Viv Campbell hopes for early hospital release

Def Leppard guitarist Vivian Campbell could be let out of hospital earlier than expected following his cancer treatment, frontman Joe Elliott has reported.

He’s currently undergoing a radical form of stem-cell surgery, which seemed likely to keep him a “lockdown” situation until the end of the year.

But Elliott tells Billboard: “The last email he sent me, about two weeks ago, said, ‘It looks like I may be able to get out of here by mid-November.’

“They were harvesting stem cells from him, then they were going to carpet-bomb him with chemo for a week, then put the stem calls back, wave the magic wand and say, ‘Abacadabra.’”

The band are deliberately keeping their distance while Campbell concentrates on his health issues. “We don’t bombard him,” says Elliott. “It’s like saying, ‘Has your hair grown any longer since yesterday?’ It’s a slow process so you’re best waiting. He’ll contact us when he has something to say.”

He adds that most of the good vibes in the situation are coming from the guitarist, “which kind of rubs off, really. It makes us think there’s a good outcome for this.”

Def Lep decided to play a number of shows with Steve Brown filling in because they wanted to honour their commitments. But Elliott says they’re gearing up for “a big push” next year when Campbell returns, likely to include a full new album after writing sessions went better than expected.

“There’s nothing like what’ you’d really expect,” the singer says. “Some of the faster stuff you can say, ‘I can hear Leppard.’ But there’s none of those kind of 80s ballads, let’s call them – it’s a lot more basic and raw. It’s not a complicated record.”

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