Def Leppard were simply the biggest band in the world in the late 1980’s. The record sales are there to prove it. They became bigger than The Beatles, bigger than The Rolling Stones, bigger than Led Zeppelin at this point. They ruled the music world and sold out everywhere in every country during their lengthy Hysteria world tour. They toured the Americas in their own private jet plane “Hystouria 1”
It’s one thing to be big in your own country… it’s another thing to conquer the world! Def Leppard saved the best for their home country with Hysteria, a British Number 1 album and hit singles a-plenty.
The band originated back in 1977 when Pete Willis, Tony Kenning and Rick Savage put a band together called Atomic Mass. Joe Elliott was hired as the lead singer. Steve Clark came in to make the band a twin guitar band alongside Willis, while Savage took on the bass duties and Kenning the drums.
The name Deaf Leopard was brought in by Joe and subsequently the spelling was altered to Def Leppard. From 1978 began a rollercoaster journey with Steve becoming the major songwriter and driving force that powered the Def Leppard vehicle, and out of it emerged one of British music’s finest and most successful bands.
STEVE’S BAND – Personnel:
- Tony Kenning – Drums (Replaced by Rick Allen in 1978)
- Pete Willis – Guitars (Replaced by Phil Collen in 1982)
- Frank Noon was “borrowed” from The Next Band for a temporary role as drummer with the band until they hired Rick Allen in place of Tony Kenning. Frank features on the bands debut release The Def Leppard EP from 1979.
THE LINE-UP TO 1991:
- Rick Allen – Drums
- Steve Clark – Guitars
- Phil Collen – Guitars
- Joe Elliott – Lead Vocals
- Rick “Sav” Savage – Bass
- Animal Instinct by David Fricke (Official band biography)