Former DIO guitarist Doug Aldrich says that he would "definitely" pay money to go see the Ronnie James Dio hologram even though he doesn't believe the the legendary heavy metal singer would be pleased about having a a life-size digital version of him touring the world.
The former vocalist in BLACK SABBATH and RAINBOW, who died in 2010 at the age of 67, is now the subject of a touring show in which his three-dimensional representation is backed by members of his band DIO.
"I'm fine with it," Aldrich, who was in DIO between 2002 and 2006, told Totally Driven Radio (hear audio below). "I'd like to see it. It definitely would never compare to the real thing. It wouldn't even scratch the itch at all. But I would support it, just because those guys are all friends of mine and stuff. To be honest, I don't think Ronnie would be into it that much. But at least people are getting something and it keeps his music alive. And like I said, I would go see it. I'd pay money to go see it — definitely."
The Dio 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.
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 ex-LYNCH MOB frontman Oni Logan.
After the tour's initial seven-date run was completed in December 2017, Ronnie's hologram is undergoing "some changes" before the launch of the next leg of the "Dio Returns" world tour, scheduled for this spring.
Former DIO keyboardist Claude Schnell has slammed the Ronnie James Dio hologram, calling it a "travesty" and "disrespectful" to the singer's memory.
Wendy Dio, who is a member of the Eyellusion team, recently 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."