La Jolla Real Estate

The Rough Cutt, Giuffria, Dio Days
Craig Goldy

FIB MUSIC:  Can you give us a little history? Were you originally from San Diego?

Craig:  Yeah. Born and raised in San Diego, California. I started playing guitar when I was thirteen and I was originally into rhythm & blues....I loved black music. Then I heard Deep Purple on the radio and at that time, the line-up was David Coverdale, Glenn Hughes, Ian Paice...and obviously Ritchie Blackmore and Jon Lord. Because of Glenn Hughes, there was a little of that.....kind of rhythm and blues, you know, Stevie Wonder, kind of black music vibe....and I loved classical music and there's Jon Lord. A friend of mine, who was a jazz drummer, him and I were in a band together, so there's Ian Paice...and I loved art and weird stuff, so the mixture with Ritchie Blackmore and everybody, David Coverdale, the bluesy stuff. There were a lot of bands out there doing bluesy stuff, but it was basically that 1-4-5, regular blues stuff that I found boring. They mixed all that together. When I heard that Deep Purple album, Burn, for the first changed everything. Then I started to want to play like Ritchie Blackmore and had to get a band like Deep Purple.......Anyhow, at the time, I was living on the streets in a car.

Deep Purple (Live)
"Burn", w/ Hughes / Coverdale, 1974
FIB MUSIC:  You're living on the streets in San Diego?

Craig:  Yeah. I was living in a car. I was washing my hair; I had two 7UP, liter bottles, one to rinse and I would shave with a plastic bowls and use the sideview mirror. I had a wind-up clock, because, once in awhile I would get a part-time job and just sleep really near it. I would use the clock to wake me up and then get dressed with my clothes in the trunk. Then, eventually, I saved up enough money for a demo and it got in the hands of Ronnie James Dio. One guy gave it to another guy, who gave it to another guy who was going to L.A., that guy gave it to a guy who was in L.A. and the next thing I know, Jake E. Lee had left Rough Cutt, to replace Randy Rhoads and there was an opening in Rough Cutt. Ronnie James Dio was producing that band and his wife Wendy was managing. So, I got an audition and I got the gig and then me & Ronnie became friends. Ronnie had told me at that time if Vivian Campbell ever didn't work out, you'd be my first choice. Then the third Dio record (Sacred Heart) out, Vivian and him couldn't see eye to eye and so I joined the band and then BOOM.

FIB MUSIC:  Did your parents want you out of the house, or did you just move out?

Craig:  Since then there has been a lot of forgiveness of what's been going on. One of these days, I will write a book, when it won't bring up old wounds from people that would be hurt by it, because now there has been forgiveness and I don't want to hurt their feelings again, especially in the press.

FIB MUSIC:   Were you aware of RATT at the time?

Craig:  Yeah. They were called Mickey Ratt, at the time. Chris Hagar, who was the second guitar player in Rough Cutt was actually in Mickey Ratt.

FIB MUSIC:   Wasn't Jake E. Lee in Mickey Ratt, at one time?

Craig:  He might have been, but he was in a band called Teaser. They were doing all the Van Halen stuff and he just blew my mind. There was a place called Straight Ahead Sound where all the hard rock bands could play. They had a HUGE stage and it was a great venue. We would go there every Friday & Saturday night and this band called Teaser was going to I went and saw Jake and he had the long hair, the look and the strat and the sound and he could play anything Eddie Van Halen could dish up and the singer could sing anything David Lee Roth could dish up. They looked like the band, they sounded like the band and I thought, fuck, I've got to practice. He scared the living shit out of me. So, I went back and started practicing and tried to get better.

Even when I was in that band Giuffria, we did that STARS, the Hear n Aid thing and I heard George Lynch play, that scared me and I had go back and practice. Just when I thought it was safe to go back in the water, George Lynch comes around.

FIB MUSIC:  How long were you in Rough Cutt?

Craig:  About a year and half.

FIB MUSIC:  Were they signed during that time?

