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Def Leppard Tour History Fan Archive.
Vivian Campbell Thanks Fans/Talks About His Illness

Sunday, 16th June 2013

Vivian Campbell Sheffield 2008.
Pic by DefDazz/Darren

Def Leppard guitarist Vivian Campbell was interviewed on Friday night by DJ Eddie Trunk and spoke about his current health situation and his recovery process.

Vivian explained all about his condition, Hodgkin's Lymphoma, and the treatment he is receiving for it. He talked in great detail and you may feel somewhat more informed and reassured by reading his comments.

Vivian of course updated people about his condition on Monday 10th June. He has since updated a few more times to give thanks for the support from fans. Feel free to leave your own message of support via the link if you haven't done so already (it's the least we can do right?).

Eddie Trunk Show - Vivian Campbell 14th June Interview Quote

"I'm doing very well all things considered I've gotta say. The treatment's going great and I'm looking forward to getting out this summer and doing some shows with Leppard and Last In Line."

That Metal Show/Not being able to appear

"Indeed I think it's a legitimate excuse. But yeah I'm looking forward to getting on the Metal Show some time in the future. If you still want me."

His Health Condition

"I have Hodgkin's Lymphoma. It's a kind of blood cancer and what alerted me to the fact that something was amiss was pretty much exactly a year ago. We were in rehearsals for the Def Leppard summer tour and I developed this cough and it just wouldn't go away. You know some days it was more pleasant than others but for the most part I was coughing 24/7. And I went to a few doctors and they couldn't diagnose what was going on until they actually had a look in my chest and realised that I had enlarged lymph nodes and so I got my diagnosis actually just before we started - when we were in rehearsal for the Vegas shows this past March and April. So then as soon as those shows were finished I started my chemotherapy treatment so I'm just over two months into the chemo and it's going remarkably well I gotta say I feel so much better actually since the first chemo treatment I stopped coughing and I definitely feel like I have a lot more energy as a result of that so. Obviously there's a lot of side effects from doing chemo as I'm sure a lot of your listeners know. Which is one thing that's actually really resonated with me as a result of going public with this is how many other people suffer from cancer of different shapes and forms you know it's unfortunately a very prevalant disease."

The Support From Fans/Friends

"Anyway but I've been very, very touched by all the love and support I've had via my facebook page and via the Def Leppard facebook page and the last In Line page so you know it's good to know you're not alone."

"Well certainly you can gather a lot of strength from that you know. For me I did kind of want to not go public with it at first because it is a weird thing you've got to kind of deal with it on your own terms you know before you can address the rest of the world about it so. You know I feel very comfortable going public about it you know for the first couple of months I had to keep it from my children cause they were still in school and doing exams and stuff and I didn't want to add to their concerns but after a while it's inevitable that somethings going on and you have to kind of come out with it and kind of explain what the situation is but I'm very comfortable with it you know I'm very comfortable with the treatment and I'm very comfortable with how my buddies are reacting to it. You know obviously it's done a number on my hair you know so I'm a bit more Joe Satriani these days. I'm hoping that means I'm gonna play even more notes like Joe. It's all good you know I've no issues with it. I'm perfectly at peace with it all."

Cough interfered with backing vocals?

"You're right it did. We're on the mike every song. I actually had to keep turning and looking at Rick Allen and people thought maybe I was just rocking out with Rick but I was actually coughing up a lung the whole time you know. It was very uncomfortable and it just got worse and worse towards the end of the tour last summer and it was kind of pretty bad when I was in Vegas too. I mean I had some days that were more tolerable than others but you know a lot of people noticed it too you know I know I wasn't fooling anyone with it but yeah I'm glad that that part has gone at least like I can breathe a lot easier now. Now essentially I'm dealing with the chemo and not the cancer. I'm pretty sure I've knocked the shit out of the cancer at this stage it's just dealing with the side effects of chemo."

History of this in your family?

"No this is an idiopathic disease there's no rhyme or reason for getting it it just strikes anyone it doesn't have anything to do with your lifestyle or your diet or your ethnicity or your genetic make up or anything. In fact normally it strikes people younger. Usually in their 20s and 30s. So yeah there's just no reason for it at all just kind of it was a random thing."

