Former DIO guitarist Doug Aldrich says that Ronnie James Dio would be "probably not like" the fact that a holographic version of the legendary heavy metal singer is being prepped for a world tour.
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 would see it if it was close by or if you had a good theater or something," Aldrich, who was in DIO between 2002 and 2006, told XS Rock. "I'd go see it to support the guys and and everything, but I can tell you that Ronnie would probably not like this. He would probably be, like, 'This is not what I signed up for.' A hologram? It's not really what he would want to be. I'm just guessing, you know, that it's something that [Ronnie's wife and manager] Wendy [Dio] thought about and she decided that Ronnie would be fine with it. But I knew Ronnie well enough to know that he was very particular and he would prefer for them to let him just die and be in peace."
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."