Dio Timeline

The text on this page is (c)2014 Joe Siegler
all text was written by me unless otherwise specified.

This page will detail all the various lineup changes that Dio (the band) has had since their inception. I’ve tried to include all variants of the band’s history, and as far as I know, it’s correct through conversations with various members and former members about happenings in the band. I’ve also included as many pictures of the lineups as I have. If you have a lineup picture that I do not, please contact me, as I’d like to use it.

  • Ronnie James Dio – Vocals, Bass
  • Jake Williams – Guitar
  • Vinny Appice – Drums

The original Dio lineup started almost immediately after the breakup of the Mob Rules/Live Evil incarnation of Black Sabbath.  For me personally, that was a bit of a bummer, because I originally got into Black Sabbath after the Mob Rules album came out.

Ronnie & Vinny decided to form a band called “Dio”.  Despite the moniker obviously coming from Ronnie’s stage name, the band was never intended (according to interviews) to be “Ronnie’s band”, it was supposed to be a “band band”.  Which ended up being an odd remark, as the Dio band changed members a lot over the years, even if the earlier parts were more stable.

This proto version of the band was in the earliest days of the Dio band.   My research turns up that this incarnation of the band was only around for about a month, before Ronnie & Vinny took off to England to search for a guitarist & bassist (see next section).  I’ve also read where Vivian was introduced to Jake as the new guitarist, too.  So the TRUE order is as of yet unknown to me.   If I get any hard facts about times and all this, I will definitely update.

But Jakey Lou Williams (or Jake Williams, later to be dubbed Jake E. Lee by Ozzy) was involved at this point, but as far as I can tell never progressed beyond the demo stage to full/proper recording.   Jake is apparently responsible for the guitar riff for “Don’t Talk To Strangers”, according to legend.

Ronnie played bass, because at this point, there was no bassist in the band. Ronnie himself played bass in bands that predated his days in Rainbow, so the instrument was not something that was foreign to him at all.

(Official) albums from this lineup:

  • None

  • Ronnie James Dio – Vocals, Keyboards
  • Vivian Campbell – Guitar
  • Jimmy Bain – Bass, Keyboards
  • Vinny Appice – Drums

(Official) albums from this lineup:

After the experiment with Jake, Ronnie & Vinny started looking for bandmates after going to England.  After a short time looking for guitarist and bassist around various clubs, Ronnie phoned up his old mate, Jimmy Bain, who played together with him in Dio.  Jimmy of course accepted the invite, and joined as a founding member of the Dio band.

From what I’ve read, Ronnie wanted a british guitarist.  Probably due to his past with Ritchie Blackmore & Tony Iommi – that’s quite a heritage.   Anyways, now onboard Jimmy Bain recommended two – John Sykes & Vivian Campbell.  We all know in the end that Campbell was the chosen guy, but John Sykes would have been an interesting choice.

This was the version of the band that recorded Holy Diver.  As much as I didn’t want the Mob Rules version of Black Sabbath to break up, we did get the excellent Born Again album out of Sabbath, and the Holy Diver masterpiece out of Dio.  So in the end, it worked out musically.

The band didn’t have an official keyboardist at this time  – keys on Holy Diver were handled by both Ronnie & Jimmy.   However, when it came time to touring, neither was going to be able to play keyboards.  Granted, Ronnie could probably pull off a Geddy Lee and both sing and play keyboards, but I don’t think Ronnie wanted to be on stage behind a keyboard, so a proper keyboardist was needed.

  • Dio Band 1984Ronnie James Dio – Vocals
  • Vivian Campbell – Guitar
  • Jimmy Bain – Bass
  • Vinny Appice – Drums
  • Claude Schnell – Keyboards

(Official) albums from this lineup:

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