Def Leppard performed the 1972 David Bowie classic, “Ziggy Stardust”, and their 1987 smash, “Pour Some Sugar On Me”, during a March 26 appearance on The Howard Stern Show on SiriusXM.
The band were on hand to chat about their March 29 induction into the 2019 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame at New York’s Barclays Center, where they’ll be honored alongside Stevie Nicks, The Cure, Janet Jackson, Radiohead, Roxy Music and The Zombies.
Despite selling more than 100 million albums and being eligible for entry since 2005, Def Leppard – who won the Fan Ballot with more than half a million votes – never really gave much thought or cared much about the Rock Hall. “Yes, we do now,” laughed singer Joe Elliott. “Now that we’ve been nominated and inducted and chosen, yes, we care.”
“In fairness,” he continued, “before the fan vote, I think it was a very elitist thing, which is why we kind of shied away … if you weren’t Lou Reed or R.E.M. or Loudon Wainwright III … no, no, they didn’t want us.”
“It’s the same as the Grammys,” added guitarist Phil Collen. “When we had two diamond albums – two 10-times platinum albums – there was no category for us.”Phil Collen
The UK outfit will be inducted by longtime friend and Queen guitarist Brian May. “Queen is the blueprint for Def Leppard, really,” shared Collen.
The group shared several stories with Stern during the session, including Elliott’s personal introduction to Bowie by Bono; the singer’s love of Mott The Hoople; sharing the stage with legends at the 1992 Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert; drummer Rick Allen’s comeback from a 1984 car accident that resulted in the loss of his left arm; and, coming of age during the late 1960s/early 1970s when rare media broadcasts of rock music transitioned from black and white to the era of color television.
“We saw Gerry And The Pacemakers or Herman’s Hermits and Tom Jones in black-and-white,” recalled Elliott, “and then we saw Bowie and Slade and T. Rex in color with all this glittery stuff. And it was mind-blowing – it was an absolute, you know, sensory overload on your eyes.”