Former DIO and current DEF LEPPARD guitarist Vivian Campbell revealed in April 2012 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.
Speaking to Artisan News on the “red carpet” of the Los Angeles premiere of “Sound City”, the new feature-length documentary directed and produced by FOO FIGHTERS frontman Dave Grohl, Appice stated about how the idea for LAST IN LINE came about: “We just jammed one night. Viv [Campbell] called up and said, ‘You wanna jam?’ He was playing with STEEL PANTHER and they played ‘Rainbow In The Dark’ and he had such a good time playing it that he went, ‘You know what?! This is cool.’ He called me up [and said], ‘Yeah, let’s jam.’ So we all got together and we played. And we hadn’t played those songs in thirty-something years, and it was tight. So he said, ‘You wanna do some dates?’ I said, ‘Let’s schedule it and it’ll be fun.'”
On the topic of what Freeman adds to the LAST IN LINE project, Vinny said: “I’d played with [Andy] before. He’s a really good singer. Real passionate. We’re not trying to have somebody look like Ron [Ronnie James Dio] or sing exactly like him — just somebody that will sing it with passion like Ronnie did, with his heart.”
LAST IN LINE will embark on a European tour this summer, to be preceded by regional U.S. warm-up shows.
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.