Rowan Robertson was born in Cambridge, UK on November 22nd, 1971. He started to play guitar when he was five years old. He played first some folk music, then moved on to classical guitar and took some jazz lessons too. He founded his first band with his friends when he was 10. According to Rowan Robertson, he heard Dio first time when he was 13 - when The Last In Line album was released. Robertson also saw Dio on stage at Monsters Of Rock festivals in Donington Castle, UK, on August 22nd, 1987.
Robertson heard that Dio is looking for a new guitarist some time before Dio put "Major rock band looks for a guitarist" type advertisements in metal magazines and sent a C tape to Phonogram, London. He got a letter from them after six months saying "Sorry, but we're not interested in you at the moment" and called then to Dio Fan Club. He was asked to send his tape to them right away. The tape included some sample playing, as well as The Last In Line on which Robertson had recorded his version of the guitar solo. The letter Robertson included to the tape when he sent it to Dio said:
"I love the original solo. Viv Campbell is one of my favourite guitar players and biggest influences. I just wanted to play the solo for you, maybe a little differently."
After a couple of weeks of waiting, Wendy Dio called Robertson and told him that Dio's interested in him and Ronnie would either come to listen Robertson in Cambridge or they'd fly Robertson for audition in Los Angels, USA. After the phone call, Robertson sent a video tape of his band "Shoot The Moon" to Dio - the video was an amateur one and Robertson even broke a string of his guitar on it and played the rest of the song with his band member's guitar, standing behind him and playing his guitar that way.
Robertson was flown to Los Angeles for an audition in late January or early February, 1989. He was auditioned twice and right after the second audition, he was invited to the band. The press-release of the joining was dated on July 18th, 1989 and the press was invited to see the guitarist on July 20th, 1989 at Oliver's Pub in New York City, USA.
Robertson stayed in Dio until Ronnie James Dio rejoined Black Sabbath in 1991. When Dio was put "in ice" - or more or less disbanded - Rowan Robertson started to work on an an instruction video for guitar players. After it was released on Star Licks in July or August 1991, supposedly only in the USA - he teamed with vocalist Oni Logan (ex Lynch Mob) and drummer Jimmy Paxson (ex Triangle) and started to record on an album together on Atlantic Records. Their band should be called Freedom, but its status is unknown at the moment. Robertson lives these days in Los Angeles.
This page is maintained by Tapio Keihänen,
The page has been updated on 13.05.1999
Biography URL: http://www.dio.net/biography/, the front page http://www.dio.net/.