UPDATED: 08 August 2012

** INTERVIEW section updated **
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Sir Sodoff and the Trainwrecks to play the Baked Potatoe again on 12 January 2012 
Check the deeds out HERE

On September 30, the Riverdogs will fulfil a long time promise to fans and to themselves to release brand new material with guitarist Vivian Campbell (Def Leppard, Thin Lizzy, ex-Dio, ex-Shadowking) for the first time since their 1990 debut album.

The album is World Gone Mad - a short, but succinct collection of personal, reflective and honest songs, powered by some of the best musicians in the world.

Riverdogs was formed by vocalist/guitarist Rob Lamothe and bassist Nick Brophy. Following an introduction to the guys, Vivian Campbell (Def Leppard, ex-Dio, ex-Whitesnake) agreed to produce Riverdogs' first demo. Vivian was so impressed by their talent, he joined the band for their debut-album, released on Epic Records in 1990, winning a prestigious Edison Award in The Netherlands. Soon after, drummer Marc Danzeisen joined the band to complete the line-up. Though fans and critics gave the album a warm reception, lack of support from their record label eventually led the band to go independent, with Campbell departing the line-up. Releasing another two albums in Europe, the band continued to pick up fans before eventually disbanding.
Campbell settled into the Def Leppard line-up and Nick Brophy become and continues to be a respected engineer and producer. Rob Lamothe continued an acclaimed solo career and Marc Danzeisen an in-demand session player.
In 2003 the band gathered again to record new material and play a few reunion shows. Those new songs were recorded as demos, but never completed. In 2010 MelodicRock Records approached band manager Paul Liszewski about a possible release of these songs. The band liked the idea so much an agreement was reached and over the course of a few week long get-togethers, the line-up of Lamothe, Campbell, Brophy and Danzeisen recorded final versions of the 2003 tracks as well as writing a couple of brand new songs.
Added to the new World Gone Mad album is one live cut from the band's 2004 re-union shows, a cover of the Badfinger classic.
World Gone Mad is the fulfilment of a long promised release of new Riverdogs material. The band's faithful fanbase are rewarded with 7 new Riverdogs classics, issued at a special price.

Track Listing with audio samples:

01 - World Gone Mad 02:38
02 - Big Steel Town 02:36
03 - Best Day of My Life 04:06
04 - Just A Little Higher 03:15
05 - For You 04:03
06 - This Empty Room 02:51
07 - Glitter Town 02:46
08 - No Matter What (Live) 02:59

PRE-ORDER NOW AT THE SPECIAL ONE-OFF DISCOUNT PRICE OF US$10.00 (+$5.00 shipping airmail worldwide).

Orders can be placed via THIS LINK (scroll to 28 July 2011 entry)

Above text and picture taken from: http://www.melodicrock.com/

3rd Annual Benefit for Create Now with Viv Campbell of Def Leppard
 Vivian Campbell, legendary lead guitarist with Def Leppard and now on tour with Thin Lizzy hosts 3rd Annual Benefit to Support Create Now.
You can spend an evening on Saturday, March 19, 2011 enjoying a delicious 4-course meal at a private dinner party with Viv and his other fans at Finn McCools Irish Pub in Santa Monica.
Create Now receives 100% of the proceeds from this event.
Viv will share a private dinner with the 25 fans who win this terrific opportunity to chat with him, hear his stories, take photos, and have memorabilia signed.
You can spend an evening on Saturday, March 19, 2011 enjoying a delicious four-course meal at a private dinner party with Viv and his other fans at Finn McCools Irish Pub in Santa Monica, CA.
100% of the proceeds will benefit Create Now, a nonprofit organization that transforms the lives of high-risk youth through creative arts mentoring, education, resources and opportunities.
Viv will share a private dinner with the 25 fans who win this terrific opportunity to chat with him, hear his stories, take photos, and have memorabilia signed. Be one of the lucky 25 to join him. Bidding starts on eBay Feb 25, 2011 and ends March 6, 2011. You have several chances to win since Create Now is listing this offer on eBay multiple times for pairs of tickets and individuals. The higher your bid, the closer you sit to Viv. Visit Create Now's website to learn more at: www.createnow.org or email: info@createnow.org."
24 December 2010 - Vivian to record a new album with Riverdogs in 2011
Much loved melodic rock band Riverdogs (Rob Lamothe, Vivian Campbell, Nick Brophy & Marc Danzeisen) have signed to MelodicRock Records for an album to be released in the first half of 2011.
This studio album is a long awaited return for the band, featuring unreleased music from the 'lost' 2003 sessions as well as perhaps a few new 2010 tunes :)
The guys recently spent a week in Los Angeles together working up ideas and re-mixing and adding new parts to the originally recorded songs.

