Archive for 2006

Photos from Phoenix show

Wednesday, August 30th, 2006

I've added two photos of Phil and Rick from the Phoenix, Arizona show on August 22, 2006 to the Pictures section.

Thanks to Ralph Freso for the pictures.

Def Leppard's Joe Elliott talks about, yeah, staying in shape

Wednesday, August 30th, 2006

The little pop-metal outfit he started with his Sheffield, Britain buddies back in 1977, Def Leppard, went on to sell more than 65 million records, and land coveted RIAA Diamond Awards – certifying 10 million units sold – for its'80s classics "Hysteria" and "Pyromania."

But that doesn't mean it's been a cakewalk career for the 6-foot, 2-inch singer, who's finally trimmed down to his fighting stage weight of 180 pounds for the group's current VH1 Classic tour with Journey. The show hits Concord's Sleep Train Pavilion tonight and Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View Saturday.

Elliott swears he's suffered for his fans, for 29 years. Few high-profile rockers are willing to talk about the health regimens that keep them spry in concert. But Elliott, 46, could write a book.

Full text of article…

'Yeah!' It's Def Leppard

Tuesday, August 29th, 2006

Def Leppard has spent the better part of the past two decades trying to explain in interviews that the band has been miscast as a heavy metal act, and its real roots are more in the pop and glam rock era of rock 'n' roll.

It's been a rather futile experience. But with the release of the new covers CD, "Yeah!," singer Joe Elliott hopes Def Leppard has finally found a way to set the record straight on exactly the kind of music that shaped the group's sound.

"We've gone through a tedious amount of time trying to explain to people that we're not strictly a heavy metal band," Elliott said in a recent phone interview. "You're explaining (this) one tour, and 18 months later you go back on the road and the same journalist will headline an article that we're an '80s heavy metal band … So what's the easiest way of making the headline irrelevant is to make an album that's in the shops, in your hands, in your head, on the radio, that says more than a thousand words ever could."

Full text of article…

Def Leppard, Journey rock Cricket Pavilion

Thursday, August 24th, 2006

If Tuesday night at the Cricket Pavilion is any indication, old school arena rock is back, and back with a vengeance.

With cars backed up on the I-10 freeway and traffic on both 83rd and 75th Avenues slowed to a crawl well after opening act Stoll Vaughn started his short set, and lines of fans waiting to buy tickets and enter the arena (where only lawn seats were still available at the box office) it was clear that both Def Leppard and Journey are suddenly back in vogue.

The two bands that only a few years ago were thought of as also-rans as alternative rock eclipsed the hair bands of the '80s, were greeteed by 20,000-plus fans crammed into the arena on a steambath of an August night.

Full text of article…

Def Leppard off to a slow start

Thursday, August 24th, 2006

Admit it, you've turned up the radio and sung along with "Pour Some Sugar On Me" or slow-danced at prom or homecoming to "Open Arms."

Wednesday night at USANA Amphitheater, a near sellout crowd relived some of those memories with a double-bill of two of the biggest acts of the '80s.

Def Leppard headlined with its typical high-energy, large bi-level stage production. Unfortunately singer Joe Elliot's voice stumbled out of the starting blocks with un-Leppard-like awful rendition of "Let's Get Rocked."

In fact, it took about four songs for his voice to really get warmed up, and those stratospheric screeching high notes just aren't happening anymore.

Full text of article…

Def Leppard, Journey dig up oldies for radio fest

Thursday, August 24th, 2006

You can almost visualize the guy who provides the voice of Jack FM — and when he crows about the station "playing what we want," you want to smack that smug smile off his face.

It's been 17 months since southern California was introduced to the radio iPod that is the Jack format, and KCBS' inaugural concert Saturday at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater showcased bands that exemplify its notion of modern classic rock. No, that's not an oxymoron; it's what this DJ-free, focus group-approved format is all about.

Jack FM targets pop-rock fans who were anywhere from grade school to grad school during the Reagan administration. And if this were 1984, the lineup for Jack's First Show could have been billed as Cal Jam III: Def Leppard, Journey, Billy Idol, Cheap Trick and Violent Femmes.

Full text of article…

Journey is the wild card

Thursday, August 24th, 2006

There was nothing wrong with the way Def Leppard performed. They rocked the house with their usual exuberance and commitment.

However, guys, you got beat Saturday night. It is difficult to write this. But, heck, it's true: Journey won this Battle of the Bands.

Def Leppard headlined the five-band mini-festival at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater. It was called "Jack's First Show," as it was the first concert the FM radio station has packaged and presented. Violent Femmes started the event, followed by Cheap Trick, Billy Idol, then Journey and finally Def Leppard.

