Wendy Dio Addresses Vivian Campbell’s Financial Expectations From Dio


During a recent chat with SiriusXM’s ‘Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk,’ Ronnie James Dio‘s widow and former manager Wendy Dio discussed her claims regarding Vivian Campbell‘s ambitions towards commerciality.

It is common for band members to have disputes and creative differences over the band’s musical direction. As success is a subjective matter, these conflicts often lead to big arguments that can even result in departures. For Wendy Dio, guitarist Vivian Campbell’s departure from Dio was due to the members’ differing approaches to financial success.

She recently argued that Campbell wanted to embrace a commercial direction to ensure the band’s financial success, whereas the late Ronnie James Dio didn’t share the same ambitions with his bandmate. As Wendy explained, the only problem with the situation wasn’t Vivian’s desire for profit; the guitarist also didn’t give Ronnie his rightful earnings.

The manager claimed that during the period when Vivian Campbell tried to achieve commercial success with the band, the late frontman had disclosed to Wendy that Vivian didn’t contribute to the band’s music. Ronnie had previously tried to avoid being mainstream with songs like, ‘Mystery,’ but Vivian had the opposite ideals.

Wendy Dio stated the following regarding the matter:

”It wasn’t just that [Vivian] wanted more money; he wasn’t giving Ronnie any… Ronnie played off with the guitar player. He wasn’t bringing anything to the table, as Ronnie said. Also, he was wanting to push the band more commercial, which Ronnie had fought all of the way along, with songs like ‘Mystery.'”

The manager continued her words by explaining that Ronnie had no desire to profit off his music and be famous. The late frontman composed and created music for art’s sake rather than commercial success. Yet, Vivian tried to lead him and the rest of his bandmates toward a more commercially successful direction. However, Dio didn’t let Campbell astray the band from what he believed.

Wendy explained:

”Ronnie did not want to do things like that; he did not want to be poppy. And he was again being led by Vivian, along with the rest of the band, to be more commercial. And that was not what Ronnie wanted to do, and it wasn’t what he was gonna do.”

From Wendy Dio’s statements, one can understand the circumstances surrounding Vivian’s eventual departure from the band to join Whitesnake. It seems like the guitarist desired more financial durability whereas Ronnie wanted to create and compose music for himself rather than for commercial success.