Def Leppard singer Joe Elliott laughed off an “embarrassing” imaginary schooldays review he’d written about his band, pointing out that at least one of the important details came true.
In a teaser for an upcoming episode of the Speakeasy interview series, Elliott talked about the British band’s formative years in Sheffield, England, with interviewer David Fricke.
You can watch the clip below.
“We absolutely made it up as we went along,” Elliott said. “But we thought it was our destiny to be the biggest band in the world, and nobody was going to stop us. If you don’t dream like that when you’re 17, you’re never going to.”
Recalling one of his own early jobs, he added, “When you work in the basement of a factory with no natural light … they were the days that made you want to be a rock star.”
He then referred to the band’s name, which started out as “Deaf Leopard.” “I just started making names up, out of boredom, I suppose,” he said. “It sounded good, it looked silly … we didn’t notice that it looked like Led Zeppelin. Woops!” Fricke then asked about bassist Rick Savage having hired Elliott without hearing him sing a note. “I’m a good salesman,” Elliott asserted. “You wanna buy a vacuum cleaner?”
Fricke confronted him with a school assignment written before the band even existed, in which Elliott designed posters and even wrote a review of a 1975 Def Leppard show at Sheffield City Hall, with Thin Lizzy supporting them. “No! Oh, embarrassing!” he said, before pointing out: “Actually, they did, in 2011!”
Def Leppard will be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on March 29. They just announced a Canadian tour with Tesla that starts in July.