When Def Leppard first embarked on their career Steve Clark would be seen live on stage most frequently with a white Hamer Standard, a Hamer Special and a Gibson Les Paul Standard.

Steve also owned a Cherry Sunburst Gibson Les Paul Deluxe which he had fitted with Seymour Duncan ’59 pick-ups. This guitar made appearances on the High ‘n’ Dry tour.

The Gibson Les Paul Standard, pictured in the image on the right, was initially a factory spec. Gibson. This guitar features a lovely vintage sunburst finish and has a three-piece top as was more common in the late 70’s and early 80’s.

It would also make several appearances on the Pyromania tour with Steve later where by then, he would have made a couple of small changes to the guitar. These would be changing the tuners on the headstock to chrome-plated Grovers and removing the pickup covers or switching out the pickups altogether. Either that or he had a second very similar Les Paul Standard.

The Hamer Standard’s style and design bears resemblance to the Gibson Explorer. It’s most likely that the white Hamer Standard that Steve was seen playing in the early days was in fact one that belonged to Pete Willis.

It’s a 1979 model with matching white body and headstock. Both the body and neck are handcrafted from Honduras mahogany but has no maple top like many of the other stock Hamer’s had and it’s also unusual in that it has no body binding. The neck consisting of 22 frets, a rosewood fingerboard and mother-of-pearl dot inlay’s. The headstock would most likely be fitted with Grover tuners. (During mid-to-late ’79 Hamer changed the Grover tuners to Schallers).

This Standard was fitted with two DiMarzio PAF Humbuckers, wound to Hamer’s specifications, a three-way selector switch, two tone and one volume control and an adjustable bridge and tailpiece.

The Hamer Special was introduced in 1980. This guitar features a double-cutaway unbound mahogany body with a flamed maple flat top. Like the Standard the Special featured a mahogany neck, rosewood fingerboard with 22 frets and a headstock with 3 pegs to a side.

Hardware consisted of two Di Marzio PAF humbuckers (a zebra for the neck and cream for the bridge), a Sustain Block bridge, Schaller tuners (although Steve may well have had his fitted with Grovers) and the selector switch and tone and volume controls. Steve’s Special is finished in Sunburst.

Steve’s Cherry Sunburst Gibson Les Paul Deluxe was also a factory spec. Gibson when Steve first took ownership of it, equipped with the mini-humbucker pickups. By the time it went on the road with Steve for the High ‘n’ Dry tour the pickups had be switched to Seymour Duncan ’59’s. This guitar also appeared occasionally later on the Pyromania tour.

Steve (left) playing his Gibson Les Paul Standard live circa 1979

Circa 1979 with factory spec. Les Paul Standard