Interviewed by: Marianne Jacobsen
After a mix up connecting via Skype that landed me 20 mins late for this interview (does anyone see a pattern happening here or is it just me?), the one and only Craig Goldy took the time to talk about Resurrection Kings – the most recent endeavor as well as reminisce about his career and someone that we both hold very close to our hearts – Ronnie James Dio.
MGM: Hi Craig! Sorry about the mix up. As I say “Computer’s they don’t mind and you don’t matter”!
CG: (laughter) Very true. It’s funny because being the age I am (which is close to the same age as MGM who was born in 1969) we live in a really great moment where we still remember the traditional, old analogue. Yet at the same time the digital world is fantastic and the new technology is fantastic. Sometimes it will clip us at the heels and if you don’t know how to deal with it the old fashioned way. I feel sorry for the kids that are growing up now that don’t know what its like not to have technology to rely on. If technology fails these kids they have nowhere to turn.
MGM: Does anyone under the age of 21 know penmanship anymore?
MGM: I just want to say now, thank you very much for taking this time out to talk to me. Ronnie James Dio was the first live performance I attended at the age of 13 when he toured with Sabbath/Mob Rules (1982). Since that time I consider myself to be very spoiled. Dio vocally is amazing and adding the live experience that he provided put the bar waaaaay up high on my expectations of what a concert “should” be. So basically I can share my favourite Chris Farley skit with you when he interviewed Paul McCartney and instead of the Beatles I can say Dio.
CG: You know what’s funny? Me and Ronnie loved that skit. Him and I used to clown around together when something would happen and him and I would go (exactly like in the skit) “remember that time…”
MGM: Yep… Exactly and because MGM is fan oriented every time I speak to someone such as yourself Chris Farley is right there speaking for me. It’s like my 14 year old got loose and is living a dream.
CG: You know there were lots of times when I felt the same way around Ronnie. I am a fan and I always will be. I think we all start out as fans – its just that some of us forget where we came from. Ronnie didn’t forget where he came from. He was a fan. He stayed a fan. He was a human being, a gentleman a kind hearted man, a very intelligent, funny person who happened to turn out to be a rock star.
MGM: Right. He started his career in Doo Wop right?
CG: I never forget the first time somebody showed me that picture of Ronnie back in the 50s. I thought wow.
MGM: I know right? Talk about versatile.
CG: I thought this guy is amazing – he can storm through anything. I guess if Dio was the first concert that you went to and the one that you measure other shows by. That’s quite an act to follow.
MGM: That’s what I find so exciting about Frontier Records and a few other companies that are finally giving all of those bands that were there in the “80s” but didn’t get the appreciation they deserved are now all part of this fantastic revival. It’s such a gift.
CG: I agree.
MGM: I also believe that this revival proves that we were all correct when we said our music is/was better.
MGM: Now! This Resurrection Kings album is just amazing!
CG: Thank you!
MGM: I read in one of your other interviews that Living Out Loud is your favourite song on the album – care to elaborate?
CG: Living Out Loud – not because I wrote it with Chas but just because of how that song was written and why. Now that I have an opportunity for that song to be released, like you said “it’s a gift”.
MGM: What was so special about the writing of this song?
