Def Leppard guitarist Vivian Campbell spoke in an interview with David Slavković from Ultimate-Guitar, and revealed why he was fired from Ronnie James Dio’s band, “DIO”.
First of all, he talked about the money issues he had with Ronnie James Dio and said:
“When the band was first formed, Ronnie told Vinny and Jimmy and myself that for the first three records, if we were willing to not be participants in the album sales or the tour receipts or the merchandise money or anything like that – if we were willing to work a very modest wage, that by the third album he would make it an equity situation and we would get part of the record and part of the tour, etc.
So we worked for less than the road crew. We did the  ‘Holy Diver’ album, we got paid $100 a week [around $250 in today’s money]. When we started the ‘Holy Diver’ tour, our pay was bumped up to $400 a week [around $1,000 in today’s money].
And so on over the years, over the ‘Holy Diver’ tour and [1984’s] ‘The Last in Line’ tour and the [1985’s] ‘Sacred Heart’ tour, our wages were gradually increased from tour to tour. But we were getting paid less than our lighting designer, for example.”
“But we were also writing the songs with Ronnie – we were part of the creative process. But, we got none of the record sales, we got none of the merchandise money and none of the concert money. We were okay with that because Ronnie had promised us that by the third album, that would all change. We were all working towards this goal and the band was becoming more and more successful.
When the third album came along, I was the first one to say to Ronnie, to remind him of the promise that he made us back in 1982 when the band was formed, before we did the ‘Holy Diver’ record. I brought it up to Ronnie when we were recording the third album, ‘Sacred Hearts,’ and Ronnie said, ‘Let’s get through the record first and then we’ll discuss it.'”
On why he was fired, he said:
“People can say it’s about money. And yes, in black-and-white terms, it is about money. But more importantly to me is that it was about principle. I believe strongly in principle, I always have. I believe in integrity in people and when I look someone in the eye and I shake their hand and I make a deal with them, I will uphold my end of the deal and I expect the same of other people. And Ronnie didn’t do that for me.
“That’s why I was fired from the band and it left such a bad taste in my mouth for so, so many years. I was so hurt by the whole process that after that, I did make a mistake of saying very hurtful things about Ronnie in the press, as indeed he said the same about me. I think that was a mistake for both of us to do that.
But it was a very painful thing for me because I never wanted to leave that band. I was fully invested in it, I enjoyed it immensely, I believed in it, and I gave blood, sweat, and tears on everything over the course of three albums to build that band. And then to be unceremoniously dumped like that was very, very painful for me.
So it took me a long time to come full circle. To be honest, I think it also took Ronnie’s passing [in 2010] to be able to look at that in a different light and realize that it was as much Jimmy Bain’s heritage and Vinny Appice’s heritage and my heritage as it was Ronnie’s – we all owned those records and that history.”
Click here to entire interview on Ultimate-Guitar.