During a recent podcast on ‘Planet Rock Life,’ Def Leppard guitarist Vivian Campbell talked about his days in Dio, and he exposed a secret story about their unknown meeting before joining the band.
Vivian Campbell detailed why he got Ronnie’s attention, and he revealed why Ronnie James Dio choosed him as an original guitarist for the band.
Here’s what Vivian stated:
“Well, he told me he wanted a European-style guitar player like [Ritchie] Blackmore or [Tony] Iommi. I didn’t understand it at the time, he was looking for someone who had something a bit different.
But the thing was; what I came to understand in later years about all these great technical players in LA is that they have learned how to play and they’ve got a great technique, but their personality is stifled perhaps, or takes a back-row seat to the technique.
Whereas I think a lot of guitar players from this side of the pond, especially in that era, we were all self-taught, so we had to kind of find our own way. And as a result of that, you develop a personality as a player, you develop a sound and a style by accident, you know, not by design.
And I think that’s what Ronnie wanted. There are a couple of things that he pointed out to me. I put vibrato on chords, I think that’s a result of playing a Les Paul, like, you can have a chord in tune in the first open position, but by the time you’re at the fifth or seventh fret, it can be a little fruity because I didn’t have a whammy bar.”
“I remember Ronnie pointed out, he said, ‘I really love how you put that vibrato on one of the chords.’ And up until that point, I hadn’t even noticed that I did it, it was just subconscious.
And another thing, he found a cassette tape that he had been recording the audition, he found the cassette tape and we’re both sitting there listening to it, and listening to the guitar solo.
And like every guitar player, you have your chops, that you think are flashy and impressive, so you play those, and I’d kind of exhausted the repertoire, and I’d run out of ideas, so I started just playing basic rock ‘n’ roll, you know, updated Chuck Berry kind of stuff.
And Ronnie pointed at the cassette player at that time and said, ‘That’s it, that’s why I knew you were the guitar player for me.’ So basically, when I ran out of ideas, and you kind of have to go on instinct, you know, you’re making stuff up as you go.
And so I think that’s what he liked, that it wasn’t so typewriter, it wasn’t so technical, I suppose.”
Vivian also added:
“It was very intimidating for me at that time. I didn’t feel secure in my playing or my position in the band, I just didn’t feel like I belong there, it felt wrong to me.
I was 20 years old, and even Vinny [Appice, drums], who was only a few years older than me, but I’d listen to him with Sabbath and I knew he played with Derringer and his brother Carmine, these guys were rock royalty to me. It’s a very strange position altogether.”
You can listen to the full interview below via Youtube.
Click here for the source of the statement.