   Well, this is the good part. Everybody thought I was crazy....I was friends with Ronnie and I would go over to his house and we would watch TV, listen to music and hang out. It would be late, so he would make a bed for me on the floor and give me the headphones and I would listen to "Holy Diver" before they were even done mixing it. I say that because it was very still is....those guys are just really family-oriented, when you are in, you're in. So, Rough Cutt signs with Warner Brothers and Gregg Giuffria had asked me to play in his band and they had no record deal. I heard David Glen Eisley (Giuffria vocalist) sing and I heard the songs and I thought this was going to be huge. At that time, Gregg Giuffria had a reputation for being a coke-fiend and very unreliable. So, I left Rough Cutt and joined up with Gregg. And Ronnie, and I don't blame him, he called me and goes "What are you doing?", everybody was like, "You are crazy", everybody in the band, everybody just thought I was crazy. You know, you got a record deal, you're in a band produced by Ronnie James Dio, his wife is managing you and you leave for no record deal, for some coke-fiend. Turns out Rough Cutt got kicked off the label and Giuffria went on to have a hit single and a hit album, toured with Deep Purple....and Foreigner.

FIB MUSIC:  Both albums (Self-titled, Silk & Steel) did well for Giuffria.

Craig:  Yeah. Both albums did good, but the first album was huge. Plus, I got a chance to meet Ritchie Blackmore.

FIB MUSIC:  Which they (Deep Purple) were kind of shitty to you on the tour, right?

Craig:  Yeah, they were kind of. But Ritchie was really cool the last night, he let me come into his private dressing room, which is supposed to be the HUGEST no, no. I got to talk to him and he was very, very cool. There is a really good story about that maybe we could save for another interview, if you want to.

(L-R)Chuck Wright, Craig Goldy, Gregg Giuffria, David Glen Eisley, Alan Krigger

FIB MUSIC:   Or you can share it now, if you like.

Craig:  What happened was, before I went on the tour, I went over to Ronnie's and he listened to the Giuffria record and he thought some parts were cool and some parts were goofy and he goes "now don't try and pick up on any of Ritchie's girls"....and of course, I wouldn't do that. And he goes "don't try to go into his personal dressing room, he'll have your head for that. Just watch it", he says, "once in awhile Ritchie will wind you up", meaning he will say something to you and you'll think he's serious and he's really just joking with you. "You've got to be careful." So, sure enough, we were getting messed with left and right, the sound, the monitors would go off and this and that. Ritchie would come out and listen to us.

Our first night, of the tour, we were in the bar and there they were....Deep Purple, my favorite band. I just couldn't believe it. Ritchie Blackmore says, "you're really good" and I was like, thank you, thank you. I tried to talk to him, but he was getting pulled away by all the people. Next thing I know, it's three o'clock in the morning and we are kicked off of the tour.....the first concert. So, we had this emergency meeting with the managers and the agents....and they were like, ok, if Goldy doesn't do his guitar solo and you guys tone down the set, you can stay on the tour, otherwise, you're kicked off. Everybody looks at me and I'm like, ok, I'll do's three months, you know? So, everynight I had to go out there and not do a guitar solo. But it backfired, on MTV news they were saying, Craig Goldy of Giuffria has legendary guitarist, Ritchie Blackmore, shaking in his boots. So that was cool....on MTV news.

Then the very last show, I figured, what are they going to do, kick us off the tour, it's our last show. So, I did the solo and part of it was Dave Eisley would come out and sit on his knees and hold the guitar like it was sitting on a table and I would play it like a piano. Did some really cool stuff and the people would just freak out. Lighters and screams and yells and Ritchie just did not dig that at all. There was also one thing where I would mute the strings and play with one hand....where I would be playing stuff that most people would have to use their picking hand and their left hand to play and I was doing it with one hand. At the end of the concert, I was walking down the hall, with my guitar, on my way to my dressing room, because I had just done an interview. Ritchie Blackmore comes up to me and says, "You'll have to show me how you do that" and he was gesturing the one-handed thing and I thought, oh man, this is what Ronnie was warning me about, he's going to wind me up....I was dumbfounded. "Well, you just got to mute the strings with your hand and you got to do this because you're used to your right hand picking it for you, so you really have to be percussive on that one" and then I just walked away.....I was just frightened, you know? It's Ritchie Blackmore.