(source: Melodicrock.comhttp://www.melodicrock.com/)
25 September 2010 - Vivian to play at the Baked Potato
Sir Sodoff and the Trainwrecks perform their last live gig for while at The Baked Potato in Studio City, CA. Tickets available at $20.00
12 June 2010 - Vivian to play at Pat's
Sir Sodofff and the Trainwrecks to perform at Pat's in Studio City, CA
04 June 2010 - Vivian to play at Harper's
Sir Sodoff and the Trainwrecks to perform at Harper's in Tarzana, CA

12 May 2010 - Vivian to join Thin Lizzy on tour 2011 
Vivian Campbell will join the new line-up of Thin Lizzy for a UK tour in early 2011. The band will play a 13 date tour across the UK preceded by a special appearance in Dublin on 4th January to mark the 25th anniversary of original frontman Phil Lynott's death. A full European tour will be announced later. 

Vivian will be joined in the line-up by former Leppard support act/The Almighty singer Ricky Warwick who takes over lead vocals. Former Thin Lizzy members from the original line-ups of the 70s/80s also join them including Scott Gorham, Brian Downey and Darren Wharton (who later sang with Dare). The new line up and UK Tour dates 2011 can be seen on the Thin Lizzy fan club site.
Tickets are £23.50 (£26 in London) and support comes from Supersuckers.
08 May 2010 - Vivian to perform at Cozy's
Sir Sodoff and the Trainwrecks to perform at L.A.s Cozy's. Featuring Vivian Campbell, Lou Castro, Michael Fell, Kara Grainger, Glen Sobel.
Start at 21:30hrs - $10.00 cover
08 March 2010 - Vivian to perform at Bologna Guitar Festival
Bologna Guitar Festival will take place during the Music Italy Show, which will be held in Bologna from May 15 to May 17.
Other guitarists expected to perform at the event include Yngwie Malmsteen, George Lynch (DOKKEN, LYNCH MOB), Doug Aldrich (DIO, WHITESNAKE), John Sykes (THIN LIZZY, WHITESNAKE)and Jennifer Batten (MICHAEL JACKSON)
24 January 2010 - Vivian to perform at Todd Rocks Benefit
Hosted by 95.5 KLOS-FM’s Uncle Joe Benson, the evening will feature special performances by Vivian Campbell, guitarist for Def Leppard and Whitesnake and Mark Schulman, the drummer for Pink, Beyonce, and Sheryl Crow; and Jon Abrams, the star of Broadway’s “Movin’ Out.”
WHEN: Monday, February 1st, 2010
TIME: 6 p.m. to Close
WHERE: House of Blues Anaheim (Downtown Disney) 1530 Disneyland Drive, Anaheim, CA Phone: (714) 778-2583
-above info taken from the Todd Rockin' Leukemia blog-
13 December 2009 - Vivian performs "MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY"
To get us all in a Holiday mood, here is Vivian's rendition of Slade's "MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY", which he performed as a guest of The Section Quartet during their December 1st show at the Largo in LA. You can view the video by clicking THIS LINK
7 December 2009 - Win dinner with Viv!
Here's your chance to attend a private dinner on February 13, 2010 with Vivian Campbell at the famous Cat and the Fiddle Restaurant & Pub in Hollywood! Create Now is currently auctioning 25 seats at Viv's dinner table on eBay, and bidding ends on December 17.The top 25 winners will hang out with Viv in a private room where you'll eat a scrumptious dinner (choice of meat, fish or poultry) that includes wine and beer. No host bar. There will be four tables and the more you pay, then the closer you get to sit to Viv during the meal -- more opportunity to pick his brain about Def Leppard's future plans or anything else! However, everyone will have plenty of time to mingle with him, since we'll be in a private room with a lot of space. Everyone can have their photos taken with Vivian. There's a nice backdrop area, and we'll even have a professional photographer on hand (an old friend of Viv's) to get awesome shots. Of course, Viv will also sign your memorabilia so bring your albums, CDs, T-shirts and posters! All proceeds from this benefit will support the work of Create Now, a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization that helps transform the lives of high-risk and at-risk youth through creative arts mentoring, education, resources and opportunities. We serve kids who are abused, homeless, substance abusers, gang members or incarcerated by providing workshops in art, music, writing, dance, theater and cultural excursions. Create Now has served more than 20,000 of the most troubled kids in Southern California in 13 years.
15 November 2009 - Vivian joining The Section Quartet
On December 1st, Vivian will make a guest appearance with The Section Quartet at the Largo/Coronet Theatre , 366 N La Cienaga Blvd, Los Angeles.The Section Quartet specializes in turning popular rock songs into classical quartet pieces. They are especially known for creating all-string version albums of songs originally recorded by Radiohead, Incubus, Nine Inch Nails, and Tool.
17 September 2009 - Vivian at FIND YOUR RHYTHM seminar
