Tell me about Two Sides Of If.
You had another side-project called Clock. How is this different and will both projects co-exist?
How did you get around to the blues? Dio, Whitesnake, Def Leppard – none are blues bands…
That's where I trace the origins of my playing. You can argue that every rock guitarist owes an allegiance to Muddy Waters. I absolutely believe that's true. The first album I ever had was Live In Europe by Rory Gallagher and my first concert in Belfast was Rory. He was more the rock side of blues, but he's a blues man. I sat down with all his records and that's where I learnt my first real lead guitar licks. So, my playing is a lot more blues-based than technical. A lot of my contemporaries in the '80s played from a technical point of view. They learnt the technique, but I taught myself.
No lessons ever?
Archive for 2005
Def Leppard had the first of their two shows in Mexico this Wednesday
A surge of adrenaline arose from the masses during one of the most anticipated concerts by the 40-something crowd: Def Leppard.
The legendary british group – who had the first of their two shows at this location this Wednesday – did not need a million dollar setup to capture their audience, since their acoustic arsenal was more than enough to satisfy a public hungry for heavy metal.
But more than a concert, this was a reunion with "old friends", said the band's singer Joe Elliott, who reminded the audience that the band's first album was released 25 years ago, and was greatly received in Mexico.
The British group Def Leppard rewarded the care and loyalty of their Mexican followers in the first of their two concerts that they will perform at the National Auditorium in the country's capital.
This was the location for the reunion between the musicians and the public since it had been more than a decade since the band led by singer Joe Elliott last visited the country.
For two hours in front of 10,000 people, Def Leppard shook the enclosure.
Cheered by the audience that never stopped shouting, singing and dancing, the group thanked them for their welcome and signaled that they were happy to be present here once again.
Def Leppard offered a spectacular concert at the National Auditorium,successfully reflecting more than 25 years of musical history.
Traveling through their musical past, the legendary British band Def Leppard pleased the approximately ten thousand spectators who attended the National Auditorium, who enjoyed the show from beginning to end.
The band, which became successful in the 80's, appeared on stage soon after 8:30PM to thank the audience and express their joy at coming here.
The five musicians that brought heavy metal to the radio revived their glory with their friends, as they themselves called the mexican public, made up of various generations.
When VH1 rolled out a "Behind the Music" on Def Leppard – one of its warts-and-all TV documentaries that showcase the meteoric rise (and often precipitous fall) of pop and rock acts – it seemed a logical choice.
In a few years, the band of working-class lads from Sheffield, England, went from toiling in a factory to filling arenas and selling millions of records.
Def Leppard reached its zenith in album sales and radio play in the 1980s and found audiences around the world hungry for the group's brand of tempered rock that was less headbanging and more heartfelt.
Def Leppard superstar Vivian Campbell has a real soft spot for one particular Ulster guitar legend.
For the Lisburn-born rocker is set to release his first ever solo album – featuring two tracks inextricably connected to blues and heavy rock virtuoso, Rory Gallagher.
Vivian – regarded as one of the finest rock guitarists in the world – has covered former Taste mainman, Gallagher's Calling Card and Messin' With The Kid songs, as part of upcoming Two Sides Of If album.
Does Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen mind talking about life without a left arm? Apparently not, since he's the one who brings up his absent appendage, which he lost following a New Year's Eve car crash in 1984. Moreover, he refers to it frequently when describing how he went from being a hard-rock hooligan to that most contradictory of figures, a deeply sensitive metalhead.
"When I had my accident, it opened up parts of me that I'd never dreamed were there," he says — and he means feelings, not flesh.
Despite the changes he's gone through, Allen, who keeps time using a custom-made kit, remains devoted to Def Leppard, which is enjoying a revival. Rock of Ages, a two-CD hits collection larded with '80s smashes such as "Pour Some Sugar on Me," debuted on the Billboard album chart's top ten last May, and a companion DVD will be issued November 8. In addition, the band's forthcoming covers disc is already in the can, with an early 2006 release likely. "People have heard our music, but they might not know where it came from," he notes. "But now they'll be able to go, 'Oh, that was T. Rex, that was Slade.'"
