Joe Elliot Says Def Leppard ‘Could Split Up in 20 Minutes’
We think of Def Leppard as a group that has weathered more than their share of tough times over the years. Fortunately, they understand the importance of good personal chemistry. In a new interview, singer Joe Elliott said that's what has helped the band get through those trials, but also that it could change at any minute.
"When you've been together for 35 years," he told the Grand Forks Herald, "we could split up in 20 minutes as soon as I finish this phone call because that could have happened in our last 20 years, but it didn't. We're realistic to realize that it all comes to a sticky end one day. Nothing ever ends well. When did you ever hear of a band who was having massive success and then saying goodbye to each other with a smile on their face?"
Early in their career, Def Leppard were dealt a couple of major blows. The first came in 1984, when drummer Rick Allen lost his arm in a car accident. Seven years later, guitarist Steve Clark died of a drug overdose. Elliott admitted that those tragedies were the closest they've come to splitting up.
"I mean, shoot, we all just went 'What's the point?' for about five seconds," he continued. "But then we said we were all musicians and we all enjoyed each other's company and we like what we do. You wouldn't quit being a plumber, why would you quit being a musician?
We're really lucky, four members of this five-man group have been together for 32 years and this currently lineup has been together for 23."
Def Leppard are in the midst of another crisis, with Vivian Campbell, who replaced Clark, currently fighting Hodgkin's lymphoma. Elliott offered an update on his health. "At this time he's still taking treatment, and from what I can tell you, because I'm no doctor, he's more than happy to be out on the road with the band. He's having a great time out here. He's in a great frame of mind. He looks great and he's playing and singing really well, so the non-doctor in me says Viv is doing great. But, how long or short term that is? Jesus, I could go out and get hit by a car tomorrow and be gone before him."
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