Def Leppard guitarist Vivian Campbell will be forced to miss the opening dates of the band’s summer tour after revealing that he is once again battling cancer. “I’m saddened by the fact that my cancer has returned. However, I’m beyond consolation that its return will prevent me from being able to do my job for a while,” Campbell wrote on Facebook. “I’m still working on a schedule of treatment with my doctors, but I will see you all very soon.”
Campbell’s announcement comes just three days before Def Leppard embark on their summer amphitheater trek with Styx and Tesla; however, the band’s June 23rd tour-opening gig in Tampa, Florida will go on as scheduled. Trixter guitarist Steve Brown, who previously filled in for Campbell when cancer treatments forced him to miss some Def Leppard shows, will once again serve as Campbell’s temporary replacement, Eddie Trunk reports.
A rep for the band told Entertainment Weekly that Campbell is only expected to miss the first few summer shows and that his treatments will be tailored around the band’s touring schedule.
Campbell was first diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in March 2013, although he didn’t share his condition with fans until three months later. “I feel fortunate that my cancer sent me an alarm call in the form of ‘the cough that wouldn’t quit,'” Campbell said in a statement at the time.
Rolling Stone spoke to Campbell in October 2013 after the guitarist had completed his chemotherapy. “I think I’m playing guitar better than I’ve ever played in my life because, unlike an athlete, it’s not like a physical thing where your body packs in when you’re 30. You actually get better and better,” Campbell said. “And also having this whole fucking chemo and cancer bollocks, the fact I’ve been able to work through it has really helped me mentally. And I’m really enjoying playing my instrument again, which I wouldn’t have honestly been able to say 10 years ago.”