Former DIO guitarist Doug Aldrich says that Ronnie James Dio would be "pissed" about 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 like to see it myself, just to see it," Aldrich, who was in DIO between 2002 and 2006, told the "White Line Fever" podcast. "I love hearing those songs, I love Ronnie, so that would be cool. But I think Ronnie would be pissed. I think so. Ronnie would be, like, C'mon, let me be dead in peace!' Ronnie was a no-frills guy. He was not down for stuff like that."
What's more, Aldrich says Prince's former guitarist Wendy Melvoin believes her late boss would feel the same about similar tributes to the purple one.
Aldrich takes up the story. "At the Super Bowl, they had a half-time thing with Prince," he said. "A big curtain came down and there was a projection of Prince. It was, like, 300 feet tall. It was really cool, I thought.
"My neighbor is the old guitar players for Prince, Wendy. She had gotten her son a basketball hoop and was trying to assemble it by herself. I hadn't met her yet. I went over and said, 'You need a hand, I think,' and she's, like, 'Yeah, yeah. I don't know how the hell… There's all these parts.' We built this hoop for her together, and I said, 'Oh, by the way, what do you think Prince would think about that?' She goes, 'He'd hate it — hate, hate it!'
"But I thought [the Prince projection] was great, so I'd love to see the hologram thing. I just hope they get it to be bigger than life because that's how Ronnie was."
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 last December, Ronnie's hologram is undergoing "some changes" before the launch of the next leg of the "Dio Returns" world tour, scheduled for 2019.
Former DIO keyboardist Claude Schnell recently 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."