"I started out in a band
called Atomic Mass. We played a lot of old Thin Lizzy and T. Rex tunes in clubs.
We fired our vocalist one day and hired Joe in his place. That's when things
started to happen. We got Steve [Clark] and Rick [Allen] to join up and Def
Leppard was born."
On "On Through The Night":
This was our first, recorded in 1979 and released in
1980. Star struck teens at Ringo Starr's home recording studio in the South of
England. Motorbikes in the swimming pool, Vodka bottles for daze. The most fun
any band ever had doing any record in any studio ... which is why we never
listen to it anymore.
"We used to have two [album]
name columns [for Hysteria]. There wasn't much in the 'serious' column.
Animal Instincts is the only one I can remember. Then there was the
'joke' column. Most of the titles in that one were takeoffs on Pyromania,
like Paranoia. One of those was Hysteria. As I remember it, Rick
came up with that one. He meant it as a joke, but it caught us all in a serious
moment and, for some reason, it stuck. [Peter] Mensch liked it, Joe said, 'Well,
it's alright,' and I said, 'I don't mind.' So it stuck. Nobody objected to it,
"Our fans are the best in
the world. We know if we ask them to stand and cheer, they will. If we ask them
to clap along they will. I guess you could call it a love affair - we love our
fans and they love us."
"When we started this band,
we always concentrated on the songs. If we had five good songs together, we
wouldn't just slap four more 'okay' ones together just so we could go out and
play. That's why we spent so much time in that spoon factory in Sheffield before
we went out to play. We did that first gig only because Steve was so pissed off
and threatening to quit if we didn't go and play a gig. But there was always
that feeling there - that we have to do it right. Or we don't do it at
"We're not the type of band
that will jump around the dressing room after the show--we ain't got the energy.
We sit down and talk very quietly and after twenty minutes everything's back to
"There was never a question
of folding up or Rick not being able to do it - it never came up. Through Rick's
attitude, we knew that he would pull through."
"Being in a band is all
about compromise. When everybody can compromise and still feel they're going in
the right direction, then you have a happy band."
"At first all we wanted to
do was be successful in our home town."
"We're doing what we want to
do. Basically it's just down to the fact that we're all posers. We all want to
go out on stage, pose, wear dinky white boots, tight trousers and have all the
girls looking at our bollocks. That's us. We like showing off, we're arrogant
bastards, it's just like ... over the top."
"We were not into punk. We
were all heavy rock fans before we formed this band."
"We expect better things for
the future now that Phil Collen is in the group."
"A good one was the album
[Adrenalize] title. I wanted to call the album Dementia. I like the idea
of having a trilogy of albums ending with 'ia'. Phil thought it was cool but
wondered if it was a little contrived, like we were running out of good
ia-sounding words. Joe hated it with a passion. After two and a half hours of
discussion, he was so pissed off that we were still talking about this one word
that he just turned around and said, 'Well, as far as I'm concerned, you might
as well call the album BOB!!'"
"We're a pretty level-headed
group. Most people think that it is wild parties and girls, girls, girls every
night. We only wish." (quote from 1984)
"I'd find myself leading girls on when I didn't realize I
was doing it. I try to distingush between groupies and a genuine fan that just
wants to get to know you better. But sometimes I'd really f*ck up. I'd think I
was on to a fan that just wanted to talk. Then I'd find out she's trying to ring
me up in the next city and writing letters."
"If you have no worries and
no responsibilities, having all those girls around is brilliant. And it's still
brilliant if you have responsibilities and you can keep them. But it becomes
difficult if you start doubting the responsibilities. That's when you can spoil
"We can't spell deadline,
never mind meet one."
On his Bell's Palsy:
Well, I'm getting better. It'll never be as it was.
It affected the right side of my face. It's no big deal. You look at this guy
here, (talking about Rick Allen) and to think I've got problems.
We hear your next album is a mixture of Hysteria and Pyromania. What's it called?
