This section looks at the 'Pyromania' tour show in San Diego, CA in September 1983. A show recorded and eventually released in 2009 on the 'Pyromania' deluxe Edition.
"Our final gig in the continental U.S., was appropriately, the biggest."
Def Leppard ended the mainland portion of their US Pyromania tour on this day in 1983 in San Diego, CA at Jack Murphy Stadium.
After 116 shows across the USA and Canada the band headlined the KGB-FM 101 Sky Show VIII event in front of 52,000 fans.
The very first time that Def Leppard headlined a stadium show.
Also on the bill were Eddie Money, Uriah Heep and Motley Crue. Clips from the show can be seen in the VH1 'Ultimate Albums: Pyromania' special as filmed by Joe's then girlfriend Denise.
The tour started out in March and April 1983 with 24 shows played as support to Billy Squier.
Due to the success of 'Photograph' on both radio and MTV, the band were selling most of the tickets on that tour and going down better than the headliner. They taped an appearance on legendary music show 'American Bandstand' before moving up to headline status on 29th April in Odessa, TX.
Within a few weeks 'Photograph' peaked at Number 12 and the 'Pyromania' album spent two weeks at Number Two behind only Michael's Jackson's Thriller.
By then all shows were selling out and they even broke sales records held by Led Zeppelin, including two shows in Detroit, MI in late August.
In a sign of things to come in later years, Joe suffered throat problems in the middle of June which meant one show had to be cancelled and six others rescheduled to July/August.
He recovered and the tour resumed on 25th June in South Yarmouth, MA and continued with sold out shows all the through to September.
The band flew their parents over from Sheffield for two shows inwhen they also had Brian May of Queen guest with them. The show was eventually released on the 'Pyromania Deluxe Edition' in 2009 having been circulated among fans as a high quality soundboard recording for many years.
Before ending with two arena shows in Hawaii, the mainland US run ended with the Jack Murphy Stadium show. It remained the largest crowd they had headlined to for many years.
View some live photos from the 1983 US tour below courtesy of Gettyimages.
Show Story - 1987 Animal Instinct Biography
"The mainland portion of the tour climaxed September 17 with an outdoor blowout at Jack Murphy Stadium in front of 55,000 fans. Leppard topped a bill featuring Motley Crue, Uriah Heep and Eddie Money."
"Leppard's entire set was captured for posterity on videotape by Joe's girlfriend at the time, Denise, who filmed the show from the mixing desk with Joe's video camera. It was the perfect end to a nearly perfect tour."
Show Story - 1984 Fan Club Newsletter Excerpts
"Our final gig in the continental U.S., was appropriately, the biggest. Due to a set of circumstances, the opportunity to headline San Diego's Sky Show came our way. Looking to make up for our last San Diego gig, we jumped at it."
"For all of you not aware of the Sky Show, it is an annual event capping a week of activities in San Diego taking place as a giant concert at Jack Murphy Stadium."
"50,000 plus watched Motley Crue and Eddie Money warm up for Def Leppard. It was a fitting end to our tour. Especially fitting was the astounding fireworks display after our show. Amazing!."
Rick Savage - April 1993 Interview Quotes
"It was a blur. It was fantastic, and it's never the same again. I guess it's like shagging or something; once you've done it the appeal is never quite the same."
"From a professional point of view, it was probably one of the best times of our lives. Looking back, and hearing old mixing desk tapes, we were f**king atrocious most of the time! For some reason, though, it didn't really matter. That is when hype will work in your favour, because when you're hot, you're hot."
The band's North American agents American Talent International took out a trade ad in Billboard magazine after the tour ended to celebrate the 116 shows.
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