Def Lep guitarist knows he can’t stay in side-project band for good, and hopes classic-era axeman will return to fold

Vivian Campbell

For the love: Vivian Campbell

Def Leppard guitarist Vivian Campbell says he’d bow out of Thin Lizzy if classic-era member Brian Robertson wanted to come back.

Campbell knows he can’t stay with Phil Lynott’s reactivated legacy outfit permanently, and hopes that when the time comes for him to leave, it’ll be because Robbo is returning to the fold.

The Def Lep man tells BraveWords: “The future is a grey area. I’d like to be able to continue with the band, tour as much as possible and get into the studio in the future, but it’s really difficult to predict.

“Obviously I have an allegiance to Def Leppard, and that’s my priority. Leppard is touring the US this summer and we’re trying to book Lizzy dates around the availability. But Lizzy has to continue as an entity without me, so at some stage someone else is going to have to step in.

“I have to say that as a fan, I’d love for it to be Brian Robertson.”

Lizzy have been receiving rave reviews on their current tour, which features Lynott-wea members Scott Gorham, Brian Downey and Darren Wharton alongside Campbell, ex-Whitesnake bassist Marco Mendoza and former Almighty frontman Ricky Warwick.

Campbell says: “We’re all here for the right reasons. As far as I’m concerned it’s authentic as long as Scott, Brian and Darren are still there. I know why I’m here and it’s not for the money. I’m really excited to be playing these songs with these people.

“I’m not trying to outplay Scott or Brian Robertson – I’m paying homage to the legacy. I’m trying to do it justice and bring some sort of reverence to it.

“Tonight I’m in a shit place. I’m a vegetarian and there’s no vegetarian food. I haven’t eaten in twelve hours – but I had fucking good time playing guitar with Thin Lizzy and I’m doing it for the love of it.”

Meanwhile, Def Lep frontman Joe Elliott has commented on guesting with Lizzy on the last night of their current tour in Dublin. Campbell got involved in the Lizzy lineup at Elliott’s suggestion, and the singer says he understands his bandmate’s emotions.

“Vivian fits like a glove,” he explains. “Having worked with him for 19 years I knew he’d pull it off. And there’s no one happier than me seeing him do it. Having done my Down n’Outz album I know exactly how he feels – he’s with his favourite band. That was my favourite gig for a long, long time.”

Former Lizzy guitarist Robbo is set to release his first solo album, Diamonds and Dirt, next month.

Related stories: