Def Leppard (1977-)
Joe Elliott (vocals) 1977-
Pete Willis (guitar) 1977-1981
Rick Savage (bass) 1977-
Rick Allen (drums) 1979-
Steve Clark (guitar) 1977-1991
Phil Collen (guitar) 1981-
Vivian Campbell (guitar) 1992-
Tony Kennerig (drums) 1977-1978
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Their name was originally spelled Deaf Leopard. They got the idea to alter the spelling from Led Zeppelin.
Rick Allen lost his left arm in a car accident on New Year's Eve, 1984 when he was racing his Corvette on a road in Sheffield, England. He flew through the windshield and his arm was ripped off by the seat belt. He quickly expressed his desire to stay with the band, and learned to play with a specially designed, computer-assisted drum kit.
Guitarist Steve Clark died of a drug and alcohol overdose in 1991.
They formed in England, and Rick Savage lives in the band's hometown of Sheffield. Phil Collen and Vivian Campbell as well as drummer Rick Allen all live in California. Joe Elliott lives in Ireland; the tax laws are much more favorable for entertainers there.
Steve Clark was dubbed "The Riff-Master" because of his ability to make lots of catchy riffs for the band, many of which were not recorded to songs.
Clark and Collen were known as "The Terror Twins," a reference to Aerosmith's Toxic Twins. (thanks, matt - Lee's Summit, MO, for above 2)
Thomas Dolby played keyboards on the Pyromania album. He is credited as Booker T. Boffin.
Allen was once criticized by Queen Elizabeth because of the Union Jack boxers he wore onstage. The Union Jack is the flag representing the United Kingdom.
Their first concert was in a room in a spoon factory in Sheffield, England. Only 6 people went to it. (thanks, Tom - Trowbridge, England)
Due to a lack of interest, the band had to release their debut album on their own label, Bludgeon Riffola Records.
On October 23 1995, the band played three 45-minute shows on three different continents. One show was in Tangier, Morocco, another was in London, and the last one was in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Before joining Def Leppard, Vivian Campbell played in Dio and Whitesnake. (thanks, Gavin - Colchester, England)
Phil Collen joined Def Leppard after the dismissal of founding member Pete Willis. Collen had previously been a member of a glam band named "Girl." (thanks, Michael - San Diego, CA)
While some individual members had serious problems with drugs and alcohol, the band was quite tame when they toured, avoiding the typical Rock mayhem and excess. Said Elliott: "Since rock bands discovered accountants, they don't throw TVs out of windows at 500 quid a time."
Their two biggest albums, Pyromania and Hysteria, were released around the same time as Michael Jackson's Thriller and Bad, and spent a lot of time at #2 on the album charts as a result.
Many British bands move out of England when they become famous to avoid the heavy taxes, which is known as becoming a "Tax Exile." Def Leppard did this in 1984, moving to Ireland so they could keep more of their money.
It wasn't until their 1987 Hysteria album that they broke out in their home country of England. Their biggest success was in America, where Pyromania sold almost 7 million copies, but just 60,000 in England.
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