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Vivian Campbell on Touring With Cancer: ‘I Don’t Feel Like Laying at Home in Bed’

Vivian Campbell

He vowed he wouldn’t let his cancer diagnosis slow him down, and Def Leppard guitarist Vivian Campbell has proved amazingly true to his word, playing a full complement of shows with the group as well as rocking out with his Dio tribute project, Last in Line.

“The band has been very accommodating,” Campbell told the Huffington Post during a recent interview, pointing out that “there have been enough gaps in the schedule” to make room for chemo treatments between blocks of shows. “Chemo treatment number six I did on the 18th of June, and then the next day I flew to France to join the band. And then I [flew] back to L.A. on the 7th of July for my seventh treatment, and I [left] for Canada the day after that.”

It’s a busy schedule even for someone in peak health, but although Campbell admits it takes him “a day or two” to recover from his treatments, the alternative would have been worse. “Hell, I didn’t want to miss it,” he insisted. “I don’t feel like laying at home in bed!”

Even though he was concerned at first that he might not be able to handle it — “You never know how chemo is going to affect you” — he insisted that he’s holding up well and looks to his bandmates for inspiration. “This band has always been a band of survivors,” he pointed out. “We have the one-armed drummer! You go onstage with Rick Allen every night, and you’re reminded of [how to] overcome adversity. I’ve been with the band for 21 years — I replaced the original guitar player, Steve Clark, after he died. Some people say Def Leppard are an unlucky band, but one thing you can say about Def Leppard is we’re a resilient bunch.”

Next: Top 10 Def Leppard Songs

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