Former DIO and current DEF LEPPARD guitarist Vivian Campbell revealed in April that he is planning to join forces with three other original DIO members to play “some gigs” that will see the musicians performing material from the early DIO records that Campbell appeared on. Dubbed LAST IN LINE, Campbell, Vinny Appice (drums), Jimmy Bain (bass) and Claude Schnell (keyboards) will be accompanied by singer Andrew Freeman, who has previously fronted HURRICANE and LYNCH MOB.
In a new Facebook posting, Campbell writes, “I played with the DIO guys again [Thursday] night and we managed to get through about 12 songs, but oh, so loud! In my entire career I’ve never before managed to wind-up a Marshall head to 10 until last night — and I STILL couldn’t hear myself! Those guys have some pent-up frustration to let out. Gonna be big fun when we take this on the road, but I’m gonna need more horsepower.”
In a recent interview with the MusicLegends.ca web site, Schnell stated about Andrew’s performance at the first LAST IN LINE rehearsal, “He did an outstanding job, and if he didn’t, I don’t believe that he’d be the one that we’d be pursuing the project with. But he did a very, very good job. His online comments about ‘preparing to be the world’s most hated singer notwithstanding,’ I think he’s going to do a very credible and very impressive job of covering this material.”
On the topic of LAST IN LINE’s setlist, Schnell said, “Well, it’s largely gonna be material from the first three albums — ‘Holy Diver’, ‘The Last In Line’ and ‘Sacred Heart’ — the albums on which Viv played. I don’t think we’re gonna be doing any material from the albums on which Craig [Goldy, Vivian’s replacement in DIO] played and the later incarnations of the band. But, fortunately, there is no shortage of material and hits on those first few records, so you can count on ‘Rainbow In The Dark’ and ‘Holy Diver’ and ‘Rock And Roll Children’, and so forth and so on. The list goes on and on, on and on.”
Regarding LAST IN LINE’s touring plans, Schnell said, “We’ve been putting out some feelers and getting some kind of feedback about… Actually, [there is] a very strong international interest in seeing this back on the road. Again, this is all kind of very ironic and surprising, because quite honestly, initially, the only interest in doing this is a bunch of friends getting together to have a play and socialize a little bit and kind of catch up. But, like I said, it just seemed so organic once we started playing that the notion of doing it more than once seemed inevitable. And, of course, with that being considered, then it was an obvious conclusion that, ‘Well, let’s see if anybody would be interested in hearing this.’ Needless to say, the ears that were listening within the rehearsal hall were on fire. There was an awful lot of, ‘Hey, that sounds like that band from way back when.'”
Campbell and Ronnie James Dio worked together on the first three DIO albums 1983’s “Holy Diver”, 1984’s “The Last in Line” and 1985’s “Sacred Heart” — before Irishman Campbell left to join WHITESNAKE in 1987. Their subsequent relationship was strained, to say the least.
Original DIO lineup performing live in 1984: