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NeoConMan

Steve Clark/Def Leppard - the good old days...

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Surfing around on YouTube I saw something about Def Leppard.

Like all of us, I have my own perspective of the bands I like (or used to like) and this is no exception.

 

I first heard of them when their album High 'N Dry came out, I still have it on vinyl.

They had yet to get on the radio much, and this was before the MTV age brought videos to all who had cable TV.

New rock n roll was hard to come by in the small Kansas town I grew up in, we had no FM radio stations.

Really.

 

(Think of the movie "Footloose" and you get the idea - Bible Belt and all. THAT'S where I grew up...)

 

As I recall, an older guy in town who did DJ work on weekends was the one who introduced me and a couple

friends to the band. We were still in high school, and somehow wound up at his house during a traveling party.

 

(Long story, but about a dozen of us were pretty loaded, driving around our tiny town trying to find a party.)

 

I didn't know the guy that well, but when he discovered a few of us were pretty keen on hard rock guitar,

he began pulling out album after album and was on a roll sorta DJ-ing a "concert" in his living room.

He was one of the lucky guys with a massive amp and two sets of Bose 901's for his home stereo....

 

Most of the partiers got bored and left, we ran out of beer and sobered up listening good jams till dawn.

 

He asked if we had heard of Def Leppard, and we all laughed at the name thinking it was some "Weird Al" thing.

Well, he put on the album and began skipping around trying to demo the good stuff. He finally gave up and simply

played the whole album front to back. He explained that they had a previous album out already but he had been

unable to find it anywhere. Turns out he was talking about On Through The Night which I bought later.

 

Anyway, High 'N Dry was loaded front to back with dueling guitars (which is the lead?) and every song

kicks serious Les Paul/Marshall stack ***. I was HOOKED! "Mirror, Mirror (Look Into My Eyes)" was a standout.

 

I managed to find the album in another town 60 miles away, and recorded it onto cassette for my car.

AC/DC's Back In Black/Highway To Hell had been the most played tapes in my beer-fueled travels to that point.

I just didn't see how rock n roll could get any better than that, but these other skinny kids from Britain did.

 

A few months later my folks sold their business and decided to retire to the central Oklahoma countryside.

Still in high school, I was horrified. Middle of my Junior year, and I'm leaving the town I grew up in.

Hated the whole thing, but living near OK City I discovered the magic of FM Rock radio - and all the concerts.

Within weeks of moving there, I fell in with the rocker crowd and bought tickets to every concert coming to town.

 

By this time, Def Leppard was a "new" band being played on the radio, and then we heard they were touring.

When MTV started, they were pushing DL pretty hard, especially with their next album Pyromania coming.

 

Well, I wasn't that impressed with the new album, and I hated "Rock Of Ages" because it sounded like pop.

It literally reminded me of the cheerleading routines we had to suffer through at every high school game.

"Foolin'" and "Billy's Got A Gun" I liked okay, but I was quickly tiring of "Photograph" because it was EVERYWHERE.

 

Then I saw on a video where Phil Collen replaced Pete Willis on guitar.

Logically, I blamed him for the bubble-gum poppiness they were leaning towards by then.

 

Oh well, Steve Clark was still there, and he was one-half of the best guitar duo I'd heard.

I went to see them on the Pyromania tour, and felt as if they were more concerned with pyro and effects.

The early rockers were there, but the concert didn't deliver the goods the way High 'N Dry did in my car.

 

Fast forward through all the torturous Hysteria bullsh!t, the drummer losing an arm and using electric drums,

heavier use of synthesizers, and all the 13 year old girls screaming everytime Def Leppard came on the radio...

I felt as if the band had abandoned what they did better than almost anybody - ROCK.

 

Then Clark dies....

 

Here's a video clip that stimulated my descent into nostalgia, the montage at the end is set to "Switch 625."

 

[YOUTUBE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gN0f4_KV5g0[/YOUTUBE]

 

 

 

Here's a fan site dedicated to Clark that I found, some good info there;

www.steveclarkguitar.com

 

 

 

Look, they've made millions and millions of dollars, sold out shows around the world.

Phil Collen and Vivian Campbell are great guitar players.

But that band had - in my opinion - the promise of ranking up there with AC/DC, Judas Priest and Iron Maiden.

The energy, the non-stop dueling guitars, the songwriting, it was all there for a few short years.

They could have been Hard Rock Heavyweights, a legend, inspiring young guitar players around the world.

 

They could be selling tickets to somebody besides all those 13 year old girls who grew up, and are now

taking their own 13 year old daughters to see them in concert now....

 

I have no idea what they've been doing since they released Adrenalize about the time Clark died.

At that point, everything I heard from them sucked ***, so I just kept searching through the stations.

 

The super-duper producer "Mutt" Lange had produced many of the late seventies/early eighties biggest rock

albums, and I began to notice his influence, especially in the 'ladies, shake your asses' drum beats I first heard

on Pyromania and then became so common by the time he married Shania Twain and marketed her to the world.

 

 

 

 

All of you who think you know who Def Leppard is, especially if you've dismissed them as pop balladeers,

you owe it to yourself to get High 'N Dry - maybe just think of it as being from a different band.

 

Because it is.

 

 

Def_Leppard_-_High_%27n%27_Dry.jpg

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_%27n%27_Dry

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i love the album high n dry, i had it on a few weeks ago when my bro came round to "rock out" [thumbup], faves on there are (another hit and run) (you got me runnin) (let it go)...iv'e also got the adrenalize cd, def leppard rock!!!!!!! :-s

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I enjoyed reading the story Neo. All of it. Thanks for sharing the memories...

 

 

As for Def Leppard, I completely agree that they could have been ''immortalized on the Rock and Roll Pantheon'', but they chose to take ''the road more travelled...''. Too bad, at least for us...

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"Anyway, High 'N Dry was loaded front to back with dueling guitars (which is the lead?) and every song

kicks serious Les Paul/Marshall stack ***"

 

I thought the same thing when that High & Dry ALBUM(Ah, vinyl) dropped in`81.

 

"AC/DC's Back In Black/Highway To Hell had been the most played tapes in my beer-fueled travels to that point.

I just didn't see how rock n roll could get any better than that, but these other skinny kids from Britain did"

 

I also played Back In Black so much in my car stereo think I went through two cassettes in that first year it was out.

 

"But that band had - in my opinion - the promise of ranking up there with AC/DC, Judas Priest and Iron Maiden.

The energy, the non-stop dueling guitars, the songwriting, it was all there for a few short years."

 

I had high hopes for them too.

Incredible young talent, good songs, it was all there.

I think the video age both helped them out, and did them in.

It got them noticed, but I think it dictated the direction of the band musically. Too bad.

I remember back then, it was a real bonus if the DJ played "Bringin' On The Heartbreak" and then let it roll into "Switch 625".

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I loved the early Def Leppard albums, after Pyromania I just don't like any of their material.

 

Songs like Pour some sugar on me or Rock it, make me cringe.

 

They claim they "survived" the 80's, sure but at what cost?

 

Anyway the first 3 albums will always be there.

 

P.S. Bringing on the Heartache did not need a remake, and then they add keyboards to it?, yikes.

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I actually bought the first album in 1980 when it came out just because I thought the cover was cool with a 18 wheeler hauling a Les Paul. I got it at Woolworths in the mall if anyone remembers that chain of cheap stores. I was 14 at the time.

 

[YOUTUBE]

[/YOUTUBE]

 

[YOUTUBE]

[/YOUTUBE]

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Yeah, Neo. My buddy had both High and Dry and On Through The Night. We used to listen to them in his room and thought they totally rocked. When Pyromania came out, we all thought they pretty much turned in to a girls rock band.

 

I remember a teacher joking one time about all the binders he saw that belonged to a Def Leppard! :)

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I'm definitely a fan of those first two albums. The first time I saw Def Leppard, they were the opening act for Billy Squier. That bad has had a HUGE influence on my tastes in guitar tones, especially the High N Dry album. One of the riffs I always play to check my setup is the opening line for "Rock Brigade."

