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Craig Goldy (born November 6, 1961) is an American guitarist, most notably of the band Dio. Goldy was born in San Diego, California. Before Dio, he played in the bands Vengeance, Rough Cutt, and Giuffria. He replaced Jake E. Lee in Rough Cutt and was himself replaced by Amir Derakh. While with Rough Cutt, Goldy played on demos produced by Ronnie James Dio.

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Interview With Craig Goldy

September 16, 2014 

By Londa R. Marks | Metal Music Interviews

Published By Rock Legend News, Firenze, Italy  

Rock Legend News: What has been your approach to music Craig?

Craig Goldy: My approach to music is that of a fan first and foremost….I’m a fan… I still have that excitement inside for this type of music… when it comes to writing and recording, I try to come up with something that I would be excited about as a fan myself…..when it comes to performing….I like to try and “sound” like the album versions both  with the rhythms and solo-wise as much as possible….firstly, out of respect for the original creator….and then….most anyone can do most anything in the studio, with over-dubs and second and third chances to get it right…..but not in a live situation… I try to give a “CD” quality performance to the fans that are expecting to hear what was originally played and created for on the CD of the songs we play live…..and then add a little me to it.

Over-all, my approach to music, is trying to come up with something new and unexpected! With the band I am starting now on my own, my approach is going to be, writing music that is fresh enough to be considered unique, yet familiar enough to get a warm welcome on the first listen. There will be some twists and turns that will be unexpected and with the highest quality of musicianship that my band and I can both create, record and perform. I will be doing this, while trying to use all that I have learned over the many years of working side by side with Mr. Ronnie James Dio……in such a way….that I can only hope would’ve made him proud.


Rock Legend News: As well as playing with Dio, you are known for having played with Rough Cutt and Giuffria. Will you tell us some of your memories with them?

Craig Goldy: Rough Cutt was actually the time that I first met Ronnie. I had heard from one of the band members the night before the audition for Rough Cutt, that Ronnie wanted to meet me, and that he would be there for the audition. Meet me…..ha!! I wanted to meet him!! He was inspired by my audition and asked to sit in on the rest of it with me and the guys, we did “Man on the Silver Mountain” and “Heaven and Hell” together! Then he asked me to play one of my riffs that I wrote to see if it would work with their sound…..and he sang on that too!! It was at a concert that Rough Cutt was headlining, when Mr. Gregg Giuffria approached me afterwards to see if I would be willing to check out his new project….I was staying at Ronnie’s house at the time and knew this would be risky…….I see visions sometimes….as weird as that might sound….when I heard Gregg’s new band ….I saw a vision….and said to myself….”This is going to be big”……this situation was not an easy one for me… see, I came from living in a car on the streets of San Diego to get away from the physical and verbal abuse I was getting from my family…Ronnie heard my demo tape that I made from my last $20 from giving guitar lessons…..and he and Wendy actually rented amplifiers and cables for me to do the audition for Rough Cutt, because I only had a guitar……Ronnie was and still is my favorite singer of all time….and he was the voice I turned to when in times of trouble and pain from my family……Gregg Giuffria had a bad reputation around town at the time….and Rough Cutt was getting a record deal on Warner Bros. records…….so I was faced with leaving the new family that I have just been welcomed into with open arms headed by no other than Mr. Ronnie James Dio, a record deal with Warner Bros. (the same record company as Ronnie and Deep Purple) and join up with a guy with a bad reputation and no security of a record deal or of any security of any kind…….but I saw what I saw….and heard what I heard in my head that day…….so I left…..everyone except for Ronnie thought that I was crazy!!! But less than a year later….Rough Cutt was dropped off the label and Giuffria had a hit song and a hit album in the top 40, touring with Deep Purple (my favorite band) and was number 9 in the MTV top 20 video countdown, now touring the world as the opening act for Deep Purple and then later on with Foreigner, in 20,000 seat arenas every night!


Rock Legend News: How did you come to join Dio?

Craig Goldy: While working with Rough Cutt in the studio recording demos with Ronnie as the producer and his Wife Wendy as the manager……Ronnie and I quickly became friends and gravitated towards each other in the creative process involved… much so…that one late night in the studio….Ronnie turned to me and said…..”Goldy, if Viv (the original guitarist for Dio) ever doesn’t work out….you’d be my first choice”!! this was back before “Holy Diver” had been fully recorded and released!

