Def Leppard’s Donington Gig Prompts Singer Joe Elliott to Reflect on Drummer Rick Allen’s Comeback
On the day after Def Leppard picked up the 'Inspiration' trophy at Kerrang! magazine's annual awards ceremony, frontman Joe Elliott spoke with the hard-rock publication before the band's gig Friday at the Download Festival in England's Donington Park. In the interview, Elliott shared the personal significance of Donington to Def Leppard.
Elliott said that most festivals are great gigs for bands, but that the Download Festival in Donington Park has special meaning for Def Leppard. The venue played host in 1986 to the band's first performance following drummer Rick Allen's tragic automotive accident in which he lost his left arm.
"It was '83 since we last had a gig, so it was three years since we'd played," recalls Elliott. "We were a curiosity -- we'd sold a lot of records in America on 'Pyromania,' but we hadn't sold hardly any in England. For every 10 in the audience, there might be one person who bought the album.
"Everybody else had heard of us, but they didn't necessarily know who we were – they just go, 'Oh, that's the drummer with one arm,' and they were all watching [us play]. But I think we definitely bonded with the British audience that day, so when the ['Hysteria'] album came out a year later, it went straight to No. 1 and everybody was ready for us."
The new Def Leppard live album, 'Mirror Ball,' landed in stores on Tuesday and is on pace to sell around 20,000 copies during its first week of release, according to Hits Daily Double. Def Leppard will be on the road this summer for a North American tour with Heart.
Watch the Kerrang! Interview with Def Leppard's Joe Elliott