INTERVIEW WITH EISLEY/GOLDY, DIO DISCIPLES AND RESURRECTION KINGS GUITARIST CRAIG GOLDY
Date: January 25, 2018
OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS, FORMER DIO GUITARIST CRAIG GOLDY HAS BECOME A “REGULAR” SLEAZE ROXX INTERVIEWEE (SEE PRIOR INTERVIEWS IN 2015 — PART 1 AND 2 — AND 2016). GOLDY ALWAYS HAS SOME INTERESTING THINGS TO SAY AND SPEAKS CANDIDLY ABOUT HIS SPECIAL TIME ALONGSIDE THE NOW DECEASED RONNIE JAMES DIO. THIS TIME WAS NO EXCEPTION AS GOLDY SPOKE CANDIDLY ABOUT A NUMBER OF TOPICS WORKING WITH FORMER GIUFFRIA BANDMATE DAVID EILSEY ON EISLEY/GOLDY’S DEBUT ALBUM, THE NEW ‘DIO RETURNS’ HOLOGRAM TOUR, AMD THE RIFT BETWEEN DIO AND SOME OF HIS PAST BANDMATES.
Sleaze Roxx: What made you decide to get David [Eisley] to play music again?
Craig Goldy: I didn’t exactly “decide” to work with David on an album. It sort of fell into place! I was asked to do a “Past, Present and Future” concert in San Diego California and I was able to convince Dave to be a part of it with [drummer Alan] Krigger and myself. I had 17 different musicians from my past, present and future projects and it took a lot of convincing Dave to be a part of it. Little did we know that word got out all over the globe through Facebook and a promoter from England flew in for that concert! This led to a full concert in Nottingham called “Rockingham” but unfortunately the promoter made it sound like a full Giuffria reunion and it was just Dave, Krigger and I and a couple of guys that I had worked with before. But Dave needed to be in charge of the set list for that night and the fans were expecting Giuffria songs and they got something totally different, which was a huge let down for them! But trouble can often become transportation. The trouble caused in Nottingham caught Frontiers Record’s attention and that is when they asked me to get Dave and I to do an album together in the style of the first Giuffria album. So that “trouble” became our “transportation” for this album!
Sleaze Roxx: How was it playing together after all these years?
Craig Goldy: We stayed good friends ever since the Giuffria days, and we were basically able to just pick up where we left off!
Sleaze Roxx: How was the writing process together after all these years?
Craig Goldy: Dave thinks in more “commercial” terms when it comes to songwriting and I think in more “obscure” terms when it comes to songwriting. This on the surface can seem like oil and water, and if it was with any other person other than Dave, it would’ve been oil and water! But he gets me thinking in more “commercial” terms while I get him thinking in more “obscure” terms and the mixture can often be magical. This was present in the ’80s but Dave and [keyboardist] Gregg [Giuffria] selfishly kept to themselves when it came to writing songs and my parts were utilized, but much like this new album, I didn’t get writer’s credit for that first Giuffria album than either other than three songs. This time, I was given four songwriting credits even though I completely re-wrote so much of the songs Dave had started that sounded so generic, which called for a re-write in every song. So many new musical parts were added to bring them up to date on every song that he had started and I had finished! I even had to go head to head with him on these re-writes ’cause my parts were so different but eventually he gave in but took the credit! So that part was just like the ’80s but the material on this album is indeed ’80s-ish, but with a lot of twists and turns and odd drum patterns that I had [drummer] Ron [Wikso] play.
Sleaze Roxx: How did Ron [Wikso] become involved in the project?
Craig Goldy: We knew Ron from way back and had always loved his feel and the way he built songs drum-wise so musically. He was also on my first solo album called ‘Hidden In Plain Sight’ as well was Dave and it was basically a no-brainer to want Ron on this album. Fortunately for us, he was both interested and available.
Sleaze Roxx: Did you and David consider any other names for your project aside from Eisley/Goldy?
Craig Goldy: Actually, no. It just started out as the “working title” of the album and it just started to grow on us.
Sleaze Roxx: Was it a difficult decision to put Eisley before Goldy [laughs]? There must have been some sort of conversation in that regard!
Craig Goldy: Actually, no there too! I’m a team player and I don’t get bothered by that sort of thing and plus, it just also sounded better that way too.
Sleaze Roxx: What are your favorite tracks on the album and why?