Joe Elliott is ordering a jolt of java when he phones from a tour stop in Atlantic City, N.J.
"Sorry about that, Dave," says the 46-year-old Def Leppard singer. "I'm making a Starbucks run at the moment."
Caffeinated and conversational, Elliot has counted enough album sales to make the lottery look like a piggy bank. Def Leppard's 1983 blockbuster album, "Pyromania," tallied 10 million in U.S. sales alone thanks to pop-metal ear-candy such as "Photograph," "Foolin'" and "Rock of Ages."
The Def Leppard/Cheap Trick rock 'n' roll show stopped at The Gardens on Wednesday night, and while it might have been easy for both bands to just go through the motions, they did anything but.
Def Leppard is celebrating 25 years in the business by taking to the road to perform songs from their entire catalog. Mainly leaning on the hits, they had the near-capacity crowd on its feet all night.
The band started the hit machine rolling with the third song of the set. The crowd roared when Def Leppard ripped through "Let It Go" from "High 'N' Dry," "Foolin'" from "Pyromania" and "Hysteria" from the album of the same name, interspersing vintage video clips on the overhead screens.
Def Leppard causes hysteria every time the band is near and Monday night was no exception.
The aging rock gods played before a nearly sold-out crowd at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids.
The "Rock Of Ages" tour corresponds with the band's latest double CD "Def Leppard: Rock Of Ages: The Definitive Collection."
The show is purely a greatest hits-like feature complete with gems marking all aspects of their 25-year history.
How has the band been getting along with Bryan Adams and Cheap Trick?
Have you gone through Rick Neilsen's guitar collection?
Not yet, but I'm definitely interested. I'd love to see all those wacky guitars, the ones with six necks. Yeah, I want to check that out.
You joined the band in 1982, after the departure of Pete Willis. Leppard was pretty big at the time, but did you have any idea how ridiculous things were about to get?
Don't forget, we were still an opening act at that point. We'd played for years to half-empty clubs in England. No. We had no idea. It was radio and MTV that kick-started "Photograph," and it was just silly. We had no clue. That was the most exciting period, I think: at first, when you get the success on that really large scale.
The Rock Of Ages DVD (coming out Nov 15th). What's it like looking back on all your videos?
Is it hard to watch them?
It's not hard, but once you've done a video it's out there for other people. So, you let it go and it represents a certain time period. Some videos hold their own better than others and fashion dictates that they sometimes go out of fashion and then come back into fashion. A while ago, I thought 'Rock Of Ages' looked ridiculous and yet last year it didn't look so bad. Some of the more bland videos that we've done just look timeless.
Except the British version of 'Sugar'…
Yeah, well – that doesn't even count. That was just stupid, but the live stuff works. Even the live High 'N Dry 'Let It Go' and 'Bringing On The Heartbreak' they are what we were and it's great.
This summer, Bryan Adams and Def Leppard took a cue from Willie Nelson and Bob Dylan and embarked on a tour of minor-league baseball stadiums.
The response was robust the'80s mainstays packed in 8,000-10,000 fans per date and successful enough for the pair to reload this fall in amphitheaters.
But don't act so surprised. The price was reasonable, topping out at a now-unheard-of $50 in most markets, and these two acts, while stylistically different, were huge enough in their day to amass more than 35 hits combined.
Thursday's healthy crowd of more than 10,000 at the Virginia Beach Amphitheater overflowed with 30-something tarts reliving 11th grade and fist-pumping men in jeans and jersey T-shirts (mullets and bandanas were refreshingly absent).
He never wanted to be famous; he only wanted to be a musician.
But with 27 years of music behind him, 13 of those as guitarist for Def Leppard, Vivian Campbell deals with the byproduct of his career.
"You don't start playing guitar to get famous. Maybe to meet girls," he joked.
But the real reason the rock star can't get enough, is for the high he can only find one place.