Tim Ripper Owens defended Dio Disciples’ decision to go on tour with Ronnie James Dio’s hologram, saying they are just celebrating the music and life of the legendary singer.
Dio died in 2010 at age 67 due to stomach cancer. His hologram was created by Eyeillusion and made his first appearance at the Wacken Open Air in 2016, in front of 75,000 fans.
The Dio Returns Tour: The World Tour uses the audio of performances recorded during the singer’s career, and with the band Dio Disciples playing live.
In an interview with IndeOnline.com about how he got involved with Dio Returns, the former Judas Priest vocalist said that “Wendy (Dio’s wife and manager) and the staff responsible for the hologram both asked me if I had an interest in singing. I love the things of Dio Disciples, and it’s something I do for love.
I hear people say, ‘Oh, someone’s making money.’ No. Someone is wasting tons of money trying to make fans happy. We do not do this for money. I’m better off doing my solo gigs, but I love it. I love Wendy and Dio as friends, so we’re just celebrating the life and music of his. ”
Asked if there was any question on his part about doing the tour, Owens said, “First, I was not sure. But I thought I’d certainly like to see a hologram from David Bowie / Ziggy Startdust or Bon Scott … Maybe I did not like it, and I do not know.
But with us, it’s a live band playing with Dio’s vocals. I think it would be really cool to see these other artists in the same way, so that’s how I looked. I thought, ‘I’ll try this.’ (…). Not liking is one thing, but attacking Wendy, who is doing it to make fans happy, that’s the problem.”
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