Joe Elliott Blames Biker Exhaust for Bronchial Spasms During Def Leppard Tour
The perennially hard-touring band's frontman tells the Belfast Telegraph that Lep's latest round of dates has left him fighting a persistent cough that he believes he acquired while they were performing at this year's Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota.
Saying it's been bothering him for the past nine weeks, Elliott explained, "It’s when you’ve got a cough and all the doctors can’t figure out why you have it. It’s one of those random things, I just cough for no reason, but luckily I’ve managed to avoid it onstage."
Looking back on the Sturgis show, Elliott confessed he believes his issues started after exposure to the "dust and gas emissions" at the rally. "They line up their bikes and rev their engines while you play," he pointed out. "When you’ve got 30,000 doing it, you can imagine the kind of air you’re breathing in. It can’t be good for you."
Elliott's health woes left him quipping that guitarist Vivian Campbell, who's currently undergoing treatment for Hodgkin's lymphoma, might be "in better shape than the rest of us" in the band. "It’s a treatment which has worked very, very well for skin cancers and stuff like that, so they’re trying it on him. He’s like a trial patient," he added. "It’s a non-invasive treatment. He goes in for 10 minutes, then gets on a plane and comes back on tour."
Fortunately, there's a brief break looming on the tour schedule for Def Leppard, who recently released a self-titled album. "We’ve three American shows left, then we’ve a three-week break and then we’re off to Japan before the British and Irish tour. Sometimes the road is tough," sighed Elliott. "Sometimes you just have to suck it up and get on with the show."
The Top 100 Rock Albums of the '80s
You Think You Know Def Leppard?