Current Def Leppard guitarist Vivian Campbell has admitted that he regrets a lot of the things that he said about Ronnie James Dio when they parted company 1986.
The war of words between the two continued throughout their careers and now, sixteen years later, Campbell has given an interview to 107.7 KRXO in Oklahoma City, Okla., and talked about that difficult period of his career and what brought him back to revisit the Dio material with the original line-up of the band and singer Andrew Freeman filling in for the legendary Dio.
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Campbell explained that he and Ronnie never really saw eye to eye, commenting: "It was well documented that Ronnie and I had a very contentious personal relationship; our relationship only worked on a musical level and not on a personal level. So it was difficult."
When the two parted ways, things got worse. Campbell felt the band portrayed his departure as being his choice while he maintained that he was kicked out of Dio.
He alludes to that one action in particular being the catalyst for an epic level of mud-slinging between the two for years to come.
"I regret a lot of the things I said about him," admits Campbell. "I'm sure if Ronnie was still alive, he would regret a lot of the things he said about me."
While there was always friction, Campbell thinks that music fans seem to forget one thing.
"We all contributed to the songwriting in Dio. I wrote a lot of those songs and a lot of people tend to forget that."
And Campbell says he has reached a place where it's important for him to revisit that time period.
"The fact is, it was very difficult for me to even listen to those songs for decades. Enough time has passed where I'm able to go back and reflect upon that and actually take ownership of it again, and embrace it for what it was."
Campbell hopes that revisiting the Dio line-up will help celebrate the band and their legacy, although many Ronnie James Dio fans do not seem to share that sentiment. Listen to the full interview with Vivian Campbell here.