Def Leppard is heading back out on the road again. For some reason, it has been big news today that Def Leppard is playing a gig at a state fair in Minnesota alongside acts like Alan Jackson, Styx, The Turtles, and Tesla.
Now Styx has been doing the package lineup tour thing for a while. They have done triple bills with acts like Kansas, Journey, John Waite and others. But Def Leppard is now heading out into that good night by playing state fairs and package shows for aging divorcees, squeezed into their acid wash denim shorts and halter tops for the night — the divorcees, that it, not Def Leppard. Then, again.
One huge challenge to the touring aspirations of Def Leppard is the fact that guitarist Vivian Campbell has cancer, specifically Hodgkins Lymphoma. Campbell was brought into the Def Leppard fold in 1992 to replace deceased guitarist Steve Clark. He had been with Dio and Whitesnake prior to that.
Campbell talked with Eddie Trunk about his current situation.
“Well, I seem to be in a good spot at the moment. You can never be too certain with these things, ’cause they can come creeping back. But after three rounds of chemo over the last two years, I did a stem-cell transplant in October. And the first PET scan that I did on New Year’s Eve came back really, really good – there’s no sign of the tumors – so I’m hopeful that we’re on the right path. I mean, that’s certainly the way I’ve been thinking.”
“I’m not letting it concern me at all. But continuing for the next few years, I’ll be doing more scans and follow-ups and stuff, just to make sure, but I’m certainly feeling healthy, you know?!”
Back in November, 2013, the Def Leppard guitarist had announced that his cancer was in remission. But it later returned.
“For anyone who knew anything about cancer, they’d probably say, ‘Well, that’s not unusual,'” says Campbell. “But I didn’t. I got my diagnosis in the spring of 2013 when we were doing the Las Vegas residency with Def Leppard. And as soon as we were done with that, I started six months of chemo.”
“And I just kind of naturally assumed you do the chemo, you do a scan at the end of the chemo and it shows that you’re good, and that’s it. But apparently not. It was, like, ninety-something percent gone, and it was what they couldn’t see on the scan that came creeping back. And it came back so fast.”
Here’s hoping that Campbell and his Def Leppard bandmates stay healthy for the tour.