It’s easy to surmise that Def Leppard is one of the biggest bands on the planet, who also have a storied history of their rise to the top. For one night only at London’s prestigious Royal Festival Hall, the five-piece themselves, Joe Elliott, Phil Collen, Rick Allen, Rick Savage and Vivian Campbell, would sit down with journalist and author Michael Hann to talk about their new book; Definitely: The Official Story of Def Leppard sharing stories and even answering questions from fans in attendance (some coming from as far as Mexico and New Zealand).
It was an intimate experience, to say the least, despite the domineering size of the venue. Even though I was a fair few rows back, the staggered seating setup ensured a view like no other, and the lack of security along the front of the stage further removed the metaphorical barrier between audience and artist.
Hearing stories from their early days, such as renting a rehearsal space for five pounds a week, kitting it out with posters as well as having to move a large piece of machinery from the middle of the space so they could create not just a place to inspire creativity but also enable them to actually rehearse to their attempts to create a Kiss-level stage show using metal bins with explosives in a small pub environment. This, as expected, was not successful, with the homemade device going off unexpectedly before the show.
They even touched upon their various anxieties and that even Elliot was not confident of his abilities in the early years and only being there as he drove the van!
Of course, my summarization of some of the events from their illustrious career pales in comparison to the vivid images they created on the night, and I could have easily sat there whilst they regaled me with tails of the past much like a grandparent to a child (I suspect they would not approve of this comparison), but it is an analogy that best exhibits this experience overall.
All members even took the time at the end to meet, greet and sign tickets, books and even records for their fans. I have been to many gigs in my years, and whilst there was not one piece of music to accompany this event, this experience will stay with me for years to come!
I would love to recall every aspect of their tails; however, as previously mentioned, I simply could not do it justice and also should I do so, perhaps you would not feel the need to grab a copy of Definitely: The Official Story of Def Leppard for yourself, which I would highly recommend you do!