That time I asked Steve Clark what the guys in Def Leppard liked to do to pass time on the road

By Steve Newton When I interviewed Def Leppard guitarist Steve Clark back in June of 1988 his band was flying about as high as it would ever get, touring behind its most popular album, Hysteria. As a group of fun-loving rock ‘n’ rollers in their twenties, selling millions of albums and packing arenas, Clark and … Continue reading That time I asked Steve Clark what the guys in Def Leppard liked to do to pass time on the road

That time Joe Elliott told me that Def Leppard wasn’t a big-hair band, and didn’t belong in “the Winger/Warrant/Ratt category”

By Steve Newton Joe Elliott is the fourth Def Leppard member I’ve interviewed. I started off with bassist Rick Savage in 1983, hooked up with guitarist Steve Clark in ’88, and chatted with VIvian Campbell–the guy who took Clark’s place after he died–in 1992. I didn’t get around to talking with Elliott until 2003, when … Continue reading That time Joe Elliott told me that Def Leppard wasn’t a big-hair band, and didn’t belong in “the Winger/Warrant/Ratt category”

That time Steve Clark told me why it took Def Leppard so long to follow up Pyromania with Hysteria

By Steve Newton Back in the ’80s, most successful recording bands liked to put an album out every year. Sometimes they’d skip a year, to vacation in the Bahamas or release a live or best-of LP. After three years their fans would start to get a bit worried, and so would their record label–especially if … Continue reading That time Steve Clark told me why it took Def Leppard so long to follow up Pyromania with Hysteria

That time Def Leppard’s Vivian Campbell told me that he got paid less than the road crew in Dio

By Steve Newton I interviewed Irish guitar hero Vivian Campbell in September of 1992, three weeks after his 30th birthday. Five months earlier he’d joined Def Leppard, one of the world’s most popular rock bands, apparently being chosen over the likes of John Sykes, Gary Hoey, and Adrian Smith from Iron Maiden. So no wonder … Continue reading That time Def Leppard’s Vivian Campbell told me that he got paid less than the road crew in Dio

Def Leppard makes a triumphant in-the-round return to Vancouver on the Hysteria tour

kevin statham photo ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 7, 1988 By Steve Newton Being a rock critic is not all fun and games. “Sure, Steve,” you’re probably saying, “all those free concerts and backstage brewskies must be real tough.” Okay, so there are worse occupations, but like anything else it can get boring. … Continue reading Def Leppard makes a triumphant in-the-round return to Vancouver on the Hysteria tour

Album review: Def Leppard, Hysteria (1987)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 13, 1987 By Steve Newton You’ve probably heard some of the buzz words used to categorize various types of heavy metal. There’s speed metal, thrash metal, death metal,  and–in the case of bands like Venom–toilet metal. Well, here’s a new one: happy metal. It pretty well sums up … Continue reading Album review: Def Leppard, Hysteria (1987)

Album review: Def Leppard, Adrenalize (1992)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 11, 1992 By Steve Newton “Do you wanna get rocked?” asks Def Leppard singer Joe Elliott at the beginning of the lead-off track from the band’s first album in five years. The answer is sure—but not by a boring, go-nowhere piece of bubblegum pop/metal like “Let’s Get Rocked”. … Continue reading Album review: Def Leppard, Adrenalize (1992)

That time Def Leppard’s Steve Clark told me that Pyromania set the standard for a lot of groups

By Steve Newton Some Def Leppard fans think the band was at its best when Steve Clark was in the lineup. I’m one of them. I interviewed Clark back in 1988 when the band was selling out arenas worldwide, touring behind its massively popular Hysteria album. At one point in the conversation I mentioned a quote from … Continue reading That time Def Leppard’s Steve Clark told me that Pyromania set the standard for a lot of groups

That time I asked Def Leppard guitarist Steve Clark what he liked so much about Gibsons

By Steve Newton My nephew Jeff has been letting me borrow his Gibson Les Paul Standard for a while now, and, holy crap, is that one killer instrument! You wouldn’t have gotten an argument about that from Def Leppard guitarist Steve Clark, who used Gibson guitars to craft some of the band’s finest riffs before … Continue reading That time I asked Def Leppard guitarist Steve Clark what he liked so much about Gibsons