"I was having a rare weekend back in Sheffield at my local pub and somebody asked me what we were going
to call the new album. I said I wasn't sure yet. Somebody turned around and said, "Why don't you call it
Halley's Comet? It comes around about as often.' In fact, Halley's Comet has already been out and we are still
recording." (December 1986)
“I love watching sports programmes, specifically soccer. Then less so, probably golf. And I like playing golf, as well... If the weather is good, which is not very often in Dublin! And generally, I like reading magazines and books. So that basically takes most of my time up.”
“It's funny, cause influences can come from any angle. It could be a line in a book, it could be a song..... I've never really thought about it, if I can only get influences from rock music. Cause, the rock angle of it, is inherently in me - that will come out, regardless of what kind of song I'm trying to write. So consequently, I never really think about it.... I'm a great one for listening to the radio, especially when I'm in the car. I'd much rather listen to the radio than to put on a CD. So basically, I just get influences and ideas from anywhere. If anything, rock would be the last thing I'd let myself be influenced by like that, because I know that the rock influence comes out naturally anyways, so rock is probably one of the least examples that I would actually choose from.”
Will you ever sing lead?
“Probably not, not on a fully-fledged Def Leppard song. I've done songs, which have gone out to other artists or whatever, with me singing on, but they're just demos. There is a song called CANDY IN YOUR HANDS, which I think nearly became a Def Leppard B-side. It's got me playing on it and singing, cause no one else performed on the track. So, not in a Def Leppard sense, but we always release "rare" songs, so there's always a chance."
Any regrets not choosing a soccer career?
“I don't really have regrets, but I often think, I wonder what would've happened, maybe, if..... But I've had such a great life within the music (and still do, and still WILL do), that it's more of a curiousity factor, what would have happened IF. I have no regrets whatsoever. At least I'm still able to play guitar - now I'm struggling to kick a ball, with the way my ankles are and my knees and whatever. I definitely made the right decision!"
What's the best concert you
the SFX in Dublin. It's a hall that holds about 1000 people. It was on the
Empire tour, 1990. The sound was amazing, it was like a huge stereo in a big
What's your specialty in the
"I make a mean prawn
dish. Prawns ŕ la Savage: prawns, onions, garlic, tomatoes, and anything else
lying around the fridge that's edible--spices or vegetables. I change it every
On What TV Show would you
like to be a guest?
English program, Match of the Day."
What's always in your
What was the worst thing
that ever happened to you on stage?
"The most painful thing was falling off the stage in Sydney, Australia on
the last song of the set, 'Sugar.' I was bruised all over. I don't know how the
guitar survived, much less me."
Can you tell us about your
1985, white with a white soft top. It was pretty cool looking. It was the car I
passed my driving test in so it will always remain in my heart."
I've never been able to
"Break 80 on a golf
People who knew me in high
school thought I was ...
What turns you
"Women turn me on."
What's your favorite
"Playing soccer at school."
What was the best pickup line you ever used?
people who really know me will believe this, but I never had one. I never
chatted a girl up in my life. I'm a little bit shy. I've always been introduced
to someone, or it just happens. I've never been one for making a move on
somebody. I think people can see right through that."
I'm better than anyone else
when it comes to ...
"Washing my hair."
What's your ultimate sexual
"I think fantasies
should be kept to oneself, not shared. Or at least choose who I wish to share it
What three words describe
What was the worst time in
Hysteria tour through the making of Adrenalize."
What was the worst advice
you ever got?
schoolboy forms for Sheffield United Football Club."
The Name Game: Rockers' Best
What's your favorite
"It would have to be
Christmas. It's the one time a year I get to spend with family."
What's the best revenge you
"Revenge is a bit of
a negative emotion, but living is the best revenge."
What famous people would you
invite to a dinner party?
What's the most embarrassing
album in your collection?
"I've got a few. The first one that springs to mind is Pieces of Eight by
Styx. I don't mean it as an offense, I loved the group, but now I'm a bit
embarrassed to admit I ever did."
What was your worst airplane
"Trying to get to
a gig in Austin, TX after playing Shreveport, LA. We had to make a connection in
Dallas and the weather was so bad no flights were taking off so we chartered a
plane. It was bouncing around."