Join Vivian Campbell and Mark Schulman (drummer for Pink and Viv's bandmate in their hobby project Clock) on Thursday, October 1st in Shrewsbury, MA (near Boston) on a two-acre historic estate for an amazing motivational seminar, "Find Your Rhythm," that Mark will present. This benefit will support two wonderful charities, Create Now in Los Angeles and Zumix in Boston, both of which help at-risk youth through music.Tickets are limited: $150 includes cocktails, a fine catered dinner and the seminar. Cocktails/Dinner at 6:30 PM, Program at 7:30 PM. For an additional $200, up to 20 people can join Vivian and Mark for an "After-Hours Soiree" in the home's authentic pub, a Speakeasy from prohibition days. 
15 July 2009 - A conversation with Vivian Campbell
By Jessi Virtusio
To look back at Vivian Campbell's career thus far can make one's head spin. Not only was he a part of Dio during big records "HOLY DIVER" and "THE LAST IN LINE," but he also was a part of the blockbuster Whitesnake lineup that toured in 1987 to 1988 behind the self-titled Whitesnake mega hit CD. But, of course, Campbell is likely best known for being a guitarist for Def Leppard, a band that he has been a part of since the early 1990s.
Much of my conversation with Campbell will be in my Thursday (7/16) "Gig of the Week" in Fifty-Two Weekends, which will preview Def Leppard's summer tour stop set for Friday (7/17) at First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre in Tinley Park. The jaunt also includes Poison and Cheap Trick, which got its start in Rockford. To whet your appetite for that feature, here is what Campbell had to say about the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, what it was like to go from being a fan of the band to being a member of Def Leppard, and more.
From fan to band member
Campbell started with Def Leppard in 1992, replacing the late Steve Clark after his tragic death. "I didn't feel any pressure at all," Campbell said of that time. "I wasn't an unknown. It would have been more difficult for me if I was John Doe before and never played a big gig before. I felt so confident. I had been in so many bands prior to that…. I'd been around the block, and I felt very confident about coming into the band. I think it was a lot easier for me than the other guys in Def Leppard. They lost their friend who they had known for years. They had never played when Steve wasn't there."
"I've never felt any sort of animosity from Def Leppard. Being a fan of the band for so many years, I was very familiar with the music. … I always felt part of this band. I was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, but I've really always felt a kinship with Def Leppard. They was cemented when I saw the guys play for the first time during the Hysteria tour in 1987. I was in Whitesnake at the time. You could really tell (that) was a real band. The guys in Whitesnake, we had no real bond or kinship. You could really sense, watching Def Leppard on stage, they were really a band of brothers."
Even with Campbell's experience prior to Def Leppard, something he said he really enjoyed about joining vocalist Joe Elliott, guitarist Phil Collen, bassist Rick "Sav" Savage and drummer Rick Allen was the chance to sing in addition to playing guitar. "Ronnie Dio would never let me sing," Campbell said. "I've always loved to sing. We have a lot of vocals in every song we do. It's fun. We enjoy our work, and it shows."
Solo work
When he is not working with Def Leppard, Campbell works on solo material and released "TWO SIDES OF IF," a collection of blues favorites that he handled vocals for, in 2005. He said he's working on new material with an unknown writer and producer from Los Angeles, and described the tunes as more modern, moody and sexual as well as a showcase for his vocals.
"I really don't know what I'm doing with it," he said of the material that comes from Campbell's friend providing tracks for Campbell, who then writes lyrics. "You've got to give at least part of (your music) away. I would imagine that, once we get a record's worth (of material), we'll probably put it up on a Web site and give away three or four songs. I believe it's a karmic thing. If you release your best work and give it to people, … it will eventually come back and reciprocate in some way."
Music through the years
Speaking of coming back, rock is back in a big way, even if audiences weren't so kind after the New Wave of British Heavy Metal in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
"In the 1990s it was a tough sell," Campbell said of the ups and downs of playing rock music. "It takes about a decade or so for it to become acceptable again and for new audiences to discover it. I remember in the '60s, people were digging the Beatles and the Rolling Stones and acts like Jimi Hendrix. By the time you got to the 1980s, there were some great artists. … It was amazing. In the 1990s, we couldn't get arrested. I think that's true with every band. (After the) bad haircuts and bad fashion sense, you get a whole new generation. I do believe this. I've been saying, in the last seven or eight years, there's a whole new generation of Def Leppard fans. It's not all bad."
