Rockbrat Remembers: When Vivian Campbell Was A Genuine Rock n Roll Star

Campbell and Dio tear it up

Make no mistake kids – back in 83/84 Belfast boy Vivian Campbell was a genuine, bonafide guitar shredding rock star ! Countless hours were spent in the mid-80’s watching Dio’s ‘Special From The Spectrum’ live VHS cassette, and I STILL get a thrill when I view it. The band are on fire and kick major ass. But the one thing which hits you immediately is just how cool guitarist Viv Campbell both looked and played. Man he could play. His solo on this tour is one of my favourite ever guitar solo’s. If you went to the bar during  it, well shame on you. After he was fired from Dio, Campbell stated something in the press like ‘I got tired of the rubber dragons” (stage props) and some years down the track would reportedly spray other unkind comments about the great Ronnie.  Like ot or not Viv, RJD made you a star ! Dio himself would also make a similar comment to this effect and observed that Vivian was playing ‘second banana’…ie behind other guitarists. Sure he wound up in the MTV version of Whitesnake – playing Sykes riffs down pat – but as Ronnie had aso accurately alluded to, remained in fellow guiatrist Adrian Vandenberg’s shadow. When he joined Def Leppard it seemed a good match. Though Steve Clarke’s shoes can never be filled. If you think Eddie Van Halen and Malmsteen were the kings of 80’s rock guitarists – think again. Go view this Dio 1984 live DVD and you’ll see just how cool Vivian Campbell really was – his sound was so unique, solo’s innovative and he actually added something vital and new to the Sabbath and Rainbow tunes. What a truly great live band that version of Dio were – maybe the best ever backing band Ronnie ever had ?

2 thoughts on “Rockbrat Remembers: When Vivian Campbell Was A Genuine Rock n Roll Star

  1. I much prefer the earlier show from Holland on the “Holy Diver” tour. That show went a long way toward making Viv, for a time, my #1 guitar hero. Too bad he got a vasectomy and joined Limp Leppard.

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