So, I am sitting in the dressing room and I'm going, you fool, there's your guitar hero, Ritchie Blackmore, asking you how to do something. So, I went over, swallowed my pride and I knocked on his dressing room door and I thought, this is it, I'm a dead man, but I've got to try. He asked me, maybe he won't mind. So, he answers the door; I was scared to death and I looked at him and I said, I don't care who comes along with this, that and the other thing, and I gestured with the one-handed thing, or playing behind your head, because, we had just talked about how Yngwie (Malmsteen) plays behind his head sometimes....I said, I think you're the best.....At first I go, I have idolized you for years and he looks up and rolls his eyes, like oh, here we go again, what a prick. Because he is used to all the guitar players going I idolized you for years, fuck you, you know? He was thinking, here it comes again. I said, I don't care who comes along with what, you are the best and you always will be....I said, no hard feelings and I put my hand out to shake his hand and he shook my hand and he said, "Come on in". So, now I'm in his private dressing room. He's got this soccer ball that he is kicking around and on the top, there are like these rafters, where athletes can put their shirts and shoes.....So, he's got his breakaway guitar that he uses during his solo, where it break away, but it still works. He's got it up on the top, in the corner, and he is kicking the soccer ball to try and bust it. He goes, have a go at the top shelf, meaning, I was supposed to kick the soccer ball. So, I've got this Heineken and I put it up on top of the rafter and I go to kick the ball and it just kind of bounces away and I feel like a, I try again and I'm like, come on man, this is Ritchie Blackmore, you've got to concentrate. I kick the ball again and it hits dead center and everybody is like, "Alright!!" and everybody is congratulating me and patting me on the back and the ball starts rolling toward my beer, it hits my beer and sprays it all over the room. But Ritchie was like, "no, don't worry about it, it happens to me all the time". I told him I had learned so many of his songs....I even knew what string you were playing it on, what fret you were playing it on.....I mean, I spent HOURS trying to learn your solos note for note. I didn't know he was testing me, I just thought he was like Ronnie, that you play songs and then if you haven't played them for ten years you just forget the name of the song and get it mixed up with another one. He was purposely trying to trip me up. I'm going, no, no, no, it's not that song, it's this song. And he would say, "oh, yeah, you're right mate" and that happened a couple more times. He knew that I was really being true. He says, "you know, it's not often that a guy as nice as you and talented as you are" and said, "we should keep in touch" and he wrote down his home phone number. He says, "come and have a drink with me tonight". For a guy like me that was HUGE.

FIB MUSIC:   Wasn't Claude Schnell in Rough Cutt?

Craig:  Oh Yeah. He is a brilliant keyboard player.

FIB MUSIC:   And then he leaves to join Dio, right?

Craig:  Yeah, that's right.

FIB MUSIC:   What was it like working with (Rough Cutt vocalist) Paul Shortino?

Craig:  I had a good time. He called me a couple of years back and he was doing a project and I moved and lost his number. So if he sees this, I am sorry Paul, I lost your number. I didn't call because I didn't want to call. But it was really fun. In fact, a couple of years before that, they were thinking about doing a Rough Cutt reunion. I have a great time being around him.

FIB MUSIC:   Did you play many shows with Rough Cutt?

Craig:  Oh yeah. We did a lot of opening for Dio on the Holy Diver tour.

FIB MUSIC:   Were you a fan of the band Angel?

Craig:  A little bit, because there was a keyboard player, I worked with in San Diego. We had an instrumental band and he was a fan of Angel, but I really wasn't that familiar with their music.

FIB MUSIC:   Did you have to audition for Giuffria?

Craig:  No, I never really had to audition. Gregg had gone to one of the Rough Cutt shows and he was talking to this record company guy and the guy said you should get him to play guitar for you. So, he came up to me afterwards and says, "give me a call, I might have something you are interested in". I was living at Ronnie's house at the time, while he was out on tour. He was still doing some Sabbath stuff, while he was in the midst of writing & recording "Holy Diver". He was on tour with Black Sabbath and I was house sitting (laughs). I called Gregg and he told me what was going on and the next thing I know....

FIB MUSIC:   And they did not have a record deal at this time, right?

Craig:  No, they actually had no record deal. Gregg got an investor. We rehearsed for a few weeks and we made a demo and then we got signed off the demo. But it was a few months after Rough Cutt got signed and everybody was still thinking I was crazy.

"Call to the Heart"
FIB MUSIC:   Wasn't Giuffria, originally, going to be called Angel?

Craig:  Yeah. There was something in Kerrang!, where we were actually Angel and I guess there were some sort of legal problems. We had no idea what to call the band and then Dave comes up with Giuffria.
Gregg Giuffria


FIB MUSIC:   What was it like working with Gregg Giuffria?

Craig:  It was great. Very, very talented, very intelligent guy, very great player, good songwriter, same with Dave, Chuck Wright was great, Krigger was great.....I still talk to them all.

FIB MUSIC:   He didn't rule the band with an iron fist?

Craig:  No....,no, he didn't rule it with and iron fist, but you definitely knew it was his band.

