Viviancampbell-306 Def Leppard guitarist Vivian Campbell says a “cough that wouldn’t quit” has turned out to be cancer. The guitarist had a surgical biopsy on March 11th following several months of coughing that revealed he has Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, he said through a spokesperson on Monday, reports Marc Schneider of Billboard.

Doctors prescribed six months of chemotherapy for the 50-year-old guitarist, who joined Leppard in 1992 after stints in Dio and Whitesnake.

“I’m about 2 months in and feeling rather spiffy, all things considered,” he said in a statement. “Hodgkin’s has an over 80% cure rate, so by my reckoning, if you’re going to have a cancer, Hodgie’s is the one to have!”

Campbell has no plans to miss the upcoming Def Leppard summer tour and playfully explained that part of the reason he’s revealing his illness is to prevent any walkouts from fans.

“Me and my new aerodynamic hairstyle (read: no hair) are going on tour this summer with the band and I don’t want anyone to be so shocked by my new look that they ask for a refund,” he said. “Simple economics, really.”

Following the Leppard tour, which runs from June 21th-July 17th, Campbell plans to reunite with other original Dio members to tour under the moniker, Last In Line. The group will play a short UK tour to commemorate three decades since recording classic albums like Holy Diver, Last In Line and Scared Heart. Frontman Ronnie James Dio died of stomach cancer in May 2010 at 67.

[Ed’s note: All of us at send Vivian Campbell our best wishes for a complete and speedy recovery.]


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  • Ed on

    Vivian Campbell = Good Guy.

  • John on

    I’m sure the late Ronnie James Dio would disagree with you Ed! Vivian apparently felt insulted by his salary with RJD. He wanted to be a full member with a split on royalties. It’s a business. Sorry Viv.
    I used to hate reading interviews with Viv where he’d talk about what a mediocre guitarist he thought Jimmy Page was, then years later he’s basically playing in a Led Zep tribute band aka Whitesnake (in the late 1980s.) Anyways, he’s right – if you’re going to get cancer, Hodgkins is the one to get. I wish him well.

    • Don on

      RJD was such a saint too wasn’t he (?). He had nooooo problem slagging Viv even when Viv was in the band. Might I remind you the Dio’s best days as a solo artist were with Vivian in the band. That’s not opinion, that’s fact. And now we’re trashing Whitesnake too as a Zep tribute band because Viv was in it. You f’n idiots are too much.

      Get well Viv.

    • John on

      Really, Whitesnake didn’t sound like Led Zeppelin? Coverdale didn’t try to look and sound like Robert Plant? Wow. I was hoping tone deafness and blindness wasn’t as rampant as I thought. Yes, RJD’s best success, apart from his great work in Rainbow and Black Sabbath was with Campbell. Why didn’t Campbell just form his own band after leaving? Instead he joined Whitesnake and then Def Leppard – who have done their worst work ever with him in the band.

    • Don on

      Really? A band that sounded like Led Zeppelin????? Well I never… thing you’ll tell me is that there were singers who had long blonde hair and tried to look like David Lee Roth in 1982.
      And why didn’t Campbell form his own band? How successful was John Sykes after Whitesnake? How about Jake E Lee after Ozzy? How bout George Lynch after Dokken? Are they bad players or bad people too John? Oh and now we’ll blame the downfall of Def Leppard (along with every other 80’s band other than Bon Jovi) on Vivian Campbell? I guess he must’ve just taken over from Elliot, Collen, and Savage and wrote and marketed everything for them. RJD was smart enought to attach himself to great players (ie. Blackmore/Iommi/Campbell). Who was his great player after those guys? Please tell me you have more than this John in your argument. Please tell me you didn’t bring a toy knife to a gun fight. Oh I guess you just did.

  • gtrdogg on

    the brashness of youth (Vivian) and the wisdom of age (ronnie) clashed ..because each thinks the other was wrong …at times…but each lifted the other when needed…we all say things in our life when we loose our filter or think that we” know it all”..i am also guilty of this…many times…most people after looking back would realize they wish they could take things back…sometimes you can make it right…sometimes not …wish those two could have “cleared the air”…karma …..funny thing that karma…

  • Dennis on

    Vivian a good guy????? Really? I don’t take that seriously.

  • flashrockinman on

    I wasn’t there but I wish Vivian all the best and a speedy recovery.

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