Def Leppard, has been here maintaining the same music for over 30 years. Def Leppard, the band which was originally formed in Sheffield, England has been the face of rock and metal music for 45 years now. However, that has come with a price of its own and it was a pretty hefty price.
There was internal discord in the band and they had to go through different lineups in their long career. Back in 1982, Pete Willis was fired due to excessive alcohol consumption. Pete Willis was one of the founding members of the band. Rick Allen’s car accident in 1984, made another drastic change within the band and whatnot. With such changes and all, Def Leppard was a matter of argument. And recently, the members of Def Leppard have revealed how they settle arguments over future plans.
In an interview with Classic Rock, the band looked back on how they have always maintained the lineup. It has been 45 long years since the band was started back in England. Vivian Campbell said, “There isn’t another band on the planet like this and what it comes down to is a collective sensibility. My two big experiences prior to Def Leppard were with Dio and Whitesnake, and neither situation worked out well for me. Ronnie James Dio named the band Dio, which tells you all you need to know. And Whitesnake: has there ever been a band in the entire history of rock music that’s had as many musicians pass through the turnstiles?”
He continued and commented, “In Def Leppard it’s different. Joe [Elliott] isn’t your typical ego-driven singer. There’s more humility to it. We’re all in service of the music. And we all look after each other to a certain extent.”
Then, the guitarist went on to talk about the dynamics of the band. He says even though the band has always been on a smooth path, the work hasn’t always gone smoothly. He says, “I don’t mean to paint a false rosy picture. There’s been times when I’ve had an arm out in each direction stopping members of Def Leppard from fucking killing each other!” the guitarist confessed. “Shit does happen, you know? But we all see the big picture. Whatever the problem, we work it out. And you can’t be an asshole in this band. There’s no latitude for that at all.”
Drummer Rick Allen also discussed the balance between Elliott and bassist Rick Savage. He said, “Joe is the driving force, the life and soul of the band. If you’ve got a microphone and big PA system, that’s license to make a lot of noise. Sav, on the other hand, is really understated in many ways. Sav is really the thinker in the band.”
Savage also agreed to the famous This is Spinal Tap line about bassist Derek Smalls being the ‘lukewarm water’ between the other members. He said, “Joe is so full of passion and will be very vocal; he’ll nail you to the wall, “And if somebody else, usually Phil [Collen], has a different view, they’ll hammer it out for half an hour. I’ll sit there listening to it, and when they’ve worn each other out I’ll go: ‘Right, chaps, this is what we’re gonna do…’ And everybody goes: ‘Okay!'”
Joe also said something about Savage. He said, “We used to call him ‘Mr. Splinterbottom’ because he’d always sit on the fence!” The singer noted that in the band everybody “has their say … but when it comes to leadership, I’m deemed the captain.” He added it was him and his nature to “do most of the interviews, I had to have imaginary conversations. And I won every argument because teddy bears don’t talk back.”