Former DIO bassist Rudy Sarzo says that the "Dio Returns" tour featuring a hologram of Ronnie James Dio "comes from a place of love" and keeps the iconic singer's legacy alive.
The legendary heavy metal frontman died in 2010 at the age of 67 from stomach cancer. His hologram was created by a company called Eyeillusion and made its debut at the Wacken Open Air festival in August 2016 in front of more than 75,000 fans.
After the tour's initial seven-date run was completed in December 2017, Ronnie's hologram underwent some changes before the launch of the first 2019 leg of the "Dio Returns", which kicked off on May 31 at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall in Fort Myers, Florida and concluded on June 28 in Los Angeles, California.
Asked by "Ouch, You're On My Hair" podcast if he has seen the Dio hologram tour and what his opinion of it is, Rudy said (hear audio below): "No, I haven't seen it. What I think of it is — I'm very aware of where the love is coming from. Let's put it this way: if his own band does not go out and basically promote his legacy, maintain it… It is really our responsibility to do that with all the bands that we tour with, to keep the legacy of the musicians alive, of our bandmates. Because once they're gone, if that music is not being performed and alive, it will just disappear. And who better than the people that actually played [with Ronnie], or were part of the band, to actually do that? And I know them — I know every single one of them. We're all part of the DIO family, and I know it comes from a place of love."
The Dio hologram production uses audio of Ronnie's live performances from throughout his career, with the DIO band playing live, consisting of Craig Goldy on guitar, Simon Wright on drums and Scott Warren on keyboards, along with Bjorn Englen on bass. Also appearing with them are former JUDAS PRIEST singer Tim "Ripper" Owens and LYNCH MOB frontman Oni Logan.
Sarzo joined DIO in 2004 and remained a member of Ronnie's band until the singer's death nine years ago.
Since the early 1980s, Sarzo has played with some of the biggest bands and artists in hard rock and heavy metal, including OZZY OSBOURNE (alongside renowned guitarist Randy Rhoads), QUIET RIOT, WHITESNAKE and Geoff Tate's version of QUEENSRŸCHE, not to mention a five-year stint with hard rock juggernauts BLUE ÖYSTER CULT and an ongoing run with THE GUESS WHO.
Sarzo in 2006 published "Off The Rails", a book about his time with Osbourne and Rhoads.
Image courtesy of Sweetwater