VINNY APPICE Talks RONNIE JAMES DIO, HEAVEN & HELL's 'Neon Nights' DVD

Scott Smith of the Times Record Online recently conducted an interview with with legendary drummer Vinny Appice (HEAVEN & HELL, BLACK SABBATH, DIO). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

On how he declided an offer to be in Ozzy Osbourne's first solo band, only to join an Ozzy-less BLACK SABBATH a couple months later:

"I got a call from Ozzy's wife, Sharon, and she was wanting to put a new band together for Ozzy for a new career. I had heard stories from Carmine [Appice, Vinny's brother, who played with Ozzy] about Ozzy being crazy and stuff — I was a 20-year-old kid who had never been to England — so I didn't join Ozzy's band."

"When we first played together, it just felt so right. I adopted SABBATH's style — playing behind the beat and sometimes open. Bill Ward is a busier player — he calls himself a percussionist and he doesn't always play exactly with the guitar, which is cool and fantastic — where I'm more straight ahead like a foundation. That seemed to work."

On legendary BLACK SABBATH/HEAVEN & HELL singer Ronnie James Dio, who died in May of stomach cancer:

"Ronnie would have these stomach pains, but he told us it was just gas. We didn't know he was ill — Ronnie didn't know he was that ill — when we filmed that show [for the upcoming DVD, 'Neon Nights: 30 Years Of Heaven & Hell']. He would have these pains but then go up there and sing his butt off. Ronnie was amazing. We said, 'If he can sing like that, then he's probably OK.' We didn't know."

"You know, 'Neon Knights was the very first song I played with Ronnie way back in my beginning with BLACK SABBATH, and it was also the very last song I played with him in HEAVEN & HELL. That was the full journey with Ronnie, right there. It was great."

On the "Neon Nights: 30 Years Of Heaven & Hell" DVD/Blu-ray:

"When we filmed that, it was one of those magical nights where everything went right. The sound was great, we were playing great, and oh my gosh, all of those people there. There were so many people at that festival (Germany's Wacken Open Air)."

On BLACK SABBATH's "Dehumanizer" CD from 1992:

"When grunge came in, which is when that album was released, we didn't try to sound like grunge. We didn't put on flannel shirts. We just stuck to what we did, playing heavy riffs, and I love the 'Dehumanizer' record. That still is a great-sounding record."

Read the entire interview from Times Record Online.

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