In a recent interview with Scott Rusk of the 98.9 KKZX radio station in Spokane, Washington, DEF LEPPARD guitarist Vivian Campbell was asked when he will know it’s time for him to hang it up.
“It won’t be. When I’m dead, when I stop breathing, that’s when I’ll stop working. I have no plans to retire; I have no interest in it.”
“To me, playing is is all I’ve ever wanted to do and I’ve been fortunate this is all I’ve ever done. I see no reason to stop working. I don’t know what I would do. I think, in my case, if I stopped playing guitar, I’d be just waiting to die. Even when I was doing my cancer treatments, even at the worst of it, when was doing chemo and stem cell and stuff — well, not when I was stem cell, ’cause I couldn’t leave the hospital…. I’ve been on tour when I’ve been doing hardcore chemo, and I didn’t have any hair on my head, I didn’t even have eyebrows, but I think it was a big part of helping me deal with it — the fact that I continued to be able to do my work. And on that subject, I’d just like to say I’m very grateful to my band mates in DEF LEPPARD that they took a chance on me and afforded me that opportunity, to work when I was in that state. But I think it helped me through it.”
Campbell further added:
“We realize that there’s a lot of hard work, and we know, ’cause we’ve put in the hard work over the years. But when you’re out there on stage, and especially, like I say, when we see our audience growing — we’re in our late 50s and a couple of us are in our 60s now — and to go out there and to see people young enough to be your children just really really, really enjoying the show and the energy that that gives, it’s wonderful. We realize how blessed we are to be able to do this.”