"I was always a Def Leppard fan before I was in the band. I always appreciated the effort that Def Leppard put into songwriting. There's a real craft to writing songs. That was obviously helped by Mutt Lange's guidance. Mutt Lange's defintiely a talented writer and producer. We take what we do very seriously and especially the songwriting aspect. We don't consider a good song good enough. Most of the time, we do go the extra mile and we get rewarded, and that's why we can still tour. Those songs still hold up.
10 January 2009 – Vivian’s Acoustic Gig at the Mint
Check out the YouTube videos shot during Vivian's solo performance at The Mint in LA, when he was opening for Lauren Monroe's band (featuring Rick Allen on drums). During his show, Viv played his bluesy versions of the Def Leppard classics "POUR SOME SUGAR ON ME" and "HYSTERIA" and additional “TO BE ALIVE”. You can view them all by clicking THIS LINK
11 December 2008 – Win Dinner with Vivian
Ever wanted to have dinner with one of the guys in the band? Here's your chance to have a bite with Vivian Campbell at a fancy LA restaurant -- while supporting a great cause!
You can spend an evening with Vivian on Saturday, March 7, 2009 enjoying a delicious meal at a private dinner party with Viv and other fans at a high-end restaurant in Los Angeles. Nonprofit organization CREATE NOW is auctioning ten seats for this dinner and you could be sitting on one of them. This could also make a terrific holiday gift for your loved ones! On the night of March 7, starting at 7:00 pm, Viv will share a private dinner at a nice restaurant in Los Angeles with the 10 fans that win this terrific opportunity. Become one of the lucky 10 to join him. You have seven chances to win, since CREATE NOW is listing this offer on eBay multiple times. To accommodate individuals as well as couples, they have three separate listings for the chance to win a pair of tickets and four different listings for individual tickets. The higher your bid, the closer you sit to Viv and the more you can pick his brain on anything you like! Transportation to or from the event is not included. Winners must be 21 or over, or else be accompanied by an adult. All auctions will end on December 20th.
CREATE NOW is a 501 ©(3) non-profit organization founded in 1996 that changes the lives of high-risk and at-risk youth through creative arts mentoring, education, resources and opportunities. Create Now serves troubled kids, ages 2-25, who have been abused, neglected, abandoned, orphaned (foster youth), are homeless, runaways, children, teen parents, victims of domestic violence, children of prisoners, substance abusers, gang members or incarcerated. Create Now has reached more than 17,000 youth throughout Southern California in the last twelve years. 
3 July 2008 - MusicRadar interviews Vivian
It's been 16 years since he joined Def Leppard, but guitarist Vivian Campbell is still known as the "new guy in the band." But when you consider that members Joe Elliot (vocals) and Rick Savage (bass) formed the Leps in 1977, and drummer Rick Allen came aboard a year later (guitarist Phil Collen, who replaced Pete Willis in 1982, is now a lifer), the new guy status is a cross Campbell will have to bear.
And he does so, happily. Having logged time in Dio and Whitesnake with noted tyrants Ronnie James Dio and David Coverdale, the Northern Irish guitar player has found his tenure in Leppard to be "a sustained pleasure. This is the band I was destined to be a part of."
Seemingly impervious to changes in musical fashion, Def Leppard continue to thrive. Their latest release, Songs From The Sparkle Lounge, is their perkiest effort in years, and even finds the pop-metallurgists teamed with country boy Tim McGraw on the track Nine Lives. "Working with Tim was fantastic," says Campbell. "But I think he was more in our world than the other way around. Put it this way: nobody's ever going to mistake Def Leppard for a country band!"
Before hitting the road with Lep for yet another summer tour bonanza, Campbell sat down with MusicRadar to discuss his role in the band, working the blues into pop and how he's dealt with big-headed lead singers (no, we don't mean Joe Elliot).
Check out the 2-part audio interview with Vivian at MusicRadar!
25 June 2008 - Phil and Viv in Guitar World
The latest issue of Guitar World (September 2008, on newsstands now) features Vivian and Phil in the regular feature "DEAR GUITAR HERO". In the article, Viv and Phil answer seven questions from readers, addressing issues varying from guitar-technical topics to the VH1 Movie.
10 Feb 2008 – Clock perform live
After a long, long period of silence, Vivian's side band CLOCK will be getting together again for a one-off gig this upcoming weekend! On Sunday, February 10, Vivian will be joined by PJ, Mark and Sasha at their regular hideout Molly Malone's in Los Angeles, to play their first show in three years. The evening will be kicked off by Born The Sky at 9.30PM and tickets at the door are $12 (admittance to 21 and over only). Don't miss it!
Clock's CD "THROUGH TIME" (featuring the original version of Def Leppard's "TO BE ALIVE", from their 1999 "EUPHORIA" album) can still be ordered at CDbaby.com.