 

To give you an idea, here's a rough mix of a recent recording of my band. The low end is a bit thick overall as we do all our own recording and are still getting accustomed to mixing with the set of monitors we have and everything was recorded live except the vocals were overdubbed. My guitar is the crunchy one and I play the (sloppy) solo. I think you'll definitely hear that Def Leppard midrange.

 

This is one of our powerpop songs. Be gentle: http://www.richci.com/ridefaraway.mp3

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First time I saw them was at the Glens Falls Civic Center. They opened for Ozzy on his first tour (With Randy). They were excellent as was Ozzy. Saw them again on the same tour at the Palace theater in Albany NY opening for Blackfoot of all bands...

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Oh yeah, I'm a big Blackfoot fan but I never saw 'em live.

 

I skipped Ozzy (with Randy) because I didn't have the cash for tickets.

I'd already bought tickets for several other shows (and enticed charming nubile young girls to go along) so it

simply wasn't in the cards for me to fit Ozzy in as well. Most of my friends went.

 

3 weeks later Randy was dead.

 

 

 

 

Bringing on the Heartache did not need a remake' date=' and then they add keyboards to it?[/quote']

Yeah, that made me want to smash my own damned radio...

Took me awhile to figure out how that all went down -

 

As soon as Pyromania hit so big, it was on the 'Format of the Future' - compact disc.

The scramble was on to get High N Dry out on disc as well, and so it was decided to make it different.

Gotta have something new to offer folks to entice them to buy the album again in the new format.

 

So somebody had the bright idea "Hey, let's add some cool synth parts to it..."

All the radio stations had gone to discs at that point, so that's the version that went on the radio.

 

:-k:-&

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Woolworths in the mall if anyone remembers that chain of cheap stores.

I was 14 at the time.

Hah!

Woolworth's...

 

And we're the same age - I turned fifteen in September of 1980.

And I was already active in politics locally - and a young rocker.

Go figure.

 

(Carter wanted four more years to finish everything he started? No thanks....)

 

 

 

When Pyromania came out' date=' we all thought they pretty much turned in to a girls rock band. [/quote']

Yeah, am I right?

The same drum beats went right on to appear in Shania Twain's "country" music in the nineties?

 

Fxcking Mutt Lange - traitorous bastard...

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a HUGE influence on my tastes in guitar tones' date=' especially the High N Dry album.[/quote']

Ditto.

That's the tone that latched onto the the hair on the back of my neck and raised the fur on my arms.

Still does...

 

 

 

My guitar is the crunchy one and I play the (sloppy) solo.

Be gentle: http://www.richci.com/ridefaraway.mp3

Um...

Rich' date=' [b']your[/b] guitar sounds pretty good, the solo is the high point of the song...

 

:-k

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Um...

Rich' date=' [b']your[/b] guitar sounds pretty good, the solo is the high point of the song...

 

[thumbup]

 

Thanks, man! :)

 

I mostly wing my solos (I have a loose plan) so sometimes they come out better than others.

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I agree with you all.Another weird thing,or at least in the area in which I live,is,the old albums,High N Dry ,etc,are rarely found in any music stores .Some reason ,the older stuff must not sell as much as the poppy stuff so they don't stock it.I needed to re purchase High N Dry couple years back because my original was damaged.Was not easy to find

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Here's some Steve Clark trivia. Steve played a Gibson in every promo video he did except one. What video was it & what guitar did he play.

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Videos? I dunno, I don't watch many.

Guitar? My guess would be Hamer.

 

I'll wait for an answer until you get a few more guesses...

 

[thumbup]

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To give you an idea' date=' here's a rough mix of a recent recording of my band. The low end is a bit thick overall as we do all our own recording and are still getting accustomed to mixing with the set of monitors we have and everything was recorded live except the vocals were overdubbed. My guitar is the crunchy one and I play the (sloppy) solo. I think you'll definitely hear that Def Leppard midrange.

 

This is one of our powerpop songs. Be gentle: http://www.richci.com/ridefaraway.mp3[/quote']

 

 

Hey Rich, I just heard it man! Really nice tone you have there and DL can certainly be traced in it! And the solo is not sloppy at all, it has a very rock- ''just going for it'' attitude! Congrats man! And keep it up! [biggrin]

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