FIB MUSIC:   Do you ever receive royalty payments off the self-titled album?

Craig:  I used to. There were three songs that I was a co-writer on.

FIB MUSIC:   It was remastered and re-released 4 or 5 years ago and is still in print. Do you know who owns the rights to it.

Craig:  No. In fact, Dave was having trouble too. I need to.....I tried to join the Harry Fox Agency before, but they said Warner Brothers controlled my administration. It can be such a hassle to do it, but eventually, it's just a matter of sitting down to do it. I own the rights to my first solo record, but there are people still selling it on the internet.

FIB MUSIC:   Had Gregg Giuffria cleaned up his act when you were in the band with him?

Craig:  No, he was still......dabbling in things. In fact, we all were on and off. It was definitely not a druggie band, it was not the first and foremost. There was some drinking......there was some cocaine & drinking...., but it was definitely more social than it was an everyday usage.

FIB MUSIC:   Last I heard Gregg was a big real estate guy now.

Craig:  Apparently, what I heard from Gregg & Dave Eisley, Gregg and his brother Clay own a patent on some new thing that has to do with slot machines and they are millionaires now. He's just burned out on the whole musician thing, because back then, in those days it was really hard. So, when you get beat up and brutalized for that many years, after a while, you get good money and the last thing you want to do is go back into the ring and get your ass kicked again. Even though, everyone still sees you as a champion; they want to see you fight, but you don't want to get your ass kicked.

FIB MUSIC:   No matter what, he always seemed to be successful at what he did. With Angel, Giuffria, then House of Lords, which may not have had huge numbers, but...

Craig:  Well still, that guy always landed on his feet.

FIB MUSIC:   Any memories stand out from the Giuffria self-titled recording sessions?

Craig:  Not really the recording sessions, so much as, one concert we headlined.

FIB MUSIC:   What happened?

Craig:  (laughs)Probably my most embarassing moment ever on stage. I laugh about it now, but it is really funny.
Back then and you got to remember it was back then, so like 1984, I thought how cool would it be if you could see a guitar player run across the stage, jump in the air, land on his shoulder, roll and actually roll with his guitar, come up and land on his knees and go straight into a guitar solo. Like a somersault, with a guitar. So, I praticed it and I could do it.....and then we get the Deep Purple tour.....I've got to go back for a second. I should have known it was going to be nothing but trouble, because when we were in rehearsal, I told Dave, the singer, "I'm going to do it", because he need to kind of walk back to the drum riser, so I could run, dive and land on my shoulder, roll come up and do this thing. So, he didn't believe me, so he just stood there and I thought he backed up and I jumped and rolled, as I came out of the roll, my guitar headstock smacked him right in his face (laughs). And you know when you clip the guitar strings on the machine head and there is a little bit of string sticking out.....well, it punctured a hole in his face. We had to stop rehearsal and I had to take him to the emergency room and we had a photo session the next day, in fact, when I was at Krigger's house last, I saw the poster that the photo session was from and you could see the hole in his cheek.

We get the Deep Purple tour and we only had like 3 feet of room, I couldn't do it, or I would have killed myself. Then we got the Foreigner tour and that was angled, it was an angled stage, I would have rolled off the stage into the audience. So, I hadn't done it for months and we finally get this gig where we are headlining in front of ten thousand people. At that time, King Kobra, which was Carmine Appice's band, was opening for us. I told Dave, "I'm going to do it, man, make sure you back" and he goes, "ok", so I ran was a huge stage, we never had so much room in our life before, so I ran faster, I jumped higher, landed perfectly, came up, had the face and the pose and everything and no sound came out of my amps. I had unplugged myself. So, I had to get up and walk back and in those days you just had those little pedals you plug in. So, I had to plug the pedals overweight beer bellied guitar tech is walking out with one beer in his hand and he's plugging stuff in. Then all of a sudden all you hear is feedback and then the solo is over. I just played with my tail between my legs for the rest of the show. I never tried it again.

FIB MUSIC:   What made you decide to start using BC Rich guitars?

Craig:  I just thought the Warlock was the coolest looking guitar and nobody else was playing them. After awhile, I started learning about different woods and pickups and different fretboards. Bernie Rico (started BC Rich), at that time, when he was still alive, he was just a great guy. He used to come by the factory and we would work on guitars together and there was one white Warlock that just sounded so good and I used it on the Giuffria record. There were only a couple of songs I got to use it was just the best sounding guitar.

FIB MUSIC:   Did you use it on any Dio recordings?