Def Leppard.com



VIVIAN CAMPBELL and ROCKERS - Cat and Fiddle 19 Jan 2012

NAMM 2012 - 96.7 KCAL Rocks - Interview

NAMM 2012 - Introduction Video
Plus more videos with Buddy Blaze and Vivian Campbell can be found HERE
INSIDE HEAVY - Interview with Vivian

GIBSON GERMANY - Interview with Vivian

Thin Lizzy at Bristol, UK - 16 January 2011

Sir Sodoff and the Trainwrecks at Harper's - 04 June 2010

Sir Sodoff and the Trainwrecks at Cozy's - 08 May 2010

St Patricks Day 2010 - Vivian Campbell and P.J.Smith band perform live at O'Briens Pub -  17 March 2010

Merry Christmas Everybody – Live at the Largo with the Section Quartett
1 December 2009

To Be Alive – Live at the Mint
10 January 2009

Hysteria – Live at the Mint
10 January 2009

Pour Some Sugar On Me – Live at the Mint
10 January 2009



SEYMOUR DUNCAN - August 2012
104.7 THE CAVE - June 2012 (audio)
COYOTE 102.5 - June 2012 (audio)
KXUS - June 2012 (audio)
SMG - January 2012
I HEART GUITAR - January 2012

TULSA WORLD - September 2011
THE ARROW - September 2011 (audio)
COLLEGE TIMES - September 2011
VEGAS ALL NIGHT - August 2011
MUSIC and MUSICIANS - August 2011
94.5 3WS - August 2011 (audio)
MUSIC PIX - August 2011
PREMIER GUITAR - August 2011
RADIO METAL - July 2011
BEATWEEK - June 2011
GIBSON - June 2011
FOSTER 96ROCK  - June 2011
NOISECREEP - April 2011
GIBSON - March 2011
BRAVEWORDS - February 2011
Q107 CLASSIC ROCK - January 2011 (audio part I)
Q107 CLASSIC ROCK - January 2011 (audio part II)
PRESS and JOURNAL - January 2011
RUSH on ROCK - January 2011


THE MUSICIANS VOICE - 2009 (audio)

N - 2008
MUSIC RADAR - August 2008
MUSIC RADAR - July 2008
BRAVEWORDS - April 2008
STUFF.CO.NZ - April 2008
ALL ACCESS - March 2008

KOMODO ROCK - November 2007

GIBSON - August 2006

BRAVEWORDS - December 2005
MODERN GUITARS - August 2005



Sweet Savage: 1977 – 1983
Dio: 1983 – 1986
Trinity: 1986
Whitesnake: 1987 – 1988
Riverdogs: 1990
Shadow King: 1991
Def Leppard: 1992 – current
Sir Sodoff & the Trainwrecks: current side project
Thin Lizzy: current side project

Campbell began playing guitar at the age of 12. He has played for Sweet Savage, Dio, Trinity, Whitesnake, Riverdogs and Shadow King.
He also played on Lou Gramm's (from Foreigner) second solo album Long Hard Look. Campbell attended Rathmore Grammar School.

