Former DIO guitarist Rowan Robertson says that he “would love” to release songs that were written during the sessions for the band’s “Lock Up The Wolves” album that didn’t make the final record.
Robertson, who was 17 years old when he joined the legendary singer, was asked by The Metal Voice at last month’s NAMM show if he would be interested in making the unreleased recordings available to Ronnie James Dio fans.
“There’s two songs which were just done on a boombox in rehearsal,” he said. “And I just really would like to get permission from management, ’cause I don’t wanna get in trouble. I’d love them to be out there, but I think after Ronnie‘s gone, he’s not here to say, ‘Don’t play anyone that.’ You know what I mean?”
In a 2015 interview, Robertson said that he played the two songs in question — which were apparently titled “Hell Wouldn’t Take Her” and “The River Between Us” — for Ronnie‘s widow and manager Wendy Dio and that she thought the quality wasn’t “good enough” to release them.
Rowan was also asked by The Metal Voice for his opinion on the ongoing “Dio Returns: The World Tour”, which features a hologram of Ronnie James Dio backed by some of his DIO bandmates.
“I think it’s great,” the guitarist said. “I think it keeps his memory alive, and I don’t see any problem with it at all. I think it’s great.”
In the late 1980s, Robertson heard that Ronnie James Dio was looking for a new guitarist. He sent a tape to the record company Phonogram. After six months of waiting, he got a reply that stated that at that moment they were not interested in him. At the encouragement of his friend and fellow guitarist Sean Manning (HURRICANE), the tenacious Robertson then contacted the DIO fan club who then asked him to send his demo tape to them.
Robertson got a great response from DIO after receiving the demo through the fan-club channels. In late January or early February 1989, Robertson was flown to Los Angeles for an audition with DIO. He was auditioned twice. Immediately after the second audition, he was invited to join the band. The press release for the addition of Robertson to DIO was sent out on July 18, 1989 and the press was invited to meet the newest DIO guitarist on July 20, 1989 at Oliver’s Pub in New York City.
The first DIO album Robertson started working on with DIO was “Lock Up The Wolves”. These sessions included Jimmy Bain, Vinny Appice and Jens Johansson. The band had already begun writing and recording when Jimmy Bain and Vinny Appice were suddenly excused from the band. They were replaced with Teddy Cook and former AC/DC drummer Simon Wright.
“Lock up the Wolves” was released in 1990, and the band embarked on a tour in support of the album.
Robertson stayed with DIO until Ronnie James Dio rejoined BLACK SABBATH in 1991.