CG: That song was written years ago but it stems from – you know – some of my greatest accomplishments actually have stemmed from some of my worst failures. And so throughout the years I have realized that everything happens for a reason. There is timing involved. So when I was writing with Ronnie for the Dream Evil album. Warner Brothers was impressed that this was the first time the guitar player had written so much of the album. Because before – it was Ronnie and Jimmy (Bain) – then they would bring in Viv and then the rest of the guys. So at that time Jimmy was a little disenchanted so Ronnie says to me “OK you’re up kid.” And so him and I wrote the major portion of that album. From there Warner Brothers signed me to be one of their main songwriters. So as a songwriter for Warner Brothers – it was a great position – where I could submit songs for television and film and other famous acts. The only problem was that my songs kept getting turned down and I had no idea why. So I started studying hit songs that had been on the charts longer than a week. and then I created these templates of what those songs are made of and I would fill in those empty templates with my own original material and I started to work twice to ten times as hard as I ever did before. But then that started to become the norm. So when I turned that system on to my students and when I started to create a band using that process I kept hitting wall after wall because all the people that had made names for themselves in the 80s had egos that were so astronomical that they didn’t want to work as hard as they did before. They really didn’t think they needed to. And they didn’t think they needed that kind of a process in order to write a song. So here I am getting phone calls from my students going, “Dude I got a record deal what do I do? I don’t have a manager! Will you look over the contract? Dude I got money to invest in my project what do I do?”
MGM: Is that what Destiny Bridge is all about? (Check it out on: craiggoldy.com)
CG: Yes it is. It’s to help people out and to catapult them to where they are supposed to be instead of going through all the crap we did.
MGM: So this guide is like the hip waders of Rock and Roll?
CG: What happened was Chas was the first guy that was willing to write songs in that fashion. And so that’s where Living Out Loud came from. So me, him and Sean McNabb were supposed to get a band together and then for whatever reason things happened and things got put on hold and now here we are. You know its amazing because of the fact that I love Whitesnake. That album in 1987 has something for everybody but it was still cohesive.
MGM: (makes guttural noise) OMG I love that album!!!!
CG: So from there I really wanted to create an album like that and so did Frontier Records– something for everybody. As the lineup they had in mind started to fall through – to the naked eye it looked like this project was falling apart at the seams, because everybody (bass player, singer, drummer) were falling through. And so luckily I was able to make friends with everyone I work with. And each one of these guys that I have worked with in the past happened to be available – Sean, Chas and Vinny – and so the world thought this project was falling apart when in reality it was getting stronger and more powerful than it ever would have been before. And this thing just snowballed into an absolute gem. I mean there are nasty riffs and sexy riffs that appear in Whitesnake songs that don’t appear in Deep Purple songs – Deep Purple is my favourite band and Rainbow with Ronnie in it was another of my favs. But guitar parts did not exist in those bands but the Avant garde eclectic staccato style of guitar playing was the reason why I started playing guitar in the first place. Those types of things don’t appear in Whitesnake songs. Journey and Foreigner have some of my favourite songwriting elements but they are not heavy enough for me to want to listen to them on a daily basis. So I got a chance to kind of mix everything together with my favourite elements all into one song and into one album, keeping in mind that a mixture of already existing entities does not constitute uniqueness. It needed to be a sincere effort just guided by what I was influenced by and what I loved and a sincere mixture of what the song needed and what I thought would be applicable and proper for each song – but I got a chance to mix all those elements together for some songs all in one and totally for this album all in one. It just snowballed and I’m just very humbled and very fortunate and excited and hopeful all at once.
Living Out Loud Video via Youtube
MGM: Being the greedy little fan that I am – my next question is – when are you going on tour and when are you coming to Toronto?
CG: Actually, we were all so impressed with the way that the album came out we are currently in negotiations with mangers and agents to try to put a tour together.
MGM: Now Vinny Appice is on this album as well. Has he played in Dio Disciples before?
CG: Yes he has played with DD before. There is actually talk of an original album coming out with the Dio Disciples. Dio Disciples originally came from – You see – the band Dio was run like a family. So when your family member dies the other members of the family that are left behind often try to do things to keep their loved one’s memory alive. So that’s where the Dio Disciples came from – Wendy and Simon called me and said, “We should really do something.” Because there were all these tributes going on for Ronnie, some of them were just trying to cash in on his passing and some of them were legitimate. However, we said – We are his family we should do something. So that is where Dio Disciples came from.
MGM: I have been asking everyone lately if they have a Lemmy story… do you?
