- Ronnie Dio's Early Years

Interview with Ronnie James Dio
By EvilG

As is mentioned by one of our readers on the message board, a recent interview with Ronnie discussed part of his early career. I got permission to reprint portions of the interview for your enjoyment and information.

Thanks to EvilG from for letting me post this! It was quite a stress relief to know I could put this interview on the site! The bold is interviewer EvilG, the rest is, of course, Ronnie. The interview took place March, 2001.


If you don't mind I'd like to start out with some questions about the past. I know there's a lot of history so the first question would be regarding the band ELF, which you were in many years ago. Have there been plans to re-release any of those albums?

Well there is actually a plan to record another album.

Right, that was my second question. (Laughter)

Yeah because I've been in contact with my cousin, Rock (Dave Feinstein) and our drummer, Simon Wright, is going to play. He's perfect for it because he's small too. Ha ha! We were going to use Joes DeMaio to play bass on it. At this point I'm not sure whether it will be Joey, or maybe both, but Rodger Glover going to do some of it with us. Rodger produced all the Elf albums we did before and I can't say no to Rodger and especially being the great player that he is. So yeah, there are plans to do another one.

About re-released the other ones. I've seen them on CDs before. They are from England; a company called The Connoisseur Collection. I see them all the time and I keep saying well how come I'm not getting any money from these come I never get paid? But I have seen them before. One is a double CD called GARGANTUAN ELF. That's got the second and third albums on it. I have seen the first one, the one with me on the cover with a long nose curly hair and pointed ears, the one just called ELF; I've seen that on CD as well.

Do you have any timeframe in mind for when you will actually sit down and work on this Elf project?

Well it's going to have to be a matter of when time doesn't step upon what Dio is doing. We're not going to be finished touring until probably late May because we have to go to Europe for a while as well and South America. So by that time we certainly will be ready to write another album for Dio. That will take precedence. I can't divide myself between doing one thing and doing another, I just don't want to do that and couldn't anyway. So unfortunately, or hopefully, it will be after we finish the next Dio album and that will hopefully give us a couple months for the product to get revved up and out there. At that time at least we can maybe have a start at writing all the things for it.

With regards to some of the other past bands/projects you've been in like Ronnie Dio and the Prophets and other pre-Rainbow bands...has there ever been talk of a box-set or re-releasing some of the early rare stuff that people have problems finding?

Well...I can only say that I think that they should...if they find them all they should bundle them in a box and blow them all up! (chuckles)...that's what I think.

You'd rather forget about it?

I'd rather, yeah...and it's only because you become something so much different. You understand why you are doing it and what you're doing. I guess erasing it is only because I've become so different. If I listen to that I think to myself "wow, what a wimp, what a jerk off!" But you have to remember, if only everyone could know that when that was happening, it was pretty hard and heavy stuff. But unfortunately you can't go around to everyone and say "don't listen to it that way." There's just (been) such a drastic change for me...I don't mean to keep going on and on about it but I think you'd know what I meant if you had written an article when you were five years old critiquing something and when you are 25 years old writing for Newsweek and someone says "oh...we just wanted to bring up this article that you wrote, here it is." I don't know if that equates, but you know what I mean.

For the entire interview, click here. (Let me know if this link ever goes dead!)