That time I asked Steve Clark if he’d thought Def Leppard could carry on after Rick Allen’s accident

By Steve Newton I became a fan of Def Leppard back in 1980, as soon as I scored their debut album, On Through the Night, at a local record store. I bought it because I liked the sound of the band name and because the album-cover art depicted a huge Les Paul being hauled by … Continue reading That time I asked Steve Clark if he’d thought Def Leppard could carry on after Rick Allen’s accident

Even the kids in Def Leppard can’t make Uriah Heep feel old

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 15, 1983 By Steve Newton Next Wednesday (July 20) at the Pacific Coliseum original Heepsters Mick Box and Lee Kerslake on guitar and drums will be joined by bassist Trevor Bolder, keyboardist John Sinclair, and singer Peter Goalby to give us Uriah Heep ’80s-style. Performing material from their … Continue reading Even the kids in Def Leppard can’t make Uriah Heep feel old

Def Leppard’s “happy metal” makes Vancouver smile

By Steve Newton The first time Def Leppard played Vancouver was in July of 1983, on a coheadlining date at the Pacific Coliseum with ’70s-rock holdouts Uriah Heep. This was six months after the release of its breakthrough Pyromania album, which spawned four singles–“Photograph”, “Rock of Ages”, “Foolin’”, and “Too Late for Love”–and to date has sold … Continue reading Def Leppard’s “happy metal” makes Vancouver smile

Def Leppard’s Steve Clark on the long wait for Hysteria and the legacy of Pyromania

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 17, 1988 By Steve Newton Most successful recording bands like to put an album out every year. Sometimes they’ll skip a year, to vacation in the Bahamas or release a live or best-of LP. After three years their fans start to get a bit worried, not to mention … Continue reading Def Leppard’s Steve Clark on the long wait for Hysteria and the legacy of Pyromania

Def Leppard’s Rick Savage on new guitarist Phil Collen, producer Mutt Lange, and the stunning success of Pyromania

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 18, 1983 By Steve Newton While it is true that Def Leppard‘s lyrical messages most often deal with the time-worn teenage pastimes of partying and getting it on, it’s not so much what they’re saying as how they’re saying it–with all the conviction and drive young hands can … Continue reading Def Leppard’s Rick Savage on new guitarist Phil Collen, producer Mutt Lange, and the stunning success of Pyromania

“Our hair was no bigger than Zeppelin or Sabbath,” declares Def Leppard singer Joe Elliott

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 18, 2003 By Steve Newton A lot of bands that were big in the ’80s are now having trouble getting booked into bowling alleys, but Def Leppard’s not one of them. The British melodic-rock quintet—which hit its commercial peak in 1987 with Hysteria, which has sold 16 million … Continue reading “Our hair was no bigger than Zeppelin or Sabbath,” declares Def Leppard singer Joe Elliott

Def Leppard plays Morocco, England, and Canada in the same day, but Vancouver goes mild

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 26, 1995 By Steve Newton The big buzz for local rock fans this week circulated around the October 23 appearance at the Commodore of British chart-toppers Def Leppard. In order to get back in the public eye and help promote its upcoming greatest hits package, Vault, the never-say-die … Continue reading Def Leppard plays Morocco, England, and Canada in the same day, but Vancouver goes mild

Three times ain’t the charm as Def Leppard brings the sap to Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 8, 1992 Last Saturday (October 3) I saw British rockers Def Leppard for the third—and probably last—time. I’d actually enjoyed their exhilarating brand of “happy metal” on the 1984 Pyromania tour with Uriah Heep, and on the 1988 Hysteria tour with Tesla. This time around they didn’t have … Continue reading Three times ain’t the charm as Def Leppard brings the sap to Vancouver

Def Leppard’s Vivian Campbell never wanted to be Joe Guitar Hero

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 24, 1992 By Steve Newton When Def Leppard guitarist/co-founder Steve Clark died of a drug overdose in 1991—six years after drummer Rick Allen lost his left arm in a New Year’s Eve car accident—rumours were rampant as to who would replace him in one of the world’s most … Continue reading Def Leppard’s Vivian Campbell never wanted to be Joe Guitar Hero