Sweet Savage was a NWOBHM band that Campbell joined when he was 15. The band members in Sweet Savage included Campbell on guitar, Trev Fleming on guitar, David Bates on drums and Ray Haller on bass and vocals. The band influenced Metallica, who covered the song Killing Time on their Garage Inc. covers album. In 1980 when Campbell was 18. In 1981 they released an e.p. consisting of four BBC radio sessions and their first single "Take No Prisoners". "Take No Prisoners" included the song "Killing Time". Much later in the late 90's after Metallica covered "Killing Time", there was interest in Sweet Savage and they released an album without him. Out on tour supporting bands like Thin Lizzy and Motorhead around Britain, Vivian caught the eye of bassist Jimmy Bain, who would soon join Ronnie James Dio to record his post-Black Sabbath solo debut for Warner Bros. In searching for a dynamic, powerhouse guitarist, Jimmy recalled his memorable impression of the young unknown Vivian, and recommended him to Ronnie. Vivian was 19 when he auditioned and that line-up went into the studio to record the now classic Dio albums "Holy Diver" and "Last In Line".

When Campbell joined Dio, Ronnie James Dio had three songs that he had written while Jake was in the band -Stand Up And Shout, Don't Talk To Strangers and Holy Diver. All of these songs appeared on the album and became radio hits. Former Rainbow bassist Jimmy Bainjoined, completing the first line up. The band completed the album, which was a success and included Ronnie's biggest hit to date Rainbow in the Dark. A concert video, called In Concert, from this tour was released. The band also played at The Monsters Of Rock festival in 1984.
For their sophomore effort, 1984's The Last in Line, the band expanded its lineup to include keyboardist Claude Schnell, as the album would become the biggest hit of Dio's career (on the strength of another MTV-approved video, for the album's anthemic title track) and the group became an arena-headliner. Sacred Heart was still a success, and still managed to peak at #29 in the U.S. the album had 2 hits in Rock N Roll Children and Hungry For Heaven. The tour was very successful too and had an over the top stage show featuring a huge Dragon. Also around this time the band recorded the song "Hide In The Rainbow" for the Iron Eagle soundtrack, which was the last song Campbell would record with Dio. A Live EP, called Intermission, was also released. (Craig Goldy played on the albums only studio song "Time to Burn" & over-dubbed the rhythm parts on the live tracks).
Campbell had become disillusioned by the group's direction and split from the group a year later. Just prior to Campbell's exit, the entire Dio band helped organize Hear N' Aid, an all-star assembly of heavy metal artists that recorded a track called "Stars," which helped fight world hunger (a subsequent album was issued as well, collecting previously unreleased live tracks from a few of the day's top hard rock acts).

In 1987, Campbell joined the British heavy metal band Whitesnake. Ex-Thin Lizzy and Tygers of Pan Tang (Spellbound and Crazy Nights albums only) axe-slinger John Sykes played the lead parts on the multi-platinum selling album simply titled Whitesnake, but he was fired by lead singer David Coverdale after the recording of the album, and Campbell replaced him for the subsequent world tour. Campbell was part of the new, glammed-up Whitesnake Coverdale had put together to conquer MTV and American audiences, also including Adrian Vandenberg, formerly of Teaser and Vandenberg, Tommy Aldridge of Ozzy Osbourne and Black Oak Arkansas fame, and Rudy Sarzo, having already become hugely successful playing with Ozzy Osbourne and Quiet Riot. Campbell was fired after the 1987-1988 World Tour, because of "negative attitude".

Vivian yearned to create music that was more blues-based and less hard-rock, and also to try his hand at singing, his undisclosed secret weapon. So the Riverdogs were born, a four-piece outfit with Vivian and cult blues singer Rob Lamothe on lead vocals. This line-up would record one album for Epic Records before Vivian was on the move again. In 1991 during an extended hiatus from touring he would finally begin writing songs for his own debut solo album for Epic Records. Its tone and direction would pay homage the pop-rock sounds of the singer/songwriter movement and the soul and R&B of Motown. Writing collaborations produced beautiful demos and recording of the album was about to commence when the call came from Def Leppard singer Joe Elliott. Always having been a fan of Def Leppard's soaring harmonies and sterling pop hooks, it was a crossroads decision; you only get one chance to join a legendary rock band, and the solo album was put on hold.

