Saturday, 2nd September 2017
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17 Years Ago DEF LEPPARD Asked To Turn It Down In SALEM, OR

Euphoria 1999. Def Leppard 1999

Def Leppard played a show on the Euphoria tour in Salem, OR on 2nd September 2000 under strange circumstances.

The show took place at the Oregon State Fair and was affected by local laws regarding concert noise levels.

The band were forced to play at a lower volume than normal and offered fans a refund during the first hour of the show due to these issues.

The incident made headlines at the time with both Joe and Sav explaining what happened in online posts and interviews.

Read Joe's full online diary posting about the show below.

Plus a Sav comment from an interview done a few days afterwards.

A live recording of 'Women' from this show was released online as a free download in December 2000.

The law was introduced to limit sound levels at the venue following an MC Hammer concert.

Joe Elliott - 4th September 2000 Online Message

"To the good people who came to see Def Leppard in Salem, Oregon, on the 2nd of September, I would like to further explain the bizarre situation the band were put in."

"We turned up for soundcheck as usual, to what is a fine venue. Great facilities, cool staff, the works. As we ran through "Promises", we were informed that we were over the sound limit. This was one of those gigs where the "Sound Police" were there to enforce a most ludicrous rule. It appears that after an MC Hammer gig a few years ago, a law was passed limiting the volume of any artist playing this particular venue. It gets worse: we hadn't even turned the P.A. on!!!"

These guys were serious:
1. Verbal warning
2. Written warning
3. Fine
4. Jail for tour manager Malvin

"So the choices were as follows; turn down so low that it actually affects the sound, not just the volume of the instruments. Or, walk out & refuse to play under such restricting circumstances. Tesla did just that in 1992 (in the same building!). So it was, for a while, a very serious consideration. The big difference though, was that this show was sold out in advance & Def Leppard has never chosen to back out of anything in it's 20-something-year career. So you can imagine what we had to go through to reach the decision we finally did reach."

"We hated the fact that we would disappoint people who had waited so long (and maybe travelled far) to see us live if we just cancelled & left. At the same time, we hated the fact that we would just not sound as we should. Guitars, more than any other instrument in rock 'n' roll, rely on a certain level of volume. The distortion simply cannot be achieved at the volume we were limited to. We're not used to compromising our sound in any way, and to play as we did was a major compromise. But that's the choice we made."

"It wasn't easy, and in truth it wasn't a unanimous decision to go on, it was a majority vote. But what was unanimous, was that we wouldn't do the show without letting everybody in the crowd know that we weren't happy with the situation and that if anybody wanted the opportunity to leave with a refund, they could. It seemed the only way around this ridiculous problem."

"So we went on with the show. Yes, there were mixed feelings afterwards. Some people asked for their money back & I can't say that I blame them. Other people came up to us & said that what we did was the coolest thing they had ever seen. It's a subjective point. There is no right or wrong, it's personal choice."

"We did the extra encore and if ever an audience deserved more than usual, this was it. Quite honestly the crowd in Salem will live long in our memories, for making us feel like we had made the right decision. I'm sure that other audiences will forgive us for being slightly biased towards Salem as they were the show on this particular evening, so when we update the up-and-coming "Song of the month", look for a rousing version of one of our songs from this strangest of gigs."

"I think it goes without saying that we will never do this again and I would warn all other artists thinking of playing this particular venue to think twice before doing so. For Def Leppard to play Salem again, there will have to be a different venue offered to us, or the law will have to be changed. I strongly advise everybody who cares as passionately about their music as I do, to lobby your council to change the way they limit the volume at shows."

"Sadly, I was told by some local people that it is only this way because some of the councillors live close by. If this is the case, it sounds like the typical abuse of power that politicians are so famous for. Stupid, idiotic, crazy and bullsh*t are just some of the terms that were being thrown around backstage by locals and visitors alike, I'll leave it to your imagination what we think and said...

Peace, xx

Euphoria 1999.

Rick Savage Interview/Article Quotes

"There were three things we could do: Go onstage, tough it out, do the show, take the money and get out of town. We could on a matter of principle not play the show because we didn't want to compromise what we do to such an extent. What we chose to say to people was, "This is how it is. We're really, really sorry. We're going to put the show on for anyone who still wants to see it. But if you want to you're more than welcome to get your money refunded because we don't feel we can give you a proper show.'"

According to the Salem Statesman Journal, the band shared the cost of the $14,000 in refunds with the Oregon State Fair, which presented the concert. Refunds reportedly were offered during the show's first 55 minutes.

News Article Article Quotes (Salem Statesman Journal)

Refunds for a Def Leppard show revive debate on Salem's noise law. Oregon State Fair officials say they're not to blame for last weekend's Def Leppard concert fiasco that forced $14,000 in ticket refunds.

About 800 fans sought refunds after the '80s-era band told the crowd it couldn't play at its normal hard-rocking volume because of a city noise ordinance, which they had learned about only during pre-show sound checks.

The incident also has rekindled the debate whether the noise levels allowed by the city are adequate for fair concerts.

Fan photos and reviews from any past tour can be submitted - Here

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Phil Collen - Guitar
Phil Collen - Guitar
Phil Collen - Guitar
Phil Collen - Guitar