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Once again: what's true about the Blackmore / Dio reunion in the mid nineties?

Ronnie James Dio: I wanted that to happen and I was very open about saying I think it could have been a very worthwhile thing to do. I'm quite sad it did not happen, because I believe the timing was right for both Ritchie and I to do that. The plan was to film a gig in Tokyo. I think the fans would have loved it. The reasons were not with either me or Ritchie. We never had any personal issues big enough to stop anything like that happening. He know how much I respect him. The Rainbow thing was just planned as a special event, something to reward the fans really. Why didn't it happen? It was purely business with record labels and management. They just could not find enough common ground to work with. Creatively it was all there, no problem. I made the space in my career at that point for it to happen but there comes a point where you have to move on. A lot of these things happen because of timing. Someone might have a great idea but once you start dealing with other people's careers and schedules it all starts to get complicated. It would have been cool, it's a little regret I admit. I wouldn't rule it out but I could never imagine it being as BLACK SABBATH or RAINBOW. It's unlikely, in fact it's very, very unlikely. I think it would just be too much heartache for everyone concerned. None of us are going to put our careers on hold for something like that. So, RAINBOW or BLACK SABBATH - No. Working with Ritchie or Tony - maybe. There are no plans though, I can tell you that. They are both great people to work with but there is just so much more to it than that that often fans don't seem to realize. It's not a simple case of phoning someone up and saying 'Hey, are you free right now to sing on this song?' That's why I'm ruling out any kind of band reunion thing. It would have to be a spontaneous thing.

Rock Detector, October 2004




What do you want to tell all the journalists and fans who keep talking about Rainbow reunions.

Ronnie James Dio: There are no reunions for me. There is no reunion with Rainbow and there are certainly no reunions with Black Sabbath. I went there twice and it didn't happen the second time, either. I don't want to be involved in that anymore. They are doing what they want to do with Ozzy and that is good for them. I wish them all the best. There is nothing backward at all about what they are doing.

We had an opportunity to do Rainbow about five or six years ago. It just didn't quite work from a record company/management standpoint. It is a shame that it didn't happen. It was going to be one show televised and recorded in Tokyo. We could have finally given the people what they wanted. That didn't happen for all these years and I don't have time for that anymore. I tried to make my window of opportunity open for it but that window has closed. My career will be DIO and that will be the end of it.

It is nice that people care enough to want that to happen. They care about us after all these years and they remember what good things Ritchie and I did, but those days should be left where they were. They were great days and we made some really great music but life goes on. Too many times people who reunite in that classic manor are doing it because they can't carry on in this day and age. I can, so I am going to continue doing it.

Classic Rock Revisited, September 2004




Last year, Internet rumours surfaced that you had severed your thumb in a gardening accident. While I'm sure a lot of fans initially brushed this off as unlikely, it then transpired to be true. What actually happened on that day? Did it enter your head that you had been struck by the ultimate rock 'n' roll irony of a bizarre gardening accident?

Ronnie James Dio: It was a killer garden gnome. I'm not joking, although I certainly wish I was. What happened was that I was in my yard trying to place this garden gnome on a slope. This is a seriously heavy piece of garden ornament, probably 60lbs or so. Anyway, it fell over, I fell into the shrubbery and then began to slide down to the bottom of the hill. I was trying to stop myself with my feet but put my hand out at the wrong moment. You can understand this all happened in a split second. My hand landed on a rock, and the gnome landed on it, squashing my thumb between the rock and the gnome. Basically it was crushed and took the end of my thumb off. I just looked at my hand and the first thought that flashed into my mind was, 'How on earth am I going to make my devil horn sign now? That's my trademark!' I wasn't worried about the injury, more concerned with my career. I was imagining all the headlines in my head. It had every comedy element and more. I just picked up the end of the thumb, went back into the house, washed the nub of my thumb then got myself down to the hospital. It was quite surreal because I had one hand with this crushed thumb, basically just red meat and miniscule bits of bone, and I was holding the end of the thumb in my other hand. It was quite fascinating. It's not too often you get to see inside your thumb. I got a shock when I arrived in the emergency room because a nurse took a look at it first and said, 'No, I don't think we can save this.' I had to wait a while then for a doctor, all the time praying that he would come up with a different evaluation. Anyhow, he did thankfully. He said he could sew it back on. 'Please do!' I said, and that's exactly what he did. I think all the nerves got crushed or something. It looked like it should be painful, but it wasn't. After it was sewn back on they did a proper job of it and now it's OK. It looks a little distorted and the nail has not grown fully back yet but I'm thankful I still have my thumb and I can still do my horn sign.

Rockdetector.com September 2004




I suppose there's still a large difference between a band like Deep Purple where everyone treats each other as family in some sense, versus a band like Rainbow where you had impetuous personalities, and almost Machiavellian-like intrigues going on?

