VINNY APPICE (BLACK SABBATH, DIO, LAST IN LINE): “I Was Under The Pretense… I Was In The Band Until BILL WARD Came Back”

Vinny Appice of LAST IN LINE (Live at O2 Academy, Newcastle, U.K., December 1, 2016)
Photo: Mick Burgess

Close The City and Tell the People That Something’s Coming to Call

Rhino Records celebrates the first two albums from the Ronnie James Dio led Black Sabbath with the release of Heaven and Hell (Deluxe Edition 2021) and Mob Rules (Deluxe Edition 2021) on March 5th. I had the chance to review both albums prior to their release [HERE]. Each album contains bonus tracks and live shows from 1980-1981. While the revamped edition of Mob Rules gives you the most bang for the buck, Heaven and Hell is still a classic Metal album that you should have in your collection.

As a reviewer I was not able to get the new liner notes that come with the LP/CD versions of the albums. So I figured, what better way to get stories and history of Black Sabbath from 1980-1981 than to turn to one of its members. Drummer Vinny Appice was asked to joined Black Sabbath in the middle of the Heaven and Hell Tour when Bill Ward quit (he’ll tell you the rest of the story).

From there Vinny recorded and toured on Mob Rules, joined Ronnie James Dio in his solo ventures, returned to Black Sabbath, and finished their time together with the formation of Heaven & Hell (the band). Vinny has also been a part of many other great Rock and Metal projects. He was a great guy to talk to about that time period and he tells some great stories.

Highlights include:

  • Discussion of the 2021 Black Sabbath Dio-Era Deluxe Editions of Heaven and Hell and Mob Rules
  • How Appice got the call to play in Black Sabbath
  • His memories of playing the Hammersmith Odeon London (1981 – 1982) show that appears on both remasters
  • Brian May jamming with Black Sabbath
  • How recording a single for the animated movie Heavy Metal led to Vinnie recording Mob Rules with Sabbath
  • Memories of writing, recording, and touring on Mob Rules
  • The atmosphere while recording Dio’s debut solo album Holy Diver
  • His return to Black Sabbath in 1992 for the Dehumanizer album
  • What led to the second break-up
  • Playing with Black Sabbath in 1999 with Ozzy on vocals
  • How he was driven to shows to be on stand by in case something happened medically with Bill Ward
  • How 3 bonus tracks being recorded for a Dio-era Sabbath compilation led to the formation of Heaven & Hell
  • The formation of Appice’s Dio inspired band Last in Line
  • How he recorded the first Joel Hoekstra’s 13 album without ever meeting Hoekstra himself
  • … and much, much more!

Black Sabbath 1979-1982 was:

Ronnie James Dio – Vocals
Tony Iommi – Guitar
Geezer Butler – Bass
Bill Ward – Drums (Heaven and Hell)
Vinny Appice – Drums (Mob Rules)


  • George Dionne

    George was a contributor here at Metal Express Radio, reviewing albums and conducting interviews, out of Massachusetts, USA. George has contributed to numerous music related websites and blogs, and even managed his own from 2004-2009. George's first assignment was covering a live show by the mighty GWAR. By contrast his later assignments featured Judas Priest, Van Halen, and Bon Jovi. George was also the front man for the South Eastern Massachusetts cover band Sound Tower from 2009-2015.  Sound Tower played 300+ shows across MA and had two original songs on the Cape Cod radio station PIXY 103. George enjoys a good whiskey, scotch, and/or bourbon and fights crime in his spare time.

    View all posts

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.