I’ve always loved this band. The first time I had heard them, I was doing radio in the Lansing, Michigan market back in 1981. We were playing a track-or-two from their album, “High N’ Dry”. I thought they were a pretty good band…nothing too far apart from some of the other early “hair bands” of their day. Then, along comes January 1983 and all hell breaks loose with the release of “Pyromania” and just like the thousands of listeners we had, I was completely blown away by tracks like “Rock Of Ages”, “Photograph”, “Too Late For Love” and all the others. A short time later, we had them play the Lansing area. I didn’t catch the show. I was doing the night show back then and was disappointed I didn’t get a chance to go. But my boss made it up to me about a week before the concert, giving me the opportunity to talk to Rick Allen the groups drummer. I had done only one interview prior to that…Sammy Hagar about a year before…and was very excited to have him on the air. We probably talked for about a whole ten minutes. I don’t remember too much about it. Little did I even dream as the band’s success grew bigger and bigger that I can actually call most of the guys in the band “acquaintances” here in later years.
Thanks to my friend Jody Glisman-Best, whom I’ve had a long-term working relationship with that dates back 25-plus years (and works diligently promoting Def Leppard…along with many other gigantic acts) I’ve now done six interviews with various band members…two with lead vocalist Joe Elliot and three THIS YEAR ALONE with guitarist Phil Collen. The one I‘ve wanted to talk to the most in recent years, just because of his present-day story alone, is Phil’s counterpart Vivian Campbell. Viv joined the band as a full-time member in 1992 following the death of guitarist Steve Clark. Vivian is known for his work with Dio, Whitesnake, Thin Lizzy, ex-Foreigner frontman Lou Gramm and more. Two years ago, Vivian was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. He battled, won, battled again, won and is currently battling again. Yet through it all, he gets up on stage even during this current tour which began in May and just kicks some major-league ASS every night. He’s a true inspiration for anyone battling any form of cancer.
So today, my wish to interview this very gifted musician came to light. He was every bit as gracious as Joe and Phil…and then some. The accompanying picture is from the show they played in October. Vivian is the one standing second one in from the right. I really enjoyed this conversation. Click on the link below and enjoy our interview with Def Leppard’s Vivian Campbell.