Craig:  Yeah, but the problem was, at the time, I could only use Marshalls and I was using Fender London Reverb heads, with Yamaha power amps and Marshall cabinets and I was getting a great tone. In fact, I used it on song called "Time to Burn" on the very first Dio record, I was on, called "Intermission". A lot of people really like the guitar tone, that's why and I haven't used it since, because I was forced to use Marshalls and I couldn't get that same tone out of it. So, I had to start looking at different guitars, amps, pickups and now I finally found the right one and now I am using ESP guitars and ENGL amps. But that Warlock was the shit.

FIB MUSIC:   Do you still have it?

Craig:  No, I had to sell it. I had to get rid of was a drag.....but, then all of a sudden everybody started playing Warlock's.....Motley Crue, Poison....the novelty wore off and that's when I started using strats.

FIB MUSIC:   Does Vivian Campbell do the tour after Dio releases, "Sacred Heart", or does he leave before.

Craig:  No, he did some touring. In fact, "Intermission" had some live shows had done, but he was really out of tune, so they had me do the rhythms and they kept Vivian's solos and just kind of ran it through a harmonizer and tried to make it sound in tune.

FIB MUSIC:   Why didn't they just have you record over everything?

Craig:  Well, Ronnie just didn't think it was fair to Vivian, to have me overdub the entire thing.

FIB MUSIC:   Do you know why Vivian left Dio?

Craig:  Yeah, but I mean, it's such a sore subject with him and Ronnie that I hate to drudge it up again. It would kind of be irresponsible for me to open the wound again.

FIB MUSIC:   What did you think of Vivian's playing, at that time?

Craig:  Well....., I was jealous. I thought it ought to be me, so I was listening through jealous ears, but Vivian was a great guitar player.

FIB MUSIC:   I loved his playing. I still think his solo on "Rainbow in the Dark" is one of the coolest from the era.

Craig:  Oh, he's great guitar player. It's just, at the time, anybody who didn't sound like Ritchie Blackmore I hated and anybody who was better than me, I was jealous of (laughs).

FIB MUSIC:   You thought Vivian was better than you?

Craig:  Well, at that time, I thought he was better than me, but at the same time, I thought I was better than him. It's a hard thing........I just thought I should have been in that band. I was jealous and, at the same time, I knew that what Vivian was doing, I wasn't capable of at that time. Not that I couldn't play what he could play, but it was a vibe and a certain thing he had that I didn't have at that time.

FIB MUSIC:   What do you mean by that?

Craig:  It has a lot to do with your confidence and who you are, just going for it and taking chances and risks. At that time, I was just scared to death. I was able to risks in bands, where there weren't any Ronnie James Dio's involved, because I was so scared to death to look foolish in front of him, that I would always play it safe. Especially scared to make mistakes in front of people like that. But there were other times that I would just go for it and actually sound better when I would take risks, than when I would play safe. I knew how to play safe and good, at the time, to get noticed by the Ronnie James Dio's. Ronnie would be like, "Come on, take some chances, go for it". It was kind of like that, I really didn't have that..... I was just a kid and I was a muscian and into the art of it; I wasn't into the rock star part of it....I didn't know how to be a rock star, I didn't know how to be cool. The lifestyle scared me. I would just rather stay in my room and play guitar. (laughs)

FIB MUSIC:   What was your first show with Dio like?

Craig:  It was in Europe. We had six rehearsals, before we did our first gig together. I had, maybe, two weeks to learn all of the songs. But I knew them already, because I liked the songs, so I kind of learned them on my own time. The hard part was to learn them all linked together and with different arrangements, because the live set was different. By the time, we got to rehearsals, I knew so much that some of the guys in the band were asking me, "how did that go again?". Well, we showed up in London and none of my gear cleared customs. I think because my gear stood out, it didn't have any of those stickers from fifteen years ago, it was all brand new. A lot of time, bands would go to another country, bring equipment with them and sell it. They wouldn't pay taxes on the money and at that time, they were keeping a very watchful eye. So, they held it in customs. Six minutes before we went on live tv, all this rented gear shows up. I was just a nervous wreck. We had two guitars, one had proper this and the other had proper that, so you had to build one guitar out of two....and a little bit out of tune, on top of it all, but that was the first gig, live television.

FIB MUSIC:   When do you play your first concert with Dio?

Craig:  A couple of nights later.

FIB MUSIC:   I guess you were at least used to playing to large crowds by that time.

