had a plan for success. From the very start we've known what we wanted to
accomplish. Everything's progressed amazingly."
ask me how we got the name Def Leppard. Actually, it came from a poster I had
made which depicted a rather strange-looking jungle cat with a hearing horn at
his ear. I called him the deaf leopard. The guys in the band loved the poster,
and after a bit of work, we decided to call ourselves Def Leppard. The name is
funny, but it has strength."
us 'bludgeon riffola' - it was a complete slag off. So just to show that we
didn't really care we picked up on the phrase and used it for the record label."
Mutt Lange, is perfect for us. He doesn't accept what we do and say, 'OK that's
great.' He's always pushing us and challenging us. We like to think that we push
ourselves, but having someone like Mutt, who you know is going to always give
you an honest opinion, is an invaluable help. He's helped make Def Leppard the
band it is today."
"Some of the
demos we do are better than a lot of people's albums."
for everybody - it's not the Olympics. I'd like to be on top, but if the album's
successful, that's good enough."
"We always get
lumped into that whole '80s thing, but we were never a part of it. For a start,
we weren't even from America. And anything that those bands did, they only did
because we started it off. That's the only thing that we can be attached to the
"There's a lot
more to being a singer than singing. I don't come off stage thinking that I have
a power over people 'cause I don't - it's not a power, it's an ability to be
able to communicate with a vast amount of people, something I'm very lucky to be
able to do."
great thing about the future - nobody knows what's going to happen. That's what
makes it all exciting."
to America? That pisses me off. We're not the first English rock band that went
to the States."
"When we set
out to replace Steve Clark, Vivian Campbell exceeded our wildest expectations."
surprised how many records we've had to sell to pay our debts.
"My mum and
dad were the first people to believe in us."
"I was tall
and I had long hair and I didn't look wimpy." (in reference to getting into the
"The key to
longevity? Maybe putting an album out every four years - people don't get bored
of you! No, just joking. I think, not taking yourself too seriously. You've got
to have a sense of humor. You have to be strong-willed to put up with all the
bullshit that goes with the job. You've got to consistently write good songs,
and have the right rock-n-roll attitude. The Stones are a perfect example. If we
could last that long, I'd be very happy."
"The band is a millionaire. We as individuals aren't."
Pete Willis, hello Phil Collen. We decided to try to do something that no other
rock band had tried before - blueprint "Sgt. Pepper" (but a bit heavier). A
period in time when we allowed our Pop sensibility to come to the fore ... and
guess what? Our first major success...huge in the U.S. ... but nowhere else
"We don't go
on about trying to save the Brazilian rain forest. We're not ashamed of the fact
that we can write lyrics like Let's Get Rocked which 99 percent of the world
thinks is completely ridiculous, stupid and immature. If George Bush stood up on
stage and pretended to be Eddie Van Halen that would be ridiculous, so when I
see the Billy Braggs of this world using music as a soapbox it pisses me off.
Music should always entertain, first and foremost. Nobody would take us
seriously if we did songs like shut the ozone layer, save the rain forests, stop
killing people in Bosnia. Everybody would laugh at us. I'd rather listen to
Noddy Holder (Slade) sing about nothing at all than do a duet with Sinead
O'Connor. We're not that desperate for publicity. We'll always be Leppard."
house lights go down and the crowd goes wild, and then when you hear the
applause at the end, it's incredible."
wanted to put a smile on people's faces. That's all we ever wanted to do."
"For five guys from Sheffield who didn't know shit about
anything, being in a band was like winning the lottery. Suddenly you didn't have
to beg for a date anymore - they'd come up to you."
roll has always been very basic. The actual relationship between a man and a
woman is different for everyone on the planet. One of the truest forms of
contact is singing about boy-meets-girl. I can strut like a peacock on stage,
but that's about as far as it goes. It's up to other people to see what they
see. We're not overtly sexual in the sense that we go around wearing
really enjoyed sex with groupies though. It's like having a wank - you get 30
seconds of guilt when you've finished."
after a gig one of the band would say 'Did you see that girl down the front?'
and somebody would say 'Do you want me to get her back?' But, generally we met
them at the hotel or backstage. For a girl to get backstage in the first place,
she'd probably blown half the crew - and I'm not into sharing in that respect.
We had one roadie who actually had a heart attack on tour with us in 1983 - he
was a big, big guy and he was doing at least four or five groupies a day!"
networks of groupies - and nowadays it's instant because of the internet.
Before, it took days to tell your penpal 'I just had Jimi Hendrix'. Nowadays, 20
minutes after you've zipped your trousers up, it's in New Zealand! Somebody
e-mailed me a groupie website that I was on, and there was somebody describing
my tackle. It was flattering but completely fucking wrong - I'd be the first to
say that I don't have a ten-and-a-half-inch dick!"
situation has been dead for years. We've never really been that big in actually
getting involved. I'd say with us, the groupie thing was much more voyeuristic."
