This Day In Rock. Happy Birthday DEF LEPPARD's JOE ELLIOTT!
Joseph Thomas "Joe" Elliott was born in Sheffield, England, on August 1, 1959. He's a singer-songwriter and musician, best known as the lead singer of the rock band Def Leppard.
Recently talking to Rolling Stone, Joe Elliott had the occasion to go through 15 songs from Def Leppard's catalog. OFF#ROCK selected 5 of these songs, for the remainings read here.
'Getcha Rocks Off' (1979)
“The first song we ever wrote, if my memory serves me right. It was a [former guitarist] Pete Willis riff, borrowed from a friend of his who'd half written it. He changed it around a bit, came in and played it, and I started singing words over the top”.
'Hello America' (1980)
“We had never even been to America at that point. I was working in a factory with lots of nuts and bolts and no natural light. But there was a lot of downtime, and I would sit around writing stuff. With this one, I had seen a TV show the night before — Kojak or Starsky & Hutch, something where they show the tree-lined boulevards of L.A. You see all these palm trees and you go, "Wow, this is a lot sexier than Sheffield!" That's where that lyric came from — "Well I'm takin' me a trip/I'm going down to Californ-i-a." It was, "Get me out of here!" .
'White Lightning' (1992)
“It's about Steve [Clark, who passed away in 1991 from an accidental overdose of alcohol and prescription drugs], but not in the same as, say, "Hurricane" by Dylan, which literally walks you through a guy's life. Ours is a lot more shadowy. We wanted it to be about Steve, but we also wanted anybody who was listening to it and had been in a similar situation to be able to relate to it. So we never mention him by name”.
'Tie Your Mother Down' (1992)
“We did this at the tribute show [The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert for AIDS Awareness], and it was great to be a part of it. I've been friends with Brian May for years — in '83 he got up onstage with Def Leppard at the L.A. Forum, and six months after that, I ended buying a house 20 minutes from his. We hung out all the time throughout the Eighties. Brian was also the first person to ring me when Steve Clark passed away. And, apparently, I was the first person to call him when Freddie died. When they were putting together this tribute, Brian phoned me and said, "Will you perform, please?" And I said, "Of course. You guys are one of the reasons we're a band”.