Ronnie would have me over to his house as his guest on many occasions…..and it was just he and I…sitting around talking and laughing….he would often go get his VCR equipment from the back room, and bring it into the front room so he and I could watch old “Rainbow” videos together. When it became late, he would tell me just to stay over….he would make me a bed on the floor, with a mattress, pillows, sheets and blankets…and then he would give me a set of headphones to listen to the “Holy Diver” recordings before they were even finished……tuck me in like a father would for his son, and say “Goodnight Goldy, see you in the morning”. That would’ve been enough for me….a true fan…..but….after Rudy Sarzo and Tommy Aldridge left Ozzy, right around the same time as the “We’re Stars” recordings…..I was asked to come over to Rudy’s house and check out their project…..I needed something closer to my true roots of hard rock and heavy metal than what I was getting with Giuffria….and this was it!.......nearly a year and a half later…….Ronnie….being a man of his word…..asked me to join his band……that is why there were no auditions…..he meant what he said to me in the studio that late night so many years ago…..and simply stayed true to his word! Except this time….I was IN the band that was headlining 20,000 seat arenas every night!!


Rock Legend News: What was the creative process like with Ronnie James Dio? How open was he to your ideas?

Craig Goldy:The creative process with Mr. Ronnie James Dio, now my friend and band mate….was exactly like it was when I was in Rough Cutt….only better….and every day!!  He had a work ethic second to none! His imagination was without boundaries…..and so was his skill level and talent levels! We would write and record the entire album at his house first, and then go into a proper studio, knowing full well what it was that we wanted…… Long before the hours we spent recording now meant spending money!!

He could play bass, guitar, keyboards and program the drum machine……and so could I……and that meant that there were even less boundaries when it came to writing and recording… much so….that it was he and I….mostly me…..that recorded all the keyboards for “Magica” and “Master of the Moon”!!

He was very open to my ideas and production assistance…..not to the point of giving me co-production credit…..but those who do their homework know where a lot of the ideas and production value came from on “Magica” especially!! We would start at 11:00am each day (only because we didn’t stop until 2:00am or 3:00am the night/morning before) and just go and go…..I don’t think I ever outlasted him….but I certainly kept up!! We would get to the point that there were no days off… we made a deal with each other…..12 days on…..2 days off…..of course, even though he had me move in with him at his house so we had 24 hour access to one another…..those 2 days were away….but not away….my mind was always there…and I’d come home to him in the studio saying….”Goldy… gotta check THIS out”!!....but as far as being open to my ideas……let me rewind a little bit….Back in Rough Cutt, unbeknownst to the other band members……they were all so self-absorbed that they couldn’t see past themselves …..meanwhile I’m over at Ronnie’s and he’s asking me what I’ve been working on… I play him some of my ideas….and he loved them… much so…..that when the band started submitting songs for the upcoming demo to be recorded…..he was wondering where my ideas were……they certainly weren’t in the new songs being submitted….so Ronnie took it upon himself… drive down to a Rough Cutt rehearsal….taking time away from writing and recording “Holy Diver”….walked into rehearsal and said to the guys…..”Hey, Craig has some great ideas……you should use them……if you want to continue with me”!!…fast forward…..when it came time to write and record for what would later be called “Dream Evil”…..Ronnie called me and told me about the Dio song writing protocol…..he and Jimmy (Bain) would start and then they would bring in Viv to finish…..and so it will be with this album… I started putting ideas together……after a few weeks went by…….Ronnie called me and said that it looks like Jimmy isn’t into this as much….so…”You’re up kid”!! Little did he know that during that two week period, I had stored up over 135 song ideas and guitar riff ideas!

So, that is why he and I co-wrote 8 out of the 9 songs on “Dream Evil”…one of them being the title track to the album…..and one of them becoming a hit song!!.......that is also why, it was mostly he and I writing for and recording on “Magica” and “Master of the Moon”…….and also why there’s a keyboard solo in “All the Fools Sailed away”!!!


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