"When you go
on stage, there's part of you being a sexual beast."
Would you guys ever consider
doing Playgirl? Please!
"Absolutely! But there'd have to be a serious number of
naughts in the figure if they'd want me to get my kit off. I'm not a
Do you guys ever play personal parties like weddings or
"We never have, but
for the right offer we would. Don't leave out bar mitzvahs and 21sts. You supply
the PA and the lights, and we'll show up for 500,000 quid or so."
anyone in the band can't pour his own drinks is when we end up in a nursing
"I suppose I
do have half decent legs. They're long and lean. Most of the time, people go on
about my eyes. When I was little, people used to call me Ching Chong Chinamen
(in the days before political correctness). When I got older, they became a
What is the one thing you likes to do, but
"I'd like to have
sex jumping out of an aeroplane.""
Who would you change places with for a day?
"The richest man in the world, then I'd transfer all his
money into my bank account."
What was the biggest mistake you ever made?
"The thing in Mexico in 1983. I don't want to get into it
again because it will open up a whole can of worms, but I apologized profusely
and it made me a better person. It was a mistake but it's something I learned
from. The other biggest mistake I made was supporting Sheffield United because
they're fucking useless."
What's the best concert you ever attended?
"The first one I ever went to which was T-Rex in 1971,
and the Hunter-Ronson show in 1975."
What musicians, living or dead, would you put together in a
"John Bonham, Phil
Lynott, Mick Ronson, and Steve Clark."
What's your specialty in the kitchen?
"I can pull the ring on a can of Coke like no one else.
I'm not a kitchen kind of guy."
On What TV Show would you like to be a guest?
"Married ... with Children or The Simpsons."
Where's the most unusual place you had sex?
"Back of a car, bathroom in an airport."
What's always in your refrigerator?
"A shitload of Diet Coke."
What was the worst thing that ever happened to you on stage?
"In 1979 in
Wolverhampton at a club I forgot the name of, my trousers split, luckily up the
back. I duct-taped them together just before we went on. I didn't have any spare
ones. I've had a few stupid incidents where things have been thrown on stage,
but nothing that would put me off going on stage."
Can you tell us about your first car?
"A 1976 blue Morris Marina that I bought in '81. It was
£595, about $900. It lasted me until 1983."
If you won the million dollar lottery, what would you do with
"Keep it. What am I, stupid?"
Who do you look up to most, and why?
"Robbin Crosby because he's about 6'8"!"
What's the best thing you ever did for a fan ... and the best
thing a fan ever did for you?
something as simple as an autograph ... None of your business."
People who knew me in high school thought I was ...
What's your favorite childhood memory?
"Singing Beatles songs."
I'm better than anyone else when it comes to ...
If you were stranded on a deserted island, what three things
would you want the most?
"Music, skin, a way
What three words describe you best?
"Optimistic, happy, loud!"
What was the strangest gift you ever received?
"I haven't had one yet but when I do you'll be the first
What do you look for in a friend?
What was the worst time in your life?
"When Steve died."
What was the worst advice you ever got?
"'Get yourself a proper job'."
What was the wildest party you gave or went to?
Harris' (Iron Maiden) wedding reception. He had a human jukebox, 14 foot clowns,
mime artists, and a shitload of free booze."
Where would you live if
you could live anywhere in the world?
"I already do - Dublin. It's a cool place."
The Name Game:
Rockers' Best Aliases
What's your favorite holiday?
"Any time I can get off is my favorite holiday. I don't
pay too much attention to traditional times because we're often working on
Christmas and have to celebrate in January. But I love Christmas. The old
clichés are true. To watch someone's face when they're opening a present is
What famous people would you invite to a dinner party?
"Brian May - he's a
very nice chap. Bono - he's a mate and a very funny bloke, and Robert Plant, to
pick up the tab."
What was the worst thing you did in school?
"I poured custard into a girl's school bag."
What would you be doing if you weren't a musician?
"A drummer (apologies to Rick!)."
If you could have one wish, what would you wish for?
"Steve Clark was
What's the most embarrassing album in your collection?
album. They did a cover of 'Pour Some Sugar On Me' and I had to hear it. Someone
gave it to me, I didn't buy it. It sounds like shit. I think I made a tape of
the one song and threw it away, but I briefly owned it."
What was your worst airplane experience?
"We took a plane from London to Newcastle in 1987 and it
was the most turbulent flight I've ever been on. The most embarrassing flight
was when I traveled on Robert Plant's plane in 1990 when he invited me up to
Albany from New York. I threw up all over his plane."
What was your most memorable birthday?
"My last one - I
don't remember anything before!"
What do you want your tombstone
"He came, he went, he sang