Def Leppard Guitarist Vivian Campbell Battling Cancer

Def Leppard Guitarist Vivian Campbell Battling Cancer

June 10, 2013

Def Leppard Guitarist Vivian Campbell Battling CancerDef Leppard guitarist Vivian Campbell has revealed that he has been battling Hodgkin’s Lymphoma cancer, but remains in high spirits.

Vivian says, “I feel fortunate that my cancer sent me an alarm call in the form of ‘the cough that wouldn’t quit’. Otherwise, how would I have known? After several months of trying every inhaler known to man, my doctor finally had me X-rayed. A further CAT scan revealed that enlarged lymph nodes were doing wrestling manoeuvres on my windpipe — hence the cough. What was causing the enlarged lymph nodes, however, was yet to be determined, so I underwent a surgical biopsy on March 11th, the first day of Leppard rehearsals for our Viva Las Vegas shows. Obviously, I didn’t make it to rehearsal that day, but it’s okay; I know the songs by now.”

The former Dio guitarist remains optomistic however, “My diagnosis was Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and 6 months of chemotherapy is the prescribed treatment. I’m about 2 months in and feeling rather spiffy, all things considered. Hodgkin’s has an over 80% cure rate, so by my reckoning, if you’re going to have a cancer, Hodgie’s is the one to have!”

Campbell joined Def Leppard in 1992, replacing Steve Clark who died from an overdose the previous year. Prior to Def Leppard Campbell made a name for himself on Ronnie James Dio’s most successful solo albums as well as stints in Riverdogs, Whitesnake, Thin Lizzy and several others.

The USA based Northern Irish guitarist isn’t going to let cancer slow him down though, as he explains, “The reason I’m sharing this with you is because, despite cancer and chemo, me and my new aerodynamic hairstyle (read: no hair) are going on tour this summer with the band and I don’t want anyone to be so shocked by my new look that they ask for a refund. Simple economics, really. My family, friends and bandmates have all been extremely supportive through this and I look forward to a summer full of shows with both Def Leppard in June/July and the debut of Last In Line this August.”

Campbell’s former bandmate in Thin Lizzy, singer Ricky Warwick, wished his friend a speedy recovery by stating, “I just wanted to wish my good friend, band mate and fellow countryman Vivian Campbell all the love, power and strength in his battle with Cancer. After many nights spent arguing with Viv on tour buses about football and putting the world to rights, I know how tough he is and that the cancer will have no chance when Viv kicks it’s arse from here to eternity.”

Fresh from Def Leppard’s triumphant Las Vegas Residency, the band are set to play a series of festivals throughout June and July.

Courtesy of