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Def Leppard Tour History Fan Archive.
Joe Elliott Talks About David Bowie's Influence On US Radio

Thursday, 14th January 2016

Joe Elliott/David Bowie 1999.
Dublin October 1999

Def Leppard singer Joe Elliott talked to DJ Eddie Trunk on 11th January and spoke at length about David Bowie.

Joe was speaking to DJ Eddie Trunk for over an hour and the first 15 mins dealt with David Bowie.

Joe talked about David Bowie's influence on him and the band, meeting him, the new Def Leppard album, the making of the album, their influences, the YEAH! album, album running orders, the 2015 tour, the music industry/rock music, Hysteria cruise, the 2016 tour and the Guns N' Roses reunion.

The 1 hour 12 minute interview was posted on YouTube and can be heard in full below.

David sadly died on 10th January after battling cancer for the last 18 months.

Eddie Trunk - Joe Elliott Interview Quotes

Learning Of David Bowie's Death

"Couldn't believe it you know. I was in bed this morning with my phone on silent and it kept buzzing. And I'm like what's going on? you know. So I picked it up and when I see the texts like 'Have you heard the news?'. I'm like it's always never a good thing. Never a good thing. So I kind of clicked on the blue bit on my texts that came in and then it was a link to some website and it said David Bowie's dead. And I'm like nah this is a hoax you know. So it was just before 8am. So top of the hour the news always comes on so I turned on the news and boom. It was like you gotta be kidding me."

"You know I mean 44 years my relationship with David Bowie started when I saw him do Starman on Top Of The Pops in 1972. And he's been a major part of my life everyday since. And you know I lost Marc Bolan in 1977. I lost David Bowie today and they're two you know massively different dates but they're very iconic. People always say they know where they were when JFK died or when Elvis died. Bowie was my Elvis. Bowie was totally my Lennon. He was my Elvis so this is gonna be one of them days I'm never gonna forget. I've done more press today talking about David Bowie than I did on any given day talking about the new Def Leppard record because a. I wanted to. To pay my respects and b. because luckily so many people know I'm such a fan that it's not some kind of hogwash looking for publicity kind of thing."

His Illness/Influence

"I genuinely feel I lost a major part of my musical upbringing today and it's just so heartbreaking. It really is."

"I didn't know he was ill. I mean you wonder. You wonder when people start posting photographs. You know I'd seen him sat talking to the director of Lazarus in the theatre. And his got his hair greased back and it's grey and he's got glasses on and he looks like an old professor. And you're thinking wow he looks really old. But you don't necessarily think wow he looks really ill. He just looks old you know and he's 69 which you know by normal terms is old but for rock and roll not necessarily. I mean a year younger than Lemmy. He's 7 years younger than Ian Hunter who's about to make a new record. It's a funny old world we don't get as old as we used to do if we're clever about it."

"Bowie was always so active that of course it was a shock because he made an entire album in New York last year called The Next Day that nobody knew was even finished. nevermind gonna be about to be released. They didn't even know it'd been started. And pretty much the same thing with the new record Blackstar. Nobody really knew it was being made. He's managed to keep that all under the radar in Metropolis!. And he's also managed to keep going to the cancer clinic out of there. So he's either not been at all or he's very, very, very, very guarded with what he does. So of course it's a shock because nobody other than his close family probably knew that this was happening. Even Tony Visconti you know he does press. He does blogs and he's very guarded regarding how much he says but even Tony has not let any inkling out. Neither did he know. (Brian) Eno was emailing with Bowie up till 7 days ago, had no idea. Until afterwards when he kind of twigged - he says I think he was leaving me a guarded message in his sign off. And I think his entire album is that. It's all about the guy going up to heaven. And Bowie's obviously known and he's played out his last play on earth. He's done it for us as a stage play almost. It's bizarre."

"Bowie and Bolan are the two people and Ian Hunter and Mott The Hoople - that was the tri-fector if you like. Mott, Bowie and Bolan. And from that I learnt about Lou Reed. I learnt about Iggy Pop you know and so forth and it grew like a family tree."

"Trevor Bolder, Mick Ronson and David Bowie all died of cancer. This is just a horrible, horrible day to reflect on all these different things that are going on. But sooner or later I'm gonna be able to reflect on a positive side of this and all the music that Bowie left behind."

"He's been such an iconic figure in my life for - I'm just heartbroken today. It's just a horrible, horrible month. You know with Lemmy gone. Bowie gone. It's the 25th anniversary of Steve's passing. The 30th anniversary of Phil Lynott's passing. I can't wait for February. I really can't."

"As I stand here now talking to you as a 56 year old man. Bowie has been part of my life for 44 years. And everyday. I mean there hasn't been a day gone by where I haven't thought about him. Played one of his songs - what can I do to even do to touch the hem of his trouser leg. That would be important enough for anybody to notice. These are the guys that drive us on."

"I'm just this guy in rock and roll. We've sold a lot of records. We've sold a lot of tickets. We're still making records. We're still charting. It's great. It's wonderful. But it wouldn't be anything without the people that put us in this position to do this. And Bowie is absolutely right up there at the top of the list of people. That if it wasn't for you I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing. So I couldn't be more grateful for his output from The Laughing Gnome all the way to Lazarus. David Bowie has been an enormous part of my life and as sad as I am to say he's now passed away and the Starman's gone back up to whatever planet he came from. He will always be a part of my life till the day I die because his music will forever influence what I've done. What I do in the future. It's influenced what I do now. It's influenced what I've done in the past. And it's just an incredibly sad day for me. It really is."

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