Thursday, 1st February 2018
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JOE ELLIOTT Recalls DEF LEPPARD's First Public Show In July 1978 (Video)

Def Leppard 2018. Screenshot

Def Leppard singer Joe Elliott has been interviewed about the band's first public concert and video is available.

Joe was speaking to iHeart radio during his recent visit to New York.

Joe talked about the debut show in July 1978 and also their second and third shows in Sheffield plus the next show which took place outside the city.

Joe recounts the familiar story of the beer in the bass drum and how much they got paid.

He also says the first show was in 'June' of 1978. But there probably isn't anything "wrong with him"...;)

Watch the full 4 minute interview video below.

Last year marked the 39th anniversary of this concert.

Visit the Album News section for more news on new music (based on band member quotes).

iHeart Radio - Joe Elliott Interview Quotes

Do you happen to remember your very first show?

"Yeah I remember it very well. I think anybody that ever forgets their first gig there's something wrong with them. You know we were, it was June of 1978. We'd only been together. The four of us formed in like August, we didn't even play until late September, October 'cause we didn't have anywhere to play or any gear. It was just the idea of being in a band. And we were a four piece and and then Steve joined and then we were a five piece. And we rehearsed and rehearsed and rehearsed and we went on holiday during the summer of '78 and Steve Clark got drunk and said: 'I'm quitting unless we do a gig' 'cause he was just sick of rehearsing. We rehearsed five, six days a week. For apparently, as far as he was concerned, no end you know. We just wanted to get better. He just wanted to play live."

"So the compromise was alright, let's do a gig. And so a friend of ours hastily arranged this gig at a school. And yeah I remember lots about it. We were very nervous so we took the bass drum out of the bass drum case and filled the bass drum case up with beer. To smuggle it in. And had a few cans before we went on. And then we went on stage and Steve threw this fantastic pose. Did the windmill for the opening chord and had forgot to turn his amp on. So complete silence. So oops, turn around and turn it on. Do it again and we were off."

"It was great you know. We played and sang OK I mean I remember it was just like a glorified rehearsal really. There was a bunch of kids all sat right on the outside of the perimeter of this gym. They wouldn't come anywhere near us. Thought we were like from Mars. Didn't like the music 'cause they were probably all disco fans. But they tolerated it for some strange reason and then when we went off. We went back into this classroom and we could hear this like 'More More' and clapping. And went: 'They want another one'."

"And we came out and we played the only cover that we did of the night 'cause we'd just played 45 minutes of original material. So there's no wonder they weren't really into it. And we played a song called Jailbreak by thin Lizzy and they went mental. And we realised they were rock fans they just didn't know the music. We realised then OK we need to write more songs like this. That kind of pushed us toward that commercial direction I think or at least it was a contributing factor."

Is it true that you only made five pounds?

"Five pounds out of a teacher's pocket yeah. It was weird because it's like we just gave the money to, you say crew, they friends of ours who happened to have, none of us could drive. I think I could drive but I didn't have a car. And my friends borrowed their parent's station wagon and stuff and we threw the kit in one and amps and guitars and crammed into this thing. We gave them money for their you know for gas."

Second Show

"The next gig we played was about a month later in a field. We'd been promised it was gonna be this big festival and it just turned out to be a wire running out of somebody's house with a four plug board on it and there was nothing, there wasn't any stage we set up on grass. And it went dark and we didn't know what to do so our friends drove their cars in front of us and just turned their headlights on and we finished the set and we got paid three pounds for that."

Third Gig

"And then the next gig we did was in a club in Sheffield called The Limit Club which was. We'd frequented this place for years as punters just going down to watch other bands and drink and what have you. And they had these likes once a month they had what you call free festivals. Or you didn't get paid to play but they let everybody in for free so you were guaranteed a full house. We were the opening act for the Human League. Which was odd 'cause this was pre successful Human League. This was the Kraftwerk version of the Human League which were five guys behind plexi-glass and keyboards. But we had a kind of a fanbase of friends that came down and just took over the front bit and made noise and made us feel important. So we went from five pounds to three pounds to nothing and of course the in joke then was well I guess the next gig we're gonna actually have to pay to play. And technically we did because we got a real gig where they paid us 20 pounds but it cost us 35 to hire a van. So we were 15 in the hole. It's like this is not working out. Which is what encouraged us to the studio and record the EP. We'd take a huge shortcut."

Buy 'Hysteria 30th Anniversary Edition' Online

  • Amazon - (Box Set/Super Deluxe Version)
  • Amazon - (3 CD Deluxe Edition)
  • Amazon - (1 CD Version)
  • Amazon - (Double Vinyl)

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Related News - PHIL COLLEN Says DEF LEPPARD Will Tour The World In 2019 (Audio)

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