Watch Vivian Campbell Play His Favorite Dio + Def Leppard Riffs
Def Leppard's Vivian Campbell has played with some of the greatest rock and metal bands of all time, and the guitarist recently sat down with Loudwire's Josh Bernstein to discuss some of his favorite all-time riffs for this edition of Gear Factor, powered by Sweetwater.
When asked about what started it all for him, Vivian shared his "lightbulb moment" -- watching T. Rex on Top of the Pops with Marc Bolan rocking out onstage. Campbell plays a little bit of "Bang a Gong (Get It On)," before reflecting on Bolan's influence.
"It was just [Marc] Bolan and the hair and the image and he really was, in my eyes, the godfather of the glam rock movement," says Campbell. "I was thinking, 'This is cool. I have an older sister and I was thinking I can go upstairs and wear my sister's clothes and get a guitar and grow my hair.' I did grow my hair, I eventually did get a guitar and fortunately for the world, I did not fit into my sister's clothes."
Campbell also served a stint with the mighty Ronnie James Dio, and he reflected the ease at which he worked with the initial Dio lineup. From his period with Dio, Campbell discusses what a pivotal track "Last in Line" was for the group in terms of making their second album, rocking some riffage from the classic song.
These days, Campbell is best known for his work with soon-to-be Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Def Leppard. Campbell, of course, joined the band after the death of guitarist Steve Clark and the musician says he's learned just how essential Clark's parts were to the group.
"I do feel that he was such an exceptional 'bits' writer," says Campbell. "He wasn't a songwriter, he wasn't the kind of guy who went home and wrote a whole song like, 'Guys I have this song, here's a lyric and here's a melody,' but he came up with some fucking amazing guitar riffs and doing his solos, I play all of Clarkie's solos, and they may appear simplistic, a lot of them, but they are so important to the song." Watch as the guitarist riffs through bits of "Photograph" and other Def Leppard favorites.
Campbell has been touring with his Last in Line band and you can see their dates here. He'll also resume touring with Def Leppard later this year and you can keep up with their activity here. To check out some of Vivian Campbell's signature guitars, be sure to head over to Sweetwater.com.
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