At the age of 15, a young guitarist from Northern Ireland by the name of Vivian Campbell  joined his first band Sweet Savage, setting the stage for a long and stellar career in rock and roll.  Vivian rose to fame as a member of Dio,  one of the most beloved and magical bands of the 1980’s fronted by the late, great Ronnie James Dio.  Rock fans around the world took notice of his powerhouse riffs and majestic solos both live in concert and in the studio on Dio classics like “The Last In Line” and “Sacred Heart.”

After his departure from Dio, Vivian went on to work with Whitesnake and  Foreigner vocalist Lou Gramm to name a few.  In 1992, Vivian replaced  the late Steve Clark in the hard rock band Def Leppard, a position which he holds to this day.  Campbell reconnected with his former Dio bandmates , drummer Vinny Appice and bassist Jimmy Bain for some  jam sessions back in 2011. What came out of those sessions was a new band, Last In Line , fronted by vocalist Andrew Freeman.   Sadly, Jimmy Bain died just a few days before the release of their debut album “Heavy Crown.”  During this time, Vivian was going through a personal struggle of his own with a diagnosis of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and it was unclear what the future would hold for Last In Line. I’m happy to report that although still in treatment, Vivian is doing well and the band is continuing on with Phil Soussan taking over on bass and a tour and new record in the works.  BackstageAxxess had the rare opportunity to chat with Vivian and get all the details on Last In Line as well as the upcoming Def Leppard tour.

Please join us for a one on one conversation with one of rock and roll’s best, Vivian Campbell.


We would like to thank publicist Lisa Walker for setting up the interview with Vivian. For more information on Last in Line including purchasing tickets to the show at Venu in Buffalo, NY, please go to: Last in Line. For Def Leppard information and tour dates, please go to: Def Leppard.

About The Author Kris Engelhart

I am a small business owner, freelance writer, and part-time piano instructor in Charlotte, NC. My musical career started at the age of five when I was forced into taking piano lessons. I played flute in the school band and added the guitar as a young teen. There is nothing I would rather do than be at a live show. My first concert was Shaun Cassidy at the Memorial Auditorium in Buffalo in 1978. My top five live shows ever are: 1. Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band – Memorial Auditorium, Buffalo, NY 1984- They played for 3 ½ hours and it was awesome. 2. Carolina Rebellion- Metrolina Expo Grounds, Charlotte, NC, May, 2011 – The first ever Carolina Rebellion featured over 15 bands with Avenged Sevenfold headlining. Non-stop music for over 12 hours. 3. Chevelle- Food Lion Speed Street, Charlotte, NC, May, 2008 - The first time I ever saw Chevelle live and I was hooked! 4. Skillet with Red- Bojangle’s Coliseum, Charlotte, NC, April, 2010 – Skillet is one of my favorite bands and they totally kick it live. 5. 106.5 The End’s Weenie Roast #9- Verizon Wireless Amiptheater, Charlotte, NC , October, 2003- Featured Staind, Shinedown, Three Days Grace.