Craig Goldy: “Life (If Only A Memory)”, “No More Prayers In The Dark”, “Wings Of A Hurricane”, “Don’t Belong Here Anymore”, “Track 13” and “Believe In One Another”! Mostly because with the exception of “Track 13” and “Believe In One Another”, these are the songs that started out the least generic, and finished the least generic.
Eisley / Goldy‘s “The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter” video:
Subscribe To Be Alerted When We Add New Videos – http://radi.al/SubscribeFrontiers – From the album BLOOD, GUTS AND GAMES.
Sleaze Roxx: How did the “Dio Returns” Hologram tour go in December?
Craig Goldy: It’s very surreal. I find it both heart wrenching and at home performing to the sound of his voice but the hologram is really more of a grand gesture on the part of Wendy Dio to the fans and the new generation that is getting to know him for the very first time! Watching those young faces see basically, in their minds and in their eyes, “PlayStation 4” come alive, and hear it with a live rock band — they are just mesmerized! And that can often be rewarding at times.
Sleaze Roxx: Will there be more Hologram type concerts in the future and if so, can you provide any details on when, where, etc?
Craig Goldy: Well, we’ve been told that eventually there will be holograms of Ronnie from the Rainbow and Black Sabbath eras. I didn’t get to see him with Rainbow and Black Sabbath except for ‘Heaven And Hell.’ I think it’ll be cool to have those looks from those eras. I look forward to that!
Sleaze Roxx: You have taken to Facebook to defend the Hologram idea and stand up for Ronnie’s name. Why do you do it and do you think that you’re making a difference when you do that?
Craig Goldy: It’s not Ronnie’s name that I have to defend. It’s what this band is doing and is involved within — case in point — the hologram! Most people understand and then there are the cyber bullies and then there are those who truly loved Ronnie and just don’t like what we are doing. I don’t mind if they disagree with us but when they call me out by name and call me a“whore”… THAT is when I get the most involved! Some people have actually changed their minds as a result of some of our Facebook conversations. Even those who say things most vial are actually coming from their love for Ronnie. He was so revered all over the globe that it’s a lot like the story in the Bible where Jesus went into the Temple and saw all the money changers. This angered him and he overturned their tables. Many extreme Ronnie fans see us as the “money changers” in the “temple of Dio” and think that our tables ought to be overturned!
I recently had a conversation with one of Ronnie’s closest and dearest friends who also thought that the hologram wasn’t a good idea but we agreed to disagree and it didn’t leave a single scratch on our friendship. Nor did we feel the need to insult one another. I have invited disbelievers to come to the concert and see for themselves and meet me eye to eye and see if they can then call me a “whore”. Some took me up on my offer and each one of them, once they were treated like Ronnie would’ve treated them, they saw the concert and felt the true heart and spirit behind this and then finally faced me eye to eye… They couldn’t help but see something entirely different than what they had previously accused me of and we actually became good friends out of the whole ordeal. So, it is worth it most of the time. But it can be heart wrenching for me at times because knowingly that we share equal love for Ronnie but their hatred for me can often hurt. But I can take it!
Sleaze Roxx: You recently opined on when the rift started between Ronnie and certain other band members. How did you come up with that opinion? Did you ever speak to Ronnie and/or Wendy about these things, and if so, what did they say?
Craig Goldy: Well first of all, a little background… It would be great if every Dio member could come together as friends and just do what this is supposed to do and be a family that misses their family member and is doing something to keep their memory alive — like in all families! But the whole promise thing — if you only knew Ronnie and Wendy. I’ve known them since 1983 and any time anyone felt that they deserved something more, all they had to do was ask, not demand, make ultimatums, co-called “Call him on it” and pull fast ones where just before the concert would start, they said they wouldn’t go on unless… Ronnie cut his profit margin in half to make that stage set for the ‘Sacred Heart’ tour and he was just starting that kind of thing with the ‘Last In Line’ tour. He SPENT a lot of money! Everyone seems to forget how much money Ronnie spent! They all got raises except for Ronnie. When I said that certain band members didn’t have the same heart for the fans, this IS what I meant! They wanted money more than they wanted to give to the fans in the way Ronnie and Wendy wanted to. It was HIS band so he did what he believed to be the best for his fans and that ended up being what was best for him too. People forget the pecking order.
