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Wendy Dio Says Ronnie James Dio’s Touring Hologram Is ‘Great for the Fans’

Paul Kane, Getty Images / EyeIllusion
Paul Kane, Getty Images / EyeIllusion

For a lot of people, the idea of a dead star “performing” via hologram seems pretty ghoulish — but Ronnie James Dio‘s widow Wendy insists the technology represents the future for celebrity estates, and ultimately works to the benefit of the fans.

Dio argued her point during a recent appearance on the Talk Toomey podcast (via Blabbermouth), saying her husband was consistently innovative as an artist during his lifetime, so it only makes sense that his legacy should continue to fuel innovation from beyond the grave — and pointing out that her current plans to put together a touring show with a Dio hologram are actually something of an extension of a gimmick he tried to pull off when he went on the road for 1985’s Sacred Heart.

That show, which is currently eyeing a fall debut, is working with an eight-song set list to be performed by former members of Dio’s band. Admitting that reactions have been mixed since the hologram made its debut at the Wacken Open Air Festival last year, Dio argued that a large portion of the fan base never got to see Ronnie live, and is glad for the opportunity — one that should only become more commonplace as a generation of artists ages into retirement and dies.

“I think it’s the way of the future. It’s like people were, ‘Ooooh …’ when the eight-track came out, ‘Ooooh, what’s this?’ And then cassette. ‘Oooh, what’s this?’ And digital, ‘What’s this? Oh, we don’t wanna do that. We only want analog. We don’t want digital.’ But you know what? It’s technology,” said Dio. “Also, we’re losing our legends day by day; we’re losing the innovators of metal and hard-rock music; we’re losing ’em every day. What are we gonna do? I don’t see a lot of bands coming up to take their place.”

Perhaps more importantly for Dio fans, the upcoming tour might even fit the expectations he had for his career. Saying they “were always trying to do new things and exciting things,” Wendy shared a fitting quip that Ronnie’s personal assistant had recently found in the interview archives. “They were asking Ronnie [if he had] plans to retire … he said, ‘Well, I don’t think I’ll ever retire. I’ll probably die onstage,'” she laughed. “‘Or if I don’t, I’m sure Wendy will find something for me to do after.'”

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