Craig:  No, not really. Not like that. I mean, we (Giuffria) had played twenty thousand seat arenas, but not as a headliner. The stage was HUGE...I couldn't believe it. Then all the dragons and knives and explosions, effects....I was just like HOLY SHIT!

FIB MUSIC:   Did the crowd accept you as Vivian's replacement? Did you ever notice anything?

Craig:  Oh Yeah, definitely. But Ronnie helpled me with that, because he said he went through the same thing with all the Ozzy fans, when he joined Sabbath. He said there were a lot of Ozzy fans that would flip him off and say, "Ozzy #1". There were a lot of people flipping me off and saying "Vivian #1" (laughs)..., by the end of the set, they usually gave me the thumbs up..."You're #1, you fucking rock" (laughs). At that point, they only knew me as the guitar player for Giuffria, if they hadn't heard the whole record, they think who's this guy coming from.....I might as well been the guitar player for fucking Air Supply. (laughs)

FIB MUSIC:   Yeah, but I always thought you were the one who stood out in Giuffria.

Craig:  Well thanks, but you probably heard the whole record.

FIB MUSIC:   Actually no, I wasn't even a fan of Giuffria, but I remember thinking, as a kid, that you were the cool one of the band. You always looked like you should have been in something heavier and I thought the transition to Dio, which I LOVED DIO, was a natural one.

Craig:  Well cool thanks...I'm glad somebody thought that way. (laughs)

FIB MUSIC:   I talked to a friend today...and this is hysterical, because our lives are so much different today, but when he was around 14 or 15, he told me that he had cried when he heard the news that Vivian left the band. Major fan....So, I tell him that I will be interviewing you today and asked if he had any questions for you. He says, "Ask him why, when I saw him live, he played the intro to "Don't Talk to Strangers" with a distorted guitar sound?".

Craig:  Probably by accident.

FIB MUSIC:   I told him it probably just sounded that way in a live setting.

Craig:  No, no , no, because we had the clean channel hooked up. But there was a time in Japan where I accidentally hit the wrong button, so the first couple of measures were distorted. We never did a hard, distorted version of "Don't Talk to Stranger", if we had, it was by accident and it wouldn't have been through the entire intro, that's for sure.....Ronnie would have shot me. If I didn't do something before the end of the intro, I wouldn't be living right now.

Vinny Appice, Claude Schnell, Ronnie James Dio, Craig Goldy, Jimmy Bain

FIB MUSIC:   How is it working with Ronnie James Dio?

Craig:  It's great, because I'm still that kid and can't believe I'm in a band with him. There's still a part of me, when I am driving up to his house, to work on I am, I'm the guitar player and we're writing an album together and I'm still a fan.....I still get giddy inside when I am sitting there next to him and we're writing a song together and then he'll sing to it and part of it may remind me of a Rainbow record, or remind me of Sabbath stuff, but it's new....and it's stuff that him and I are writing together and it's just a fucking kick in the pants.

FIB MUSIC:   Have you ever seen him cut vocals before?

Craig:  Oh Yeah. When we did "Master of the Moon", I was the engineer when he was laying his vocal tracks....not for the album, but while we were writing it. But during "Magica" and "Dream Evil", but mostly "Magica" and "Master of the Moon" I'm there everyday.

FIB MUSIC:   Does he usually nail it in one take?

Craig:  A lot of times, but he does the work. He looks for those special takes.

FIB MUSIC:   He's mind blowing. Most singers from back then can't even hang with themselves today. I recently watched some live footage, of Ronnie, and he sounds exactly the same.

Craig:  Oh yeah....he's an alien. No, he's got it; it's a true gift.

FIB MUSIC:   When you join the band, how long do you guys stay on the road promoting "Sacred Heart"?

Craig:  We toured for about a year, then we did the "Dream Evil" record and then we did another full tour on that.

FIB MUSIC:   Anything stand out from the "Dream Evil" recording sessions?