When Ronnie first joined Rainbow, it was Ritchie’s time to call the shots and he deserved that right because he worked for it and he did what he thought was best. Same with Sabbath… When I joined Rough Cutt, Ronnie was still in litigation with the Sabbath camp. They charged him money just to join but it was Tony’s time to call the shots and the other main Sabbath member’s chance now too now that Ozzy wasn’t pulling his crap. And they deserved to call the shots cause they too worked for it. Then Dio — this was Ronnie’s time to call the shots and he deserved it because he worked hard for it. No one, and I mean no one in that band, ever worked as hard as Ronnie did. I saw it with my own two eyes. Even if there was no one to unload the truck for rehearsals, Ronnie would do it because it needed to be done and no one else lifted a finger until the crew showed up. The only finger they raised was to form a grasp onto their drink.
Eventually the Dio band got a great crew but before that happened, it was Ronnie and Wendy that did all the hard work. I saw it with my own two eyes. I remember them doing things that I thought were beneath them and it was beneath them but when something needed to get done and there was no one to do it, they did it no matter what it was! I would often help and just got labeled a brown nose. But Ronnie and Wendy remembered all those times that when no one would lift a finger to help, that I would help. I learned so much from them. And once Dio became what it finally became, everyone that sat and did nothing when the times were tough suddenly had their hands out for more.
When I first joined the band, Ronnie and I worked very long hours and days without a single day off ’cause what was needed called for it. We would record the entire album at Ronnie’s home studio before we ever stepped foot into the studio to record the album that would be released. He wanted to know what every song needed before we stepped into those expensive rooms and that saved money. And where do you think that money went? Yes — to the band! After I got my first advance from the record company, a few band members that will remain nameless actually tried to get me to give them some of MY money ’cause even though I worked my ass off — the words from Ronnie himself — as they just stood there in rehearsals while we wrote as a band. After Ronnie and I spent time alone, to bring them in and they still did nearly nothing. There they were now at MY door asking for MY money to give to them! That’s why I say to back off people. It’s not meant totally at any one particular person. It’s just amazing how people think they are experts on a topic that they know nothing about in reality.
Sleaze Roxx: You mentioned that things are better between certain ex-Dio band members. Who were you referring to and how have things gotten better?
Craig Goldy: There’s a reason why I don’t mention names and I don’t think it would be a good time to start naming names right now. Sorry.
Sleaze Roxx: Back in 2014, you had announced a new collaboration with former Quiet Riot singer Mark Huff. It seemed that you had a band together but it seemed to never really got off the ground aside from two songs. What happened with that project?
Craig Goldy: Well, that band was made up of a bunch of “10’s” musically! They looked great, were virtuosos on their particular instruments, could all sing background vocals and one guy could sing lead vocals, which made him an even better background vocalist and we would spotlight his from time to time singing on his own! But like in many relationships, when you’re dealing with a “10” and in this case, a group of “10’s”, they were also not out of character for a “10” and that being high maintenance, and a sense of entitlement! So, little by little, the “it” just became too much to deal with and the benefits no longer outweighed the difficulties.
Sleaze Roxx: Any plans for Resurrection Kings in the coming future?
Craig Goldy: We are negotiating for the second Resurrection Kings album as we speak! Fingers crossed. I would love to do another Resurrection Kings album. Those guys really brought their “A” game
Sleaze Roxx: What are your other plans for the rest of 2018?
Craig Goldy: I’m doing an album with Rudy Sarzo as a special featured guest, Simon Wright on drums, Wayne Findlay on keyboards and a surprise vocal discovery from Argentina, Diego Valdez, who is just simply chilling to say the least. I wanted to bring back the days of the ‘Rainbow Rising’ album, Deep Purple and with elements of early Van Halen, even some Genesis and a touch of Whitesnake-ish types of songs. I couldn’t help but notice how many people make the very same comment about music in the ’80s, especially when referring to these bands, and that comment is, ”They don’t make music like that anymore!” In a phone conversation I was having with Serafino, the president of Frontiers Records, I had mentioned that comment in passing and he asked me ”Can you?” and I said “Yes!” This album is loaded with everything that I have learned over the years and with a lot of unexpected twists and turns but focusing on bringing back the magical days of the ‘Rainbow Rising’ album and Deep Purple that even Deep Purple doesn’t do anymore. Nothing against them at all. They are my favorite band and always will be. Ritchie [Blackmore] was and is my favorite guitarist and always will be, and Ronnie was my favorite singer and always will be. And I’ll just leave it at that for now. As far as working with Frontiers, they are just the best bunch of guys and have become close friends and like family to me. They have basically given me a new lease on life musically and for that, I will be forever grateful.