Archive for July 2009

Def Leppard rocks its way to Jones Beach

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

You don't need to be bonked in the head by a massive piece of Broadway scenery to figure out that something is going on.

As AC/DC's surprise double-platinum No. 1 "Black Ice" album and the success of the Broadway musical (and future motion picture) " Rock of Ages" would suggest, '80s hard rockers of all sorts are once again at the peak of pop culture.

And Def Leppard singer Joe Elliott says he knows why.

"I think the '90s let everybody down," says Elliott, calling from Philadelphia, where the band's summer tour, which stops at Nikon at Jones Beach Theater Wednesday, launched. "The '90s generation can look back with complete disdain that the only band that's still around is Pearl Jam.

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Def Leppard, Poison and Cheap Trick an uncommon blend at SPAC

Saturday, July 4th, 2009

In December 1977, Def Leppard played its first gig. Six friends gathered to hear covers of David Bowie and Thin Lizzy tunes, as well as the band's first original song, "Misty Dreamer."

Fast forward to June 2009, and Def Leppard is still performing, but now the band plays its own hits in front of thousands of fans at each stop.

Even with the ever-changing music scene, the band's popularity has not waned. And they don't fit the traditional "hair band" mold, having hung on through the '80s and '90s while many of the era disappeared.

The band's songs have spanned the radio dial over the years, prompting millions to sing along to such as hits as "Rock of Ages" and "Pour Some Sugar on Me."

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Def Leppard's Rick Allen helps self and others

Saturday, July 4th, 2009

Rick Allen knows about drumming. Since he was 15, he's been the drummer for the heavy-metal band Def Leppard.

And he knows about crisis. In 1984, when he was 21, he lost his left arm in a car wreck. Two years later, he returned as Def Leppard's drummer, manipulating electronic pedals with his left foot to play what he used to with his left arm. Now 45, he will drum with the band Friday at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.

Offstage, Allen has put the two together — musicianship and hardship — in a nonprofit organization, founded with his wife, Lauren Monroe, that combines drumming with alternative therapies to bring relief to people in crisis.

Started in 2001, their Raven Drum Foundation has evolved into a group that focuses on helping veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. Many have lost limbs in bombings and require years of rehabilitation and a lifetime of adaptation.

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Leppard roars in Mansfield

Friday, July 3rd, 2009

At this time last year, Def Leppard frontman Joe Elliott opined that popmetal band Poison was more interested in its image than its music. Poison's Rikki Rockett fired back, challenging Elliott to a bare-knuckles fight.

How times have changed.

Barely a year later, it seems Def Lep and Poison have kissed and made up – they're now touring together.

Tuesday night at the Comcast Center, a near capacity crowd had nothin' but a good time as the triple bill of hard-rockin' Def Leppard, glamour boys Poison and power-pop oddballs Cheap Trick relived the days when hair was huge and worries were few.

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