Born in 1962 in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Vivian Campbell began playing guitar at the age of ten. At the age of fifteen, together with Trevor Fleming, he formed Sweet Savage - a band that was to be a seminal influence on Metallica in ensuing years. In 1982 he was asked to join Dio, with whom he wrote and recorded the first three albums: Holy Diver, Last In Line and Sacred Heart. After parting ways with Dio he went on to play in many bands such as Whitesnake, Riverdogs and Shadow King. In 1992, he joined the rock band Def Leppard (replacing Steve Clark who died in January 1991) and has spent the last twenty years with the band, releasing eight albums (live & studio) and touring worldwide with the band. Aside from his work with Def Leppard, Vivian Campbell has been involved in various side projects including the band Clock. In 2005, he also released a solo album titled Two Sides Of If, which features cover versions of his favourite blues tunes and one original blues song. Whilst Def Leppard were on hiatus in 2010 he was asked to join original Thin Lizzy members, Scott Gorham and Brian Downey, to tour with a reformed version of the band that had such a major influence on his playing.
In 2005, Vivian Campbell accepted Yamaha's offer to use an AES1500 electric guitar when he recorded Two Sides of If, a solo album consisting mainly of blues numbers reflecting Campbell's own roots in music. Campbell used the AES1500 as his main instrument when he recorded this album, and since then, continues to maintain a good relationship with Yamaha. At the request from Yamaha, Campbell also collaborated in the development of the new SG180 series of electric guitars. The SG model he uses as his main guitar is the SG1802 with a P-90 pickup. Even when appearing on stage with his current group Def Leppard, Campbell favors an SG1802 with a Lindy Fralin P-90 pickup.
Other Guitar & Bass Artists
Starting at the age of 16, Lee played his first session with The Mama's and the Papa's. Two years later he was backing Tony Bennett and Lena Horne at L.A.'s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Known as "Captain Fingers," Ritenour became a sought-after session player in the mid-70's. Starting in 1976, at the age of 24, he began his own solo career which now includes over 30 albums and collaborations. Although heavily influenced in his early days by the relaxed styles of Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass and Barney Kessel, he now has his own distinctive sound and fluid style. His list of session work is awesome (some 3,000 sessions), but some of his notable performances were with Herbie Hancock, Steely Dan, Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins and Pink Floyd. Since the mid-80's Ritenour has been strongly influenced by Brazilian music.