CG: Well actually, I love that guy. We did a lot of touring together. When I first rejoined Dio for the Magica days we did a lot of touring from that point on with Motorhead.
MGM: I was gonna say – that’s the summer of Iron Maiden/Dio/Motorhead summer of 2003!!!
CG: Yep… that’s the one.
MGM: That was a good show! Thanks!
CG: You’re welcome! So here we are on tour with Iron Maiden and sometimes Scorpions and sometimes Motorhead and I could not feel more out of place. I mean, I am not a rock star – Ronnie’s not a rock star – he’s a gentleman, like I said, warm hearted human being who happened to be viewed as a rock star. In a similar way I am not a rock star – but I have gotten into a position where I could be viewed as a rock star. Ronnie and Lemmy were friends, first and foremost – and the amazing thing was that Ronnie could understand what he was saying perfectly. I mean, God bless Lemmy I love that guy but I could never understand him. He has such a thick accent and I could not understand him. I felt like such a nerd. So Lemmy’s talking to me and I cannot understand anything he is saying. Meanwhile Ronnie is sitting there acknowledging everything Lemmy is saying and replying with “yeah right on” or something like that. So yeah, to this day I cannot figure out what he said to me. For all I know he wanted me to take care of his dog while he was away and the dog is still waiting for me on his porch because I said “Ok” when I really had no idea what I was agreeing to.
MGM: Everyone has all these stories about what perfect gentlemen these guys are when the outside world sees them as menaces to society. Which goes to show you that you cannot judge a book by its cover.
CG: I often felt very nerdish whenever I was around Ronnie.
MGM: Didn’t I read somewhere that RJD took you from living out of your car to play with Dio?
CG: Well yeah. With the last $20 that I had from giving guitar lessons I made a demo and it landed in his hands. And right when Jake (E. Lee) had left Rough Cutt to join Ozzy there were all these auditions from all the local musicians in LA and when they heard my demo they were, “We need to get this kid up here.” But where do you find someone who is living in their car? They very well could have taken the easy route and just let anyone who was local and good (because there are/were lots of them) join the band. However there was something that Ronnie felt about that demo of mine that meant something to him.
MGM: I know that its great to be humble. However being chosen by someone like RJD is extraordinary.
CG: It goes even deeper than that. He wanted to meet me on the day of the audition and I remember thinking “No I think it’s the other way around. I want to meet him”. During my audition he broke one of his personal rules and sat in on it (audition for Rough Cutt) and we did Man on the Silver Mountain and Heaven and Hell together and I have a recording of him singing over one of my riffs that him and I started writing songs right then and there.
MGM: Automatic Chemistry!
CG: Yeah so he’s having me come over to his house – just me and him watching old Rainbow videos. And when it would get too late he would make up a bed for me, tuck me in like a father and give me a headset and the early recordings of Holy Diver to listen to before it was even finished.
MGM: RJD just sounds like the coolest guy. I know personally that when he passed it was like the man who could read my mind had become a whisper. I was at a total loss.
CG: Its funny you say that because even when I didn’t know him I felt like I knew him before I met him. Because in his voice the way that he sang you could hear the pain, you could feel what was hurting him you could feel what angered him, you could hear what strengthened him. These feelings he was sharing felt like my feelings exactly – so it was almost like knowing him. As he always said – “They are not fans they are friends.” When you had your moment with him Ronnie was there with you authentically. He would blow their minds with kindness. So now I have kind of taken it upon myself to make sure that this way did not die with him.
This conversation went on for another hour. Keeping that in mind and to ensure that this article gets out before the release date of The Resurrection Kings debut (January 29, 2016) I’m going to stop here and continue the rest as a Part II.
The Resurrection Kings kindly provided 4 songs from the new album for everyone to listen to before the release.
So you’re welcome…
As of the date of this posting we at Myglobalmind would also like to send my sincere condolences to Mr. Goldy on the loss of Jimmy Bain – fellow Dio family member.