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Def Leppard Tour History Fan Archive.
Vivian Campbell On His First Big Def Leppard Gig/Guitar Solos

Friday, 18th March 2016

Vivian Campbell 2016.
Screenshot by dltourhistory

Def Leppard guitarist Vivian Campbell was recently interviewed by Eric Miller and mentioned his first big gig with the band in 1992.

Vivian talked about his early days listening to music, Marc Bolan/T. Rex, his first guitar, Sweet Savage/Thin Lizzy, Jimmy Bain, joining and being fired from DIO, the Freddie Mercury Tribute show in 1992, Last In Line, band history, the Heavy Crown album, Jimmy Bain's death, his health situation, guitar solos in Def Leppard and the future of Last In Line.

Listen to the full 56 minute interview below.

Vivian's first big show was at the 20th April 1992 Freddie Mercury Tribute in London, England.

This came after a small warm up show in Dublin, Ireland on 15th April 1992.

Eric Miller/Pods And Sods - Vivian Campbell Interview Quotes

First Big Show With Def Leppard/Wembley 1992

"It was enough enough for me. I actually find the bigger gigs easier. You know when you go on stage at Wembley Stadium there's about 100 yards or 100 feet or whatever between the edge of the stage and the front row because there's cameras, TV cameras and photographers and whatnot. Security guys all in between. So the audience is only an abstract notion. You can kind of see them out there but you don't make direct eye contact with anyone."

"Whereas if you play in a club you know. You see the whites of people's eyes. I find that a lot more intimidating and I always have. Plus for me I gotta say I think it was probably easier for me to go on stage with Leppard at that particular show, than it was for the other four guys in the band because at this stage I'd already played in several bands and I'd been used to coming into situations and adapting and making it work. Whereas with Joe and Sav and Rick and Phil, they were going on for the first time ever in their career without Steve Clark. You know so that had to be a lot more difficult for them than it was for me and I was very cognizant of that."

"I just put my head down and did my gig. It was quite a big, big day but I certainly wasn't overcome by the spectacle of the occasion. You know I was very much focused on just doing a good job."

Def Leppard Guitar Solos/Who plays what?

"Sometimes we have a bit of an idea whose gonna be better suited and sometimes we don't. And those times we have to just whoever really, really wants it. You know you really fight for it like if there's one that I really, really want I'll be sure to put my request in early. You know we don't apportion them equally. It's not like if we have ten songs on an album Phil does five solos and I do the other five. That's not usually the way it works. And even who writes the song. I mean there's been songs that I've written on Def Leppard records where Phil has actually played the solo and vice versa."

"So it's not even down to the author. Although if I were to come in to Leppard with a completed song. That would obviously - probably there's an unspoken rule that it would give me first shot at doing the solo. If I wanted to do it but the other thing is Def Leppard's not a guitar solo band. I mean certainly not by comparison to DIO or Last In Line. Def Leppard has always been the kind of band where the guitar solos are very short. Very concise and have to capitulate to the greater good of the song. They're not a showcase for a soloist as such. Whereas in a lot of hard rock music obviously the guitar solo is."

"When I play Steve Clark's solos. I play them reasonably sympathetically to the original. I certainly hit the major marks in Steve's solos because his solos were very thematic and very melodic and very, very much a part of the song. It wasn't just a bunch of 64th notes."

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