Wendy Dio spoke to Brian Aberback of Patch.com about the all-new Ronnie James Dio hologram which will make its live debut on the "Dio Returns" tour beginning this Friday (May 31) in Fort Myers, Florida. Asked what is different about it, Wendy said: "Technology has come a long way since the first one was created. I'm much happier with the new one. It's a million times better. I wasn't happy by the end of the last tour. I wanted Ronnie to look more like Ronnie. I was very picky about the eyebrows actually. Maybe someone else wouldn't have noticed it but I noticed it. I wanted to make sure that everything was perfect. He's also now in the same line as the band, in front. Before, he was at the back of the stage."
According to Wendy, "about a year" of planning and design went into creating the new hologram. "It's like a cartoon," she said. "Every stroke, every eyelash, has to be done individually. Then there's me going, 'I don't like that!' The people involved really care about it. We're all there during the creation, making it exactly what we wanted to do."
Wendy told Patch.com that critics of the Dio hologram are "entitled to their opinion. I just ask that people come and see the show first before criticizing," she said. "We got a lot of flak in the beginning but I think more and more people are getting used to it. It's for the fans. It's for the fans who would love to see Ronnie back up on the stage and the ones that never got a chance to see him. I think Ronnie would approve. If anybody saw the 'Sacred Heart' tour in 1986 we tried to make a hologram then. We had Ronnie in a crystal ball hanging from the stage talking through it. Also he was an innovator in music, so why not be an innovator in technology."
Dio died in 2010 at the age of 67 from stomach cancer. His hologram was created by a company called Eyellusion — with Wendy Dio as part of the team — and made its debut at the Wacken Open Air festival in August 2016 in front of more than 75,000 fans.
The "Dio Returns: The World Tour" production uses audio of Ronnie's live performances from throughout his career, with the DIO DISCIPLES band playing live, consisting of Craig Goldy on guitar, Simon Wright on drums and Scott Warren on keyboards, along with Bjorn Englen on bass. Also appearing with them are singers Tim "Ripper" Owens and LYNCH MOB's Oni Logan.