Rowan Robertson

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Rowan Robertson


Born in Cambridge, UK in 1971, Rowan Robertson took up guitar at the early age of five! The story about how he got into the Dio band is best told from the bio at the most awesome Dio site

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 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 then he called the 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.

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. 

We’ve also heard that Rowan, has (had?) a band called Vast. It is unknown whether they’ve released anything. Reportedly, Rowan was also in a band called Violet Demise and recorded an album with them, but the record company decided not to release it.

So if any of you have any information as to what Rowan is doing these days – if he’s still in a metal band or if Freedom ever did anything please let us know and we’ll post the information here.

Thanks to for the bio snippet on Rowan!

Here’s an un-official update on Rowan.

Rowan Robertson now plays rhythm guitar (ed. note: why not LEAD?) for V.A.S.T. (Visual Audio Sensory Theater) who are signed to Elektra. A second album is in the works – Rowan is not on the first disc. Musically it’s sort of a cross between The Tea Party and NIN. VIOLET’S DEMISE did indeed record an album for Atlantic which never got released (but was supposed to come out in ’99 in Japan under the name Asylum. Never happened). It’s actually a killer album, sort of like latter day Led Zep – heavy, dark psychedelic heavy rock. Oni Logan is on vox and Scott Coogan (Paul Gilbert, Ednaswap, etc.) is on drums.

Violets Demise
Violets Demise - looking pretty weird aren't they? :-)

UPDATE #2!!!

We got in touch with drummer Jimmy Paxson Jr. and received an in depth update on his whereabouts over the last few years!!

After the Rowan and Oni project Jimmy spent a over a year with Los Angeles metal mainstay SHARK ISLAND. According to Jimmy that was a great year and he’s still in touch with Richard, Spencer and Chris.

1995-96 Jimmy toured with a #1 pop group in Japan called CAGNET. Rowan Robertson was in that group also.

1997 Jimmy toured with guitarist ROBBEN FORD. Also in that group was – Methods of Mayhem/Alanis Morissette bassist Chris Chaney Keybordist Scott Kinsey (Tribal Tech), and later Myron Dove former bassist of Santana. Earlier in that year, Jimmy was with LILLY HAYDN , and in an RCA group BEHAN/JHONSON along with now BOSSTONES guitarist LAWRENCE KATZ. Later in the year with again with Lawrence, Jimmy joined singer ANGELIQUE’s band on the now defunct red ant label.

1998-1999 Jimmy toured extensively with the legendary RONNIE MONTROSE. Jimmy and Ronnie talk weekly and will probably play again soon. Also in that group was Impelliteri keyboardist Ed Roth and 1998 saw Myron Dove on bass and 1999 with Charlie Diaz of Rick Dufeys Blue by nature on bass. Also during this year Jimmy did a short stint with maverick records SOLAR TWINS and can be seen in their MTV video of the remade CLASH hit “Rock the casbah”.

OCT.1999-JUNE 2000 Jimmy toured the world slamming the drums with mega super-star ALANIS MORISSETTE.

CURRENTLY: Jimmy is in the studio with his own band SUB.BIONIC led by vocalist JIMMY TUCKETT. Along with Mark Howard of Daniel Lanois fame, engineering the sound and co-producing. The record which will be out in the coming year is on a new label called “Extasy International” which is owned by X-japan drummer yoshiki. According to Jimmy this record is going to blow everyones mind !!!!

Also Jimmy has a solo project called “3” which is going to get recorded sooner or later. It’s a strange outfit with violinist ludvig girdland , l.a. philharmonic bassist Mike Valario, saxophonist Ryan Woodward, keyboardist Marshall Thompson ,electric udeist Kareem Roustev and Jimmy with a massive 26″ bassdrum. What you get when you put these motherfuckers together is what they didn’t talk about to their teachers at music college! The response in L.A. has been awsome! Keep it coming Jimmy !!!!!

Update #3

Rown Robertson has joined the band DC4. Read a recent interview with Rowan here