Craig:  It was my first full blown Dio record and at the very end my mom and dad came up and Ronnie played them "All the Fools Sailed Away" and my mom had tears in her eyes. It was just me, Ronnie and my parents. That was a very meaningful moment. They were always going, "you'll never do it" (laughs). Those were also special days on tour, because my dad....I would call my dad....he was a policeman, you know, he just didn't go for that long-haired musician stuff. So I said, "dad, we're headlining Madison Square Garden" and he says, "God, all these years telling you, you couldn't do it and I be damned if you didn't do it". And because he was a cop, there was this one time....obviously it's no secret that Ronnie likes to smoke pot, so there he was smoking pot backstage at the San Diego Sports Arena....we headlined the Sports Arena in San Diego, which was huge for me too. There are these security guards, backstage, that wanted to bust Ronnie, because they smelled pot. They were going back there to make a bust. My dad was a detective, vice squad, so, he pulls out his badge and goes to the security guards, "where do you think you're going?" and they go, "nowhere sir". So, he stopped them from Ronnie getting busted and from that point on, Ronnie and him were like buddies. So, yeah, there was "Dream Evil", then a solo record and then I wrote some songs with David Lee Roth, but only one ended up on his "Little Ain't Enough" album. I worked with him and the band for a solid couple of months....went over to his house in Pasedena and worked almost everyday for a couple of months. It was really a lot of fun. Gregg Bissonette and Matt Bissonette was playing bass at the time. It was right before Jason Becker joined.

"All the Fools Sailed Away"
FIB MUSIC:   Was there a possibility of you joining the band?

Craig:  Oh yeah. He (David Lee Roth) wanted me to join the band and at the time, I just couldn't be a sideman one more time. I went from Rough Cutt to Giuffria to Dio and I just couldn't envision me in these lime green leather pants being told what to do. I just couldn't do it. I just really want to do a solo project. He kept asking me....him and I would go out...he was really nice, but he had that ego the size of Montana, but he was really nice. He would invite me to kickboxing tournaments and stuff like that and I couldn't go. Then finally he got tired of inviting me, because I couldn't go. But I did go all sorts of places with him, you know, it would be just me and him and his security guards. We'd go out and have a couple of drinks and hang out. He was just a blast. His band would leave and he and I would hang out afterwards and talk. But I think he felt slighted that I didn't want to join the band and he just didn't understand, I just didn't want to be a sideman again. I couldn't that point it would have been all the years I spent trying to get there and then another four or five years of constantly being told what to do. I just wanted to have a year, you know, just one project, one album, where I could just not be told what to do. It turned out good, I mean, my solo album went to number 10 in Japan, it went to number 4 in imports in Europe and number 67 in the Hot 100. It turned out to be ok, but I got a gold record out of the David Lee Roth thing, which was cool.

FIB MUSIC:   Were you in the band Driver?

Craig:  Yeah. That was just before Dio, right after Giuffria.

FIB MUSIC:   When you leave, is that when Tony Macalpine steps in?

Craig:  Yeah, exactly.

FIB MUSIC:   Please tell me that Jeff Fenholt was not in the band. (laughs)

Craig:  Oh, he was....I loved his voice. In fact, I have to call him again soon. Him and I would go out and do concerts together. I became an ordained minister for two years. I got sick and tired of all the goofy Christians and I was a Christian, but I certainly wasn't goofy. I was at first, when I first became a Christian, when I was in high school; I was a total geek and that turns people off. So, we went and played some really hard rock, heavy metal stuff at churches and kids would come out....and it was great, man. We did some talking and after a while people would fly me out and I would take over a Sunday morning service and a Wednesday night service and a Saturday night concert in churches. I played this hard rock instrumental solo stuff and I would speak. It was a blast.

FIB MUSIC:   How long ago was that?

Craig:  1995-96

FIB MUSIC:   And your still in that circle?

Craig:  Oh yeah, I love it. People get the wrong impression about believing in God.

FIB MUSIC:   Well, I think it's just the way it comes off sometimes. A lot of Christians seem like they have to give their testimonial and convert others. It also seems that as much as it is preached not to judge, sometimes they seem to be the most judgemental.

Craig:  Absolutely. Yeah, that and the way they talk, I mean, the way they act. They can be very insincere, they're very judgemental. They push Jesus down your throat, you know, God doesn't need those salesmen. So when people even consider the idea of believing in God, they're so afraid, that they go, "ok, if I'm going to believe in God, does that mean I have to turn into one of these guys? I've never seen anybody who believes in God, stay cool". Then you might start going, (funny voice)"Oh, thank you Lord, thank you Jesus, Hallelujah, brother do you know Jesus as your Lord and Saviour?"; I don't want to turn into one of those guys, I'm just going to stay where I'm at. And it's not like that; it doesn't have to be that way. Unfortunately, there are just a lot of really geeky people out there and they're the ones making noise.

FIB MUSIC:   Kind of ironic that you play in Dio.

