Friday, 20th April 2018
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26 Years Ago DEF LEPPARD At The Freddie Mercury Tribute Show

Def Leppard 1992. Def Leppard 1992

Def Leppard played at The Freddie Mercury Tribute show in London, England 26 years ago on this day in 1992.

This was the first public unveiling of new guitarist Vivian Campbell, the 'New guy', as the replacement for Steve Clark following his death in 1991.

Vivian later revealed he was confirmed as the new member in February 1992. He was chosen over an unknown English guitar player from Birmingham named Huwey Lucas.

Vivian had previously played in Sweet Savage, DIO, Whitesnake, Riverdogs and Shadow King. He was about to start work on a solo album before getting a call from Joe about the chance to audition for the band.

His very first public appearance with the band took place a few days before this in Dublin, Ireland on 15th April as a warm up for the main event. A press release was put out to the media on 14th April confirming Vivian had been chosen as the replacement for Steve Clark.

The event was organised to celebrate the life of Queen front man Freddie Mercury who had died in November 1991 of an AIDS related illness.

The show featured opening performances from Metallica, Extreme, Guns N' Roses, Spinal Tap and Def Leppard who played 'Animal', 'Let's Get Rocked' and 'Now I'm Here' with Brian May. Joe Elliott later returned to sing during 'Tie Your Mother Down' and then background vocals with Phil Collen during 'All The Young Dudes'.

The cameras didn't focus on Vivian at all during his 'Now I'm Here' solo after being introduced by Joe. Joe and Phil would both go on to perform with Queen and/or sing backing vocals during their headline set.

Just over a year later 'Now I'm Here' was included on the Tonight single as a B Side with all proceeds from the Seven Inch going to the Queen charity The Mercury Phoenix Trust.

Follow the link to the show page below to view the show details/setlist and read media reviews/band members quotes from this historic event.

View some media photos below courtesy of Gettyimages.

London 1992.

Vivian Campbell - 1992 Interview Quotes

How does it feel to be in Def Leppard?

"Very comfortable, I must say. I feel that musically it's a good thing to do. I feel very at home with it."

What was it like on stage at Wembley? Some debut gig!.

"Actually it was our second gig - we played a club in Dublin the week before."

(Wembley) "It was very exciting, I had a great time. We had some monitor problems on stage, which is to be expected when you get that many acts and a five minute turnaround. But other than a few slightly niggling technical problems, it was very exhilarating. I wish we could have played longer 'cause we were having a blast. The strange thing about it is I wasn't nervous. I think it's probably because the band and crew are very professional and very well rehearsed. It's such a comfortable vibe."

Joe Elliott - 20th April 1992 BBC Interview Quotes

Did you ever buy a Queen record?

"Oh yes absolutely. I presently have them all. In fact I had them all on album and now I've sort of, they were all scratched and knackered. And I've sort of updated and gone back and got them on CD again. The first Queen album I ever bought was Sheer Heart Attack. I bought that the, I think if not the week it came out, in the first month it was out. I was 13 years old. Frightening thought."

Is there anything in Leppard that you got from Queen?

"Nearly everything we do. I mean I must be honest with you. From the melody on Pour Some Sugar On Me being obviously a tip of the hat to We Will Rock You. To the fact that we spend so long in the studio doing all the multi-layering that they used to do. We actually got the whole idea off them. When Queen stopped doing that we figured that they'd left a whole that we could come and slide in and steal some of their thunder really."

We're gonna see a new guitarist in the band. Give us a reason for having him.

"Well first and foremost he was British. He wasn't English but he was British. Which is something that we always wanted to retain. Leppard being all from one city originally had roots. Whether it be humour. Whether it be Monty Python or Fawlty Towers. We always had something that we could all latch onto and we all understood what it was. It was very important that we got somebody like that."

"It was also very important that we got somebody that was a nice guy because we are a unit. And all due respect, he's joining us, we're not joining him. So he has to fit in. We all have to bend and give a little bit. But we want somebody that was just gonna come into the organisation and give us a kick up the backside without ruffling feathers in the wrong way."

"And also we wanted somebody that was obviously a reasonably good guitar player. But somebody that could help us out on the backing vocals and just make them stronger. They've always been good. Now they're gonna be better than ever. So we got everything we were looking for. He's our age. He's a nice guy. Good sense of humour and he plays good soccer too. All bonuses!."

Vivian Campbell 1992.

Vivian Campbell - April 2016 Interview Quotes

"It's been 24 years. Yeah that was an interesting time. When Steve Clark passed away, about a year after that Joe called me up and said they'd finished the Adrenalize record as a four piece and they were gonna go on tour and the band had decided that they would need a second guitar player and would I be interested in meeting them and talking about it and I said sure."

"So we got together and we played and it's like a courtship. It wasn't an audition where you just go in and play and sing and see if it works. It was more about personalties and you know it's a very tight knit band. So we really had to see if we kind of could get along with each other."

"And the only one that I had a personal relationship at all was Joe. I didn't know the other guys at all. So we really had to get to know each other and we'd go to dinner. We'd play football pick up games like soccer together at the weekends and then we'd go back to the studio and jam. And we even went to the movies."

"So we were really just getting to know each others personalties and the playing. You know they knew because they knew my work with Whitesnake and DIO obviously,. So they knew I could play guitar. What they didn't know was that I also could sing. Which was a very pleasant surprise for them because Def Leppard is such a vocal heavy band. So I think that was a big plus. You know but we - both parties decided it was gonna work out and like I said it's been 24 years. So the longest I've ever been in a band."

Vivian Campbell September 1992 Interview Quotes

"I've known Joe Elliott for a few years," says Campbell. "He lives in Ireland, where I'm originally from, so I would see him every time I'd go there - we have a lot of mutual friends and stuff. And a couple of months after Steve had died, he had said that they were gonna continue, that they were gonna finish the record as a four-piece, but that they were eventually going to look for a new guitar player - and that he would like it to be me."

"Obviously, I didn't know the other people in the band very well, and they all had their own opinions. So about a year passed, and they made the record, and they had a short list of three or four people that they wanted to play with. So they came to L.A. and played with some folks, and dat was dat."

Vivian Campbell - March 2016 Interview Quotes - Read More

"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."

"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."

Kerrang! - Media Review Quote

"Then Brian May ambled on and Def Leppard made their own quantum leap. Together they delivered a cataclysmic 'Now I'm Here' that saved the collective Lep's face. Truly one of Queen's finest moments, it suddenly became one of Def Leppard's as everything clicked into place. This new Def Leppard will get better, but for three and a half minutes, awesome was good enough."

Watch all the available fan videos on this YouTube playlist.

Def Leppard Fan Videos 1992.

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Phil Collen - Guitar
Phil Collen - Guitar
Phil Collen - Guitar
Phil Collen - Guitar