Interview: Tom Morello, Chuck Garric, Jeff Pilson, and Don Jamieson Pay Tribute to 30 Years of Dio, as Artist Series Guitar Presents the Holy Diver Guitar
By Kara Vaporean, Artist Series Guitar
After making an everlasting impression in the metal and rock-and-roll world, Dio celebrates its 30th Anniversary. Artist Series Guitar got in touch with a few significant people in the metal world to find out what affect Ronnie James Dio and the band Dio had on them.
The Dio experience began May 25, 1983 with the debut of the band’s greatest album known to date, Holy Diver, an American heavy-metal classic.
“It was then and still is a landmark metal album that has stood the test of time. Its musical longevity still continues to inspire younger generations of musicians,” said Don Jamieson of VH1 Classic’ That Metal Show.
Since the ’80s, the iconic Ronnie James Dio has amazed not only heavy-metal fans throughout the world, but many key players within the rock industry. Dio’s musicianship paved the way for many young artists including current Alice Cooper bassist Chuck Garric. Garric has played bass for a wide range of metal bands such as L.A. Guns, Eric Singer Project, and Dio.
“Dio has always held a special place in my metal heart,” Garric says. “As a kid growing up with Sabbath, Deep Purple, and Rainbow, I was already a huge Dio fan. The first time I heard Holy Diver, I about lost my mind! I was an instant fan of the record and the sound of Jimmy Bain’s bass tone was unreal! I was in High School and I remember the record was constantly playing in my car or on my walkman. To this day, my favorite Dio memory would be, playing ‘Stand Up and Shout,’ ‘Holy Diver,’ ‘Don’t Talk to Strangers,’ ‘Straight Through the Heart,’ ‘Gypsy,’ ‘Caught in the Middle,’ and of course ‘Rainbow in the Dark’ live on stage with Ronnie and the guys–killer!”
For nearly 30 years, RJD shredded the stage giving not only fans one of the best live metal shows, but he also amazed his band with his passionate stage presence.
“I carry my Dio experience with me everyday and every time I hit the stage… I played my heart out every night on stage with Ronnie, cause I knew he was going to sing his out,” Garric says.
For metal fans, the Dio band holds a memory in its own, but for former Dio bassist Jeff Pilson, it’s the RJD memory he holds most close to his heart.
“There couldn’t be a single favorite memory of my time with Dio,” he says. “Just being in that band was a favorite memory I’ll never forget. I guess one thing that sticks out in my mind is the feeling I’d get at the end of ‘We Rock’ every night. Ronnie really wanted me to sing backups with him, which didn’t often happen in Dio, so harmonizing with him was just the most powerful experience I’ve ever had. I remember so many nights when, right before that line ‘We Rooooooock,’ he’d look at me with that smile then we’d both lay into that line and it would just shake the rafters. It was so much fun!”
Dio’s live show delivered the metal goods in each venue, giving fans of all sorts the true metal experience.
“At one gig some dude behind me said, ‘Hey! Sit down!’ ’cause I was rocking out so hard,” Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello recalls. “So I replied, ‘Listen, the name of this song is ‘Stand Up and Shout’ so that’s exactly what I’m doing, jackass!”
Dio influenced so many artists, but what was most important to him were his fans.
“He was just a great example of the way an artist should treat their fans,” Jamieson says. “Always a gentleman, he always knew if it wasn’t for the fans there would be no RJD as we knew him.”
In memory of the 30 years that Dio rocked the stage, Artist Series Guitar will honor the band with a limited edition Holy Diver guitar. The Artist Series Guitar release will feature Dio’s exclusive Holy Diver album artwork detailed specifically for the guitar. The imagery is set using an exclusive chemical bonding process engineered by the luthiers at Artist Series Guitar. The collectable guitar is built with a solid mahogany body and features a Rosewood fingerboard, Mother of Pearl inlays, cream binding on the body, neck and headstock, jumbo frets, custom engraved, ASG Arsenal, dual-coil humbuckers, Kluson tuners, custom cut, Graph-Tech nut, Gravedigger ™ headstock, chrome ASG headstock emblem, speed knobs, gloss finish and a hardshell case.
For this exclusive 30th Anniversary Dio guitar release, Artist Series Guitar will only make 30 guitars, one to mark each year of Dio. The Holy Diver guitar will come in a bundled package that includes an ASG skate deck, ASG T-shirt, ASG snapback hat, an SKB hardshell case and Dio T-shirt.
This incredibly limited guitar will only be available at ArtistSeriesGuitar.com. Presale beings July 10 at 12 a.m. PST.