How he handled the news?

"No I wasn't floored I knew something was wrong and I was just glad to find out what it was to be honest you know. I was glad that there was finally an explanation. You know obviously when your doctor says that you're gonna have to do six months of chemo you know you immediately you think that's probably not gonna be fun. But no I've taken it in my stride you know it's a bump in the road. It is what it is. It could be a lot worse and there's a lot worse cancers out there and I was very. very lucky to find it very early so you know it's just a question of riding out the treatment. It's actually been good for me in a lot of ways you know it's been a very humbling experience. It kind of helps you recalibrate and put the focus on what's important in life."

Chemo Treatment

"I go to my doctors office approximately every two weeks and they hook me up and drip chemo into me for about two or three hours."

"Yeah it's uncomfortable. It hasn't been debiliatating for me you know which is why I'm able to go on tour. With Leppard and with Last In Line this summer because its not anything that brings me to my knees where I'm puking 24/7 or anything like that you know I do have moments of discomfort and nausea - bone pain and tiredness and stuff but it's nothing that's affected or at least I haven't let it affect my daily life you know I mean I'm sitting here having a beer to be honest so and I've had a full day I've been up since 7 this morning and been out doing this that and the other so. I really haven't let it infringe on my lifestyle too much you know but that's maybe that's just me I'm just an ignorant c*nt when it comes to that shit."

Positive Mental approach

"I do think so yeah you know it definitely starts in the mind and I'm not of the mindset that I'm about to be sick and I certainly have no intention of dying any time soon."

80 percent cure rate?

"Yeah If you're going to have a cancer it's the one to get you know it's over 80 percent cure rate and you know especially when you catch it early like I did. It didn't get to the bone marrow or anything like that you know. So I'm really not at all concerned about it you know it's just a question of dealing with the side effects of chemo as far as I'm concerned."

Touring Plans This Summer

"I'm leaving for France on Wednesday morning. We start off we have a brief European run of shows starting at Hellfest in France next Friday. A week from today. So that's the first show and then we have four shows in Spain. Arena shows that we're doing with Whitesnake and Europe and then we have three shows in Scandinavia. That's one in Norway and two in Sweden and I've gotta fly back to LA to do a chemo for a day and a half and then I fly up to Canada to rejoin the band for two shows in Canada and we have two on the east coast of America and that's it for Leppard for this year. I am a hundred percent confident I can do it yes."

VIVA Hysteria!

"The most fun part of it was being Ded Flatbird our own opening act cause we could get out there and just there were no rules as regard what Ded Flatbird played so we were playing some really early Leppard stuff. Stuff for anoraks like Eddie yes. It was great. It's very refreshing for us to play something other than PSSOM you can understand yourself we're sort of between a rock and a hard place we have to play the hit songs and we're very fortunate that the band has those hit songs to play but it's a lot more fun for us to get out there and do something obscure. So we got to do that which was a lot of fun you know and actually to break the show up into two parts it was very theatrical too. So that adds a lot to the excitement level for us."

Work on new music?

"We've done a lot of talking about it that's for sure! and we've even done a little work on it yeah. We started a song when we were in Vegas. It's just difficult to get a song together you know. As you know yourself we're kind of scattered geographically in terms of where we all live and it's difficult to get us all on the same page at the same time and when we do get together and work it's always for another purpose other than to specifically to do a record. We haven't scheduled time to do that for many years and at this stage we are long, long, long overdue to having some new music. You know it's kind of embarrassing actually but we've started something at least."

Def Leppard Recording

"I would rather do it in Ireland. I'm not in LA by choice it's cause my children live here and as soon as they go to college I'm getting out of dodge. I'm not saying I'm going to Ireland specifically but yeah LA is a strange spot as you know. But home is where you make it and that's where my kids are so. But yeah we have in the past when Def Leppard did actually make albums it is geographically beneficial for us to record in Ireland. You know for one reason or another."

He then went on to talk about Last In Line in the interview that lasted for around 24 minutes in total and is due to be broadcast again on US radio next week.

Many thanks to Curt Taft for the interview audio.