Craig Goldy says that he understands why some people have such a hard time embracing the Ronnie James Dio hologram.
Goldy joined DIO during the “Sacred Heart” tour in 1986 after original guitarist Vivian Campbell was fired from the band following a contentious business disagreement with the singer and Ronnie‘s management.
For the past several years, Goldy has played sporadic shows with DIO DISCIPLES, which is made up of former members of DIO, along with a rotating lineup of vocalists, including former JUDAS PRIEST frontman Tim “Ripper” Owens.
Billed as a “celebration of the music and legacy of the greatest singer in the world, Ronnie James Dio,” DIO DISCIPLES last year completed the first European leg of a world tour during which it is fronted by Ronnie‘s holographic version for select songs.
Speaking to Metal Wani‘s Dawn Brown, Goldy said that he recognizes the fact that some Dio fans might not be willing to give the iconic vocalist’s hologram a chance. “Well, I get it,” he said (hear audio below). “It’s gonna be polarized. Even when Ronnie was with us, Ronnie‘s manager and wife, Wendy, and his best friend and tour assistant, they often clashed because they thought they knew what was best for Ronnie. So here’s Ronnie knowing what’s best for Ronnie and then there’s his manager and his tour assistant who think they know what’s best for Ronnie, and here’s the record company who thinks they know what’s best for Ronnie. And I was right there in the middle just watching it all. And in a similar way, we have that now.
“It all comes from love,” he continued. “These people don’t like the idea of a hologram because Ronnie is so revered in their hearts that this seem blasphemous to them.
“I say this sometimes: It’s a lot like when Jesus went into the temple and saw the money changers and he got angry and he turned over their tables,” Goldy added. “‘This is a house of worship; this is not a marketplace.’ So, in a way, those guys see us as the money changers in the Temple Of Dio, and they wanna knock over our tables, ’cause that’s a place of worship, not a marketplace. But they don’t understand that money is not the main purpose.
“Money has no heart, money has no soul — but Ronnie‘s music does. But it takes money to do stuff like this. And Ronnie brought them a fire-beathing dragon — an 18-foot fire-breathing dragon — and a gigantic metal spider and explosions and lasers, but he didn’t hike the ticket prices up; he did that as his own gift to the fans. And there was a crystal ball that would come down with a rear projection, which was the closest thing to a hologram back then, that Ronnie did himself.
“I would think that anyone who worked as hard as he did to create such an amazing catalog, such as he did, would want to have that carried on by the people he loved the most, which is us. And that’s what we’re doing.”
The Dio hologram production uses audio of Ronnie‘s live performances from throughout his career, with the DIO band playing live, consisting of Goldy on guitar, Simon Wright on drums and Scott Warren on keyboards, along with Bjorn Englen on bass. Also appearing with them are Owens and ex-LYNCH MOB frontman Oni Logan.
After the tour’s initial seven-date run was completed last December, Ronnie‘s hologram is undergoing “some changes” before the launch of the next leg of the “Dio Returns” world tour, scheduled for 2019.
Wendy Dio, who is a member of the Eyellusion team, said that the people that criticize the Ronnie James Dio hologram should at least see it in person before voicing their disapproval. “Don’t criticize it if you haven’t seen it,” she told “Whiplash”, the KLOS radio show hosted by Full Metal Jackie. “It’s done with love. The band love doing it. And we just wanna keep Ronnie‘s memory and his music alive.”
She added that a digital version of Dio makes perfect sense. “I think that Ronnie was an innovator of heavy metal music, so why not be an innovator of technology?” she said. “And I think technology is coming a long way with holograms — a lot of people are doing it now. And I think the reason is because we are losing all of our innovators; everybody is getting older. And we need to keep them alive and keep their memory and their music alive. I think it’s a new way. It’s like when people first came out with a CD or a cassette: ‘Ooh, we don’t want that.’ But then it was the way of technology.”
Goldy‘s new band, DREAM CHILD, will release its debut album, “Until Death Do We Meet Again”, on September 14 via Frontiers Music Srl. Joining the guitarist in the group are Wayne Findlay (MSG) on guitar and keyboards, Simon Wright (AC/DC, DIO, OPERATION: MINDCRIME) on drums, Rudy Sarzo (QUIET RIOT, OZZY OSBOURNE, WHITESNAKE, DIO) on bass, and Diego Valdez (HELKER) on vocals.