In 1992, Campbell joined the rock band Def Leppard, after the release of their Adrenalize album. He replaced Steve Clark, who died on 8 January 1991. According to fellow guitarist Phil Collen, Campbell was able to lock right into the position very naturally by simply being himself. Campbell made his debut with the band by playing a show in a Dublin club to approximately 600 people. A week later, 20 April 1992, the band took the stage at the Freddie Mercury Concert for Life, with their new guitarist. They performed, "Animal," "Let's Get Rocked," and the Queen classic, "Now I'm Here", with Brian May. He has spent the last 17 years with the band.

Thirteen Leppard years later the time finally came to pursue a solo album again, but this time the direction would take a different form. Living in Los Angeles, Vivian had immersed himself in the world of the local blues-club circuit, quite a change from the intricate arrangements, multi-overdubs and state of the art production values of Def Leppard. The spontaneity and "one-take" urgency of the true blues genre dictated a specific new set of rules that would be applied during the making of "Two Sides Of If." Rule number one: it had to be recorded LIVE in the studio, being sure to always maintain eye contact between all of the musicians. This meant Vivian singing lead vocals while playing solo guitar - no overdubs allowed..... Rule number two: have fun and fly by the seat of your pants. With wish-list players like Terry Bozzio on drums, and Billy Gibbons and Joan Osborne making guest appearances, the sessions were inspired and the end result is "Two Sides Of If." Twenty years in the making and not a minute too soon.

Aside from his work with Def Leppard, Campbell has played on the side with Clock, Sir Sodoff & the Trainwrecks and Thin Lizzy

My Space



Gibson – acoustic

  • 1997 SJ-200 custom

Les Paul – electric

  • 70s Vintage custom ebony
  • 59s custom shop reissue (with Gibson Tony Iommi pickups)
  • 56 goldtop with PAF humbuckers
  • 70s vintage standard tobacco burst


  • Acoustic Matrix pickup and Blender systems 
  • Soldano Amplification 
  • Baker Guitars
  • Jackson Soloist
  • B.C. RichST
  • 27-fret, high-end Rand Havener
  • custom Dallasarea luthier Buddy Blaze (the “Shredder”) – later produced by Kramer under the “Nightswan” name

When he first started playing, Campbell employed a Les Paul with Di Marzio pickups. This guitar was also used on Holy Diver, as can be seen in the booklet pictures. At this point, the "superstrat" fashion was taking place and consequently Campbell switched to a Jackson Soloist. Around the same time, he can be seen in an instructional video playing a blue B.C. Rich ST, which was first produced around 1986 or 1987.

When he joined Whitesnake, Vivian picked up a pink, red and yellow Rand, a 27-fret, high-end guitar handmade by Rand Havener, a former B.C. Rich employee whom he had met through a common friend. This guitar featured innovative sculpted wings, almost no neck heel due to a very accurate neck-through construction, a pointy, very droopy headstock, Pau Ferro (Bolivian rosewood) fretboard, custom inlays, a Floyd Rose bridge and two Tom Anderson custom pickups. This very instrument can be seen in the "Still Of The Night" video. Another Rand, yet with different colors, was used for the "Is This Love" music video. During the same period (1987-1988), Vivian had Dallasarea luthier Buddy Blaze make him a custom guitar. This instrument, named the "Shredder", had a Strat shaped, mahogany body with polka dot graphic, a 24 fret neck with "ping pong" inlays (going from top to bottom up to the 12th fret and vice versa up to the 24th fret)on the ebony fretboard, a reverse pointy headstock and two Seymour Duncan humbucker pickups, a Full Shred in the bridge position and a JB in the middle position. The bridge was a Floyd Rose. A deal was then set up between Buddy Blaze and Kramer Guitars and the Shredder went into production under the "Nightswan" name. Vivian signed with Kramer as an endorser and there are a few ads of him with this guitar. He played the original Shredder through Whitesnake's 1987-1988 world tour.

