Vivian Campbell has a wild two weeks ahead of him.
His side band, the Dio offshoot Last In Line, returns to the road on March 20 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The band will play four shows before a brief hiatus that will see Campbell in Brooklyn, N.Y. for a week’s worth of press and preparations for the 2019 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.
Def Leppard is part of an eclectic induction class along with Stevie Nicks, The Cure, Janet Jackson, Radiohead, Roxy Music and The Zombies. With the exception of last year’s ceremony, an “All-Star Jam” has always closed out the evening, and from Campbell’s tone, there may not be a jam this year:
“I am really honestly not 100 percent certain on that. There’s been talk for and against it. The thing is I don’t know if there’s that much overlap between the acts that are getting inducted this year. I mean, there’s Def Leppard, Radiohead, The Zombies, Roxy Music, Janet Jackson and The Cure. I’m trying to figure out what songs Def Leppard and The Cure would jam on. It would definitely make for an interesting jam, that’s for sure.
...I think they’re going to let the evening unfold as it unfolds. I don’t feel like there’s too much pressure one way or the other from the organizers to kind of force anyone into doing anything they don’t want to do, you know. I don’t know if those guys want to be seen on stage with Def Leppard, but who knows? Maybe they’re big Def Leppard fans.”
One thing the Rock Hall induction ceremony brings without fail are occasionally lengthy acceptance speeches but don’t expect such a thing from Campbell. In fact, he would be fine not speaking at all:
“You know, Joe [Elliott] is a great frontman in many, many ways. He a great spokesperson for the band. I don’t know if they’re going to hand all five of us a mic. I, personally, would be more than happy to let Joe do the talking. He’s always really represented Def Leppard and what we’re about, and nobody knows more about it than Joe. So, I think he could pretty much summarize everything for us on our behalf.”
Of course, now that Campbell will be inducted with Def Leppard, this sets him up for the potential of becoming a double-inductee if Dio gets the call.
The Rock Hall has long been criticized for its lack of hard rock and metal acts, which Campbell recognizes. Campbell didn't indicate whether the band Dio would be inducted, but he remains optimistic on Ronnie James Dio, himself, getting the nod, while also noting some of his personal heroes are not in the Rock Hall:
“It’s a strange sort of thing the [Rock and Roll] Hall of Fame. I know there’s been a lot of controversy over the years as to who should be in and who shouldn’t be in and what genre of music deserves to be there and what doesn’t...So, it’s always a possibility. Ronnie [James Dio] on his body of work deserves to be there.
A lot of my personal heroes...in fact, come to think of it none of my personal heroes that I can think of off hand are in the Rock Hall of Fame. Marc Bolan of T.Rex - I was nine years old when I saw him on TV. That was my lightbulb moment that set the course for my life. Rory Gallagher was my first guitar hero and the first album I had and the first concert I saw...Thin Lizzy, Phil Lynott, the guitar players of Thin Lizzy. Gary Moore, my ultimate guitar hero. They’re all dead, and none of them are in the Hall of Fame!
...I think that hard rock music and heavy metal, in particular, have always been the ‘red-headed stepchild’ of the music industry. Hard rock and metal was never accepted by the Grammys, and then, only a token effort was made, really.”
The 2019 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be taking place Friday, March 29 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. An edited version of the ceremony will air on HBO on Saturday, April 27 at 8 PM ET.
Campbell’s upcoming tour dates with Last In Line can be found at LastInLineOfficial.com.
Erica Banas is rock/classic rock news blogger that loves the smell of old vinyl in the morning.