In a recent interview with "Zach Martin's Big Fat American Rock Show!", DEF LEPPARD and LAST IN LINE guitarist Vivian Campbell was asked which version of VAN HALEN he prefers — the classic VAN HALEN with David Lee Roth on vocals, or the "Van Hagar" era with Sammy Hagar. He responded (hear audio below): "Dave Lee Roth, no doubt. That was part of the original character of the band. There was a humor in early VAN HALEN that came across in the music, and that was essentially Dave Lee Roth's input on that. He wasn't a tremendous vocalist, but he had a tremendous style and a unique character and personality, and that was as important to the early band as Eddie's guitar playing and Alex's drumming and Michael Anthony's bass playing."
He continued: "They were a great band — the original band. That's not to detract in any way from Sammy Hagar, who's a remarkable singer. And what they did with Sammy was different. I mean, it was good, but it was different. It was a little more mainstream, to my ears. It was also not just Sammy's influence that changed the sound of VAN HALEN. It was also around the same time that Eddie discovered the keyboards. [Laughs] Which is all well and good, but I prefer to listen to him as a guitarist. So those two elements definitely reshaped the sound of the later VAN HALEN. But I'm very much a fan of the early band."
Roth co-founded VAN HALEN in the 1970s and fronted the group until 1985, when Hagar took over and worked with the band for over a decade. Roth returned briefly in 1996, before Hagar came back and toured with VAN HALEN during 2004. In 2007, Roth rejoined VAN HALEN and has been with the band ever since.
Vivian and his DEF LEPPARD bandmates were finally inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in March — 14 years after the British rockers first became eligible.
DEF LEPPARD's second Las Vegas residency will take place this summer. The band will take over Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino for 12 explosive nights between August 14 and September 7.