After he left Whitesnake, Campbell switched back to Les Pauls and currently plays Gibson guitars.

On the "SLANG"- and "EUPHORIA"-tours, Vivian has been using Gibson guitars only; always a Les Paul when playing electric songs, and various Gibsons when playing acoustic tunes. Most used Les Pauls are a 70s Vintage custom ebony, a 59s custom shop reissue (with Gibson Tony Iommi pickups), a 56 goldtop with PAF humbuckers and a 70s vintage standard tobacco burst. Viv's current favorite for acoustics is a 1997 SJ-200 custom. One of the latest additions to his guitar arsenal is a blue Gibson Les Paul Standard Sparkle

At home, Vivian uses a little 2/12 Marshall cab, which also came into play on the blues record, with a Marshall 900 head. As for guitars, he has a really nice '66 Telecaster at home. But for the most part, Vivian’s a solid body, fixed bridge Gibson guy and likes chunky necks.

One of his most used guitars at home is the 50s reissue with the P-90s. But Vivian also has quite a few Gibsons plus a '62 Stratocaster. It's his only actual Fender Strat and has been modified a lot.

Vivian has never been a guitar collector, though, he just has instruments that he’s going to play.

On stage Vivian has been getting more into playing the Les Pauls with the thicker neck, but he really only has one of those with humbuckers on it. It's a '59 Custom Shop reissue. During the “Rock Of Ages 2005” tour, that guitar was played more than any other guitar.

The amp Vivian has been using with Leppard for the last ten/twelve years or so is a JMP Marshall head rack mount that's midi switchable, which is handy for program changes. In his A rig Vivian has got the Marshall 9200s. In the B rig it's an identical set up with the JMPs, the only difference being Mesa Boogie Power Amps, which tend to be a little crispier, a little bit more rock.

When it comes to the rack stuff, it's a little bit different on the outboard stuff. In the A rig Vivian is using TC Electronic 2290 stereo delays, an old Yamaha D1500 mono delay unit, Rocktron chorusing, Dunlop Wah-wah pedals, and basically that's it, as far as the signal processing goes. The crunch and crank come from the JMP.

For the blues album, Vivian used a lot of hollow body guitars. The guitar which was used more than any other on the blues record was the Yamaha AES1500. It has DiMarzio pickups and it sounds so good. On a couple of songs a Gibson L5 Custom was used as well as a Gibson dot neck 335 with the chunky neck. The '56 reissue Les Paul with the P-90s and a Les Paul Classic, which is basically a goldtop with humbuckers, also got their time to shine. As for the set up, Vivian used his Marshall 900 with the little 2/12 Marshall cab, and a Fender Deluxe Reverb on a couple of tunes, also a Rivera Quiana 1/12 combo on at least one. But the setup used more than anything else was a Matchless Clubman 35 head through a Vox AC30 cab. No rack effects or anything.

Viv also uses 

- Acoustic Matrix pickup and Blender systems
- Soldano Amplification
- Baker Guitars

Vivian Campbell Interview - by Brian D. Holland
Savage Attitude



Sweet Savage
·        "Take No Prisoners"/"Killing Time" (1981)
·        "Demo 1981" (1981)
·        "Straight Through The Heart"/"Teaser" (1984)
·        "The Raid"/"Prosecuter Of Greed" (1985)

·        Holy Diver (1983)
·        The Last in Line (1984)
·        Sacred Heart (1985)
·        The Dio E.P. (1986)
·        Intermission (1986)

Lou Gramm (solo)
·        Long Hard Look (1989)

·        Riverdogs (1990)

Shadow King
·        Shadow King (1991)

Def Leppard
·        Retro Active (1993)
·        Vault: Def Leppard's Greatest Hits (1980-1995) (1995)
·        Slang (1996)
·        Euphoria (1999)
·        X (2002)
·        Best of Def Leppard (2004)
·        Rock of Ages: The Definitive Collection (2005)
·        Yeah! (2006)
·        Songs from the Sparkle Lounge (2008)

·        Through Time (1998)

Vivian Campbell
·        Two Sides Of If (2005)

·        Shocker Soundtrack (1989)
Performing with the Dudes of Wrath (Paul Stanley, Desmond Child, Guy Mann-Dude, Vivian Campbell, Rudy Sarzo, Tommy Lee, Kane Roberts, Louis Merlino, and Michael Anthony)


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