Craig:  Yeah. (laughs) It's really cool actually. It's a very interesting walk. Because, I do believe in God, I do believe in Jesus and all that stuff. You know, I make mistakes and do stupid stuff, but it's just nice when you can talk to people about certain stuff. Ronnie runs a really clean backstage, you know, he's a really good guy. There aren't strippers backstage and drugs going on. What most people think is going on, is not going on. We hang out and we're really nice to people we meet....he's so good to the fans. But once in awhile, you'll get somebody and you can tell that they're really struggling. They went to the concert to just get away from all their troubles and you just hang out and talk a little bit. Sometimes, just being there, being a nice guy, who was just on stage as the guitar player for Dio and the next minute he's hanging out with you trying to give you a pep talk. Sometimes that goes a long way.

FIB MUSIC:   So what's up with Fenholt? Are you guys going to do some recording?

Craig:  We got a whole album actually and I did some tv shows with him and um, oh yeah, he got sued by his mom right when we were going to cut the album.

FIB MUSIC:   What happened?

Craig:  Oh, it was just crazy. It was just one of those things where, you know, I guess she got tired of hearing it. That's part of his deal, you know, that he came from a very abusive family. I guess him and her never really had that full blown connection of forgiveness. I know he forgave her, but I don't think they have a close relationship. So, she's in a church and she's hanging out with all her church friends and they are watching TBN and then all of a sudden there's Jeff talking about how his mom used to beat him, so that makes her look bad in front of her friends and she got tired of it and sued him, told him to stop doing it. "I never hit you, I never did this, I never did that".

FIB MUSIC:   Did she win?

Craig:  I don't know. I never did find out the outcome of it, but I heard that he is back in California, so I've got to give him a call and hook up with him again.

FIB MUSIC:   Are you living in Los Angeles?

Craig:  I'm in Orange County. Where are you?

FIB MUSIC:   I'm in La Jolla.

Craig:  You're in La Jolla, what a trip. That's a great area.

FIB MUSIC:   Any major differences between recording with Giuffria and recording with Dio?

Craig:  Huge differences. But they're good. Ronnie is.....a lot of people, I don't know if they still think that, but for a long time Ronnie had a reputation for being a real control freak. If you want to slack off, if you want to do it the easy way, if you don't really want to put out complete effort, then yeah, Ronnie is a real pain in the ass to work with. But if you are really excited about being in the band and you really want to give it your all and try....and you yourself are a perfectionist, then he's a dream come true to work with.

Same thing with Gregg, you know, Gregg is's more of a relaxed atmosphere around Gregg at first. Only because he's not so.......Ronnie won't pull any punches, which is great, because a lot of time is not waisted, by saying "that's great" and then the next day, "could you try?". Then you spend three or four days on one thing, that could have been done on the first day had he been a little more straight forward, but he was afraid to be a jerk. Ronnie knows how to go, "you know what, could you do that again, but with a little more confidence?", or Ronnie will turn around and go, "you know, that sucked, you're better than that". He's a little like Simon Cowell. I love Simon Cowell. My wife and I sit there and watch American Idol, we always agree with Simon Cowell. He just tells it like it is and then when he does say something good, everyone's like, "oh, my God". Well, you know, it's because he tells the truth. It's a little bit like that, you know? He'll just tell it like it is, but he's not being a dick. He's just telling it like it is. So, if you want to have an easy way out, then it will hurt your feelings. But if you go, "yeah, that did suck, let's try again", then you're cool (laughs).


FIB MUSIC:  What is your most disgusting habit?

Craig:   just recently got married to a girl I was dating back in 1983 and since then I've been putting myself under a microscope to get rid of any disgusting unless she's just being nice.....I don't have anymore!

FIB MUSIC:  What is the most feminine thing you do?

Craig:  I'm kind of an emotional creature. I'll get teary-eyed during movies and stuff.

FIB MUSIC:  If there is a God, what is the first question you would ask God when you arrive?

Craig:  Since I've been trying to no longer do things I shouldn't be doing.....things are starting to make sense down here on Planet Earth! And in the Bible God promised that "all things shall be revealed" when we die. I can deal with that...but one question is.....My Wife and I were talking at dinner just the other day and we thought..."why do we come into this world needing to be taken care of and in diapers...and leave this world needing to be taken care of and in diapers?

FIB MUSIC:  Greatest Rock band of all time?

Craig:  Deep Purple

FIB MUSIC:  What were you doing 40 minutes before you sat down to do this interview?

Craig:  I was getting out of the shower (laughs).

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