Def Leppard’s Vivian Campbell Names His ‘Ultimate Guitar Hero’

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Def Leppard guitarist Vivian Campbell recently spoke to VintageRock.com and revealed that Gary Moore was his ‘ultimate guitar hero’ and had a massive influence on the evolution of his guitar playing.

The upcoming days will be pretty busy for Def Leppard since they will finally launch ‘The Stadium Tour‘ and release their twelfth studio album, ‘Diamond Star Halos.’ It will mark the band’s first new work since their self-titled album of 2015. The album’s lead single, ‘Kick,’ was released last March, and the second single, ‘Take What You Want,’ arrived around three weeks ago. The album is scheduled to drop on May 27, 2022.

The band’s long-awaited ‘Stadium Tour,’ which had to be rescheduled a few times due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will finally kick off on June 16, 2022, in Atlanta. Poison, Joan Jett, and the Blackhearts will join the band’s tour as the special guests. The extensive North American tour will end on September 9, 2022, in Las Vegas. Vivian Campbell sat for an interview just before the rehearsals and reflected on his early influences.

The guitarist revealed that his first guitar hero was Rory Gallagher, who heavily influenced him when he first started playing. Then, he discovered Thin Lizzy and their guitarists, including Gary Moore. Campbell explained that Moore was his ‘ultimate guitar hero’ in his early days. He thinks the late guitarist entirely shaped his guitar playing and gave it a new character.

Vivian Campbell speaking on Gary Moore’s influence on him:

“When I first started playing, Rory Gallagher was my first guitar hero, the first album I had, the first concert I saw. And Rory was famous for his old, beat-up Stratocaster. So, at first, I wanted a Stratocaster — but I couldn’t afford one because I was only twelve or thirteen at that time. But at that time, I worked every summer, every school holiday, every weekend — because I was ‘a guitar kid,’ I wanted to save up money to buy guitars, effects pedals, and stuff and guitar strings.

By the time I had saved enough money to buy a proper guitar, I had fallen under the influence of Thin Lizzy and their guitar players, Brian Robertson and Scott Gorham. And in particular, an Irish guitarist who had been through Thin Lizzy a bunch of times — Gary Moore. Gary, I would say, was my ultimate, ultimate guitar hero. He’s a guy that shaped my playing more than anyone else. He was famous for playing that Peter Green Les Paul — the guitar that Peter Green had given him.”

You can listen to the released two tracks from Def Leppard’s upcoming album below.