Full text of article…

Details of "Hysteria: Deluxe Edition"

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2006

The deluxe edition for the remastered version of Hysteria will be released on October 16, 2006. The album will be a 2 disc set with the track listing shown below. The set will also include a foreword by Rolling Stone editor David Fricke and an extended booklet.

Disc 1:
Hysteria Remastered
  1. Women
  2. Rocket
  3. Animal
  4. Love Bites
  5. Pour Some Sugar On Me
  6. Armageddon It
  7. Gods Of War
  8. Don't Shoot Shotgun
  9. Run Riot
  10. Hysteria
  11. Exciteable
  12. Love And Affection


Videos from Video Game Awards and VH-1 Big In 05

Monday, August 21st, 2006

I've added videos of the performances of Rock Of Ages at the Video Game (VGA) awards on Spike TV (December 10, 2005) and of Pour Some Sugar On Me at the VH-1 Big In 05 show (December 4, 2005) to the Video section.

These shows are in the MPEG-4 format and you'll need QuickTime to play them.

Def Leppard remains a rock 'n' roll force

Sunday, August 20th, 2006

It felt like the '80s again Wednesday night at the Usana Amphitheatre, where Journey and Def Leppard evoked that big-hair and spandex era with almost three hours of bombastic ballads and deafening power chords.

But it's a fair guess that when Def Leppard played its monster hit "Photograph" back in 1983, fans weren't holding up cell-phone cameras to snap pictures of the band.

Journey and Def Leppard are billed as co-headliners of their joint 2006 tour, but there was no question Wednesday about who was the bigger and better live act. If this had been a battle of the bands, the British pop-glam-metal rockers would have blown Journey off the stage.

Full text of article…

Word for Word with Vivian Campbell

Sunday, August 20th, 2006

From pioneering British metal band Sweet Savage to Dio and Whitesnake to Def Leppard today, Vivian Campbell rode rock 'n' roll from the violent streets of Belfast to L.A.'s Sunset Strip. Now, with YEAH!, Def Leppard's joyful tribute to their early influences, he comes full circle back to the golden age of the glam rock that first inspired him. The album is a rollicking collection that includes songs by T. Rex, Sweet, and the Faces, but according to Campbell, the band had another reason for putting it out. "We wanted to address the misconception that Def Leppard are a metal band," he says. "We certainly have a lot of bombast—big crunchy guitars and big drums, everything louder than everything else. But if you strip that all away, there's pop songs under it."

"I was just really into music"

Growing up, music was very much a solace. Belfast wasn't a great place to grow up at that time. That was the height of the Troubles. But I was just really into music. Once I got into guitar playing, I was just totally focused on it and I gravitated toward anything that had a guitar solo in it or a guitar riff. I just loved the sound of a crunchy, hairy guitar. I was never a great record collector. But fortunately, I had friends who were. I remember skipping off school so many days and going to friends' houses to listen to different albums and different players. But I was always more of a player. I was just more interested in playing the instrument.

"We were very nervous and drank lots of coffee"

Full text of article…

Roots in mind, Def Leppard covers revered ground

Sunday, August 20th, 2006

Def Leppard, the British pop-rock-metal band whose songs ruled the radio in the mid-'80s, have had enough ups and downs in their 27-year history to fill three episodes of VH1's "Behind the Music."

So where was Campbell on this Thursday afternoon? A rowdy bar? A thrashed hotel room filled with hungover groupies? No. He's calling from Sea World near San Diego, where he's with his two daughters, ages 7 and 5. (The girlish shrieking in the background was definitely not for him.)

  • So why an album of covers?
  • How did you choose the songs that would be on the record?
  • Are you doing many of these songs on the tour?

Full text of article…

Soccer's rockers

Sunday, August 20th, 2006

Rock legends Def Leppard have become members of the world's oldest football club – Sheffield FC.

The band was presented with a team shirt and an early club photograph by the Lord Mayor of Sheffield, Coun Jackie Drayton, after pledging their support to their home city club, which celebrates its 150th anniversary next year.

Sheffield FC is officially recognised by FIFA and the FA as being the oldest football club in the world and already counts Premiership champions Chelsea and England and Yorkshire cricketer Michael Vaughan among its members.

Full text of article…

Trixie's Wasted Cover

Saturday, August 19th, 2006

Added a sample of Trixie's cover of Wasted to the Audio section.

More videos from TV appearances

Thursday, August 17th, 2006

I've added more videos from Def Leppard's recent TV appearances to the Video section. These include live perfomances of Rock On on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (June 23, 2006) and No Matter What on Live with Regis and Kelly (June 26, 2006).