Def Leppard guitarist Vivian Campbell has expressed remorse for his past comments about the late Ronnie James Dio.
In an interview with Oklahoma City’s 107.7 KRXO, Campbell explained that the relationship between Dio and himself was strained from the very start: “It was well documented that Ronnie and I had a very contentious personal relationship; our relationship only worked on a musical level and not on a personal level. So it was difficult.”
In 1986, after four years of playing together, Campbell parted ways with Dio; however, the circumstances of his departure ensued a war of words between the two revered musicians that lasted for several years. Campbell claimed he had no choice but to leave the band, while Dio begged to differ.
With hindsight, Campbell conceded that he wished things had gone differently: “I regret a lot of the things I said about him,” he said. “I’m sure if Ronnie was still alive, he would regret a lot of the things he said about me.”
Campbell added that he believes that the music that he and Dio created together has been overshadowed by the feud: “We all contributed to the songwriting in Dio. I wrote a lot of those songs and a lot of people tend to forget that.”
However, Campbell said that he too has long struggled to accept his place in the band’s history: “The fact is, it was very difficult for me to even listen to those songs for decades…enough time has passed where I’m able to go back and reflect upon that and actually take ownership of it again, and embrace it for what it was.”