "Solo Dallas" Olivieri, guitar legend Joel McDonald, former bassist for ARIA Hall of Famers The Angels James Morley, and buzzworthy powerhouse rock vocalist Cynthia Gallie on lead vocals, this show will prove to be one of the most exciting rock 'n' roll events to hit Los Angeles next year.
For more information on Let There Be Rock, head here. Stay tuned for more details coming soon.