Don Airey: Actually, Rainbow was great fun to be in, despite what was going on. It was one of the most hilarious times I've ever had, with Cozy and Graham. There was so much stuff going on -- I think really, as a reaction to the way Ritchie was. I mean, he wasn't bad, Ritchie -- he could be awful sometimes but all I can say about Ritchie is that I learned an awful lot from him. Everybody does. He's one of those guys. You learn something. When I met him, I thought, "this is what I want". I'd had three years of Gary Moore and I needed a change!

The Highway Star, August 2004




Any guitar players that you haven't worked with that you would love to work with?

Don Airey: Yeah, there is one. Eddie Van Halen. I'm a big fan of him. Actually, I had a marvellous thing when I was in Rainbow. The first American tour, we got to LA and Gary had moved there and we had a night out. He said, "I've gotten matey with Eddie Van Halen." and so they came to the gig together. Eddie looked like a kid, he was such a lovely chap. So then I saw Eddie's eyes going, big eyes, you know? "Oh, Ritchie's coming!", and he couldn't believe it. So I said, "Ritchie, I want to introduce you, this is Gary Moore and this is Eddie Van Halen." And Ritchie just stormed off! He must have thought I was taking the piss or something. And Eddie went, "what did I do?" I said, "nothing." I don't know, it was very strange. I think Ritchie thought -- I don't know, I don't know what he thought! It was one of those wonderful Ritchie moments! Eddie still talks about it.

The Highway Star, August 2004




Tell us about the 'Ritchie' part of your name. How did all that come about?
The story behind Ritchie Blackmore Araki website (which is about Michael Schenker by the way).

Ritchie Blackmore Araki: When I was a university student back in 1987, I attended an English conversation school where they made it a rule to call the students by westerner nicknames. So I had to pick up one for mine. At the time, Michael Schenker was already my favorite guitarist and of course I thought I should call myself Michael at the school. However, I felt other people might think I was a fan of Michael Jackson. Hahahaha! That's why I picked up Ritchie instead, because Blackmore used to be one of my favorite guitarists along with Brian May before I got totally into Michael. Then, when I started my website, I called it "Ritchie Blackmore Araki's Website for Music Lovers". But since then, lots of people got confused because they came to visit my site hoping it was a Blackmore fansite but only to find Schenker-related information. Also, I got tired of explaining to Schenker fans why I am Ritchie Blackmore every time I was asked. That's why I OFFICIALLY abolished my handle and renamed it just "R.B. Araki" a couple of years ago. So I am no longer Ritchie Blackmore Araki. Of course, you can still call me Ritchie. But, please don't omit the "t" - it's not 'Richie'. I sometimes listen to Rainbow and Deep Purple stuff but I don't even own any Blackmore's Night CDs which Ritchie has made with his girlfriend.

Strangers In The Night 2004




There was always this big rumour about a one-time Rainbow-Reunion Show. Would you join, if Ritchie would ask you?

Bob Daisley: Ritchie won't play rock any more so there's no chance of that. There was talk about us re-uniting a few years back and I'd talked to Cozy about it but soon afterwards he was killed - rest in peace, Cozy !"

Rock Avenue, Germany June 2004








You recently stated that in order for you to consider a Rainbow reunion with Ritchie Blackmore, it would only be a one-off. When you say one-off, would that be one album, tour or show?

Ronnie James Dio: To go into a writing situation is something I am not really prepared to do. To me that means that will be ten or twelve fewer tracks that Dio will be able to do and that is always my consideration. Before there was a time when there was a lapse in Dio and I seriously considered, maybe, alright, we'll get back together and we'll do an album and tour and maybe it will last for awhile. When that didn't come about I just decided I think I've waited long enough for all this and believe me, it's not like I sit around and wait for this. Honestly, I don't. I could not care less. But I think that I owe something to all the people who have loved that band for so many damn years so when the opportunities did arise I looked at it and said, well, maybe. Could be if everything goes well. It didn't. The one off at that time was going to be a live show in Japan and then an album from that live show.

The Electric Basement, 11 July 2004




You've been quoted as saying Deep Purple were one of your influences. What was it like when you temporarily joined the band?


Joe Satriani: It was difficult, because every guitar player is really very idiosyncratic when it comes down to it, and while I was replacing Ritchie Blackmore, my brain was saying 'Hang on a minute, no one replaces Ritchie Blackmore!'

BBC Tyne Music, July 2004






But that skill that you talk about, that's also what brought you back to the stage when Ritchie invited you to come back to Rainbow?

Roger Glover; I suppose it was that skill coupled with the fact that Ritchie and I was thrown together in the band, me as a producer, sharing a manager with Ritchie. Bruce Payne was Rainbow's manager and I asked Bruce if he would manage me as a producer. I also started living with him at the time because my first marriage broke up so we were in pretty close contact. I arrived with two suitcases, "do you mind if I stay for a couple of weeks?" Three years later he said, "isn't it about time you moved out?"

Actually, Ronnie came to me first of all and said, "will you do some writing with me and Ritchie?" This was about '77. I was like, "sure, yeah, whatever". I don't hold grudges. It's easy to hold a grudge against Ritchie, a lot of things have happened in my life because of Ritchie but lots of good things too so we're in balance.

The Highway Star, Copenhagen 30 Nov 2003