Classic Rock

Sexagenaria! Happy 60th birthday to Def Leppard guitarist Vivian Campbell

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Per Ole Hagen/Redferns

Here’s wishing a very happy and very rocking birthday to longtime Def Leppard guitarist and former Dio member Vivian Campbell, who turned 60 Thursday.

In honor of the milestone, Def Leppard is encouraging fans to donate to the Little Kids Rock music-education charity. Those who contribute to the cause will be entered into a sweepstakes to win a signed guitar that Campbell has been playing during the band’s current Stadium Tour with Mötley Crüe, Poison and Joan Jett & the Blackhearts.

The Northern Ireland-born Campbell got his start in a band called Sweet Savage before joining the Ronnie James Dio-fronted Dio in 1983. Campbell appeared on Dio’s first three albums and co-wrote many of the band’s songs, including “Rainbow in the Dark.”

Campbell left Dio in 1986 and briefly joined Whitesnake. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, he worked on a number of projects with Foreigner frontman Lou Gramm.

In 1992, he joined Def Leppard after the 1991 death of that band’s founding guitarist, Steve Clark. Campbell has played on all of Def Leppard’s albums since 1993’s Retro Active and has written or co-written many songs for the group.

Since 2012, Campbell has also been a member of Last in Line, a band featuring several Dio alums.

In 2019, Campbell was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Def Leppard.

The Stadium Tour continues Thursday night with a concert in Phoenix, Arizona.

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