During an appearance on Rock Hard With Jay Conroy, Def Leppard vocalist Joe Elliot looked back on the struggles they went through over the years.
Here’s what Joe said:
“Yeah, it’s true, you know, it’s part of our life. You could argue it probably has been our life. We’ve all got families now, kids and stuff, being married, being divorced… parents die and kids are born… we were realistic to the way it is.
“If you compare what’s happened to, say, Lynyrd Skynyrd, they win. You survive a plane crash, and you get shot by a farmer, are you kidding me?
“These things happen to everybody in the street if you look at it from a realistic point of view. We’ve had a drummer losing an arm, and we have a guitarist who died, we’ve all had like flu, cough, pneumonia, colds, whatever, cancer, health issues, whatever – everybody in the street has had those.
“Some random people, if you took your microphone and walked and just took five random people and asked them what’s happened to them for the last 42 years, you get a story that might be equal to ours.
“But you wouldn’t get the highs. I doubt very much you’d collectively have people going, ‘Yeah, I won five million on the lottery as well.’ You wouldn’t have five people all winning the lottery. We all won the f*cking lottery, all of us.
“I think what it is, is that grit, having been Yorkshire boys mostly at the time we started out, specifically being English, coming out of parents who’ve survived World War II, having this sensibility of like, ‘If you get a chance to do something, don’t mess about.’
Joe further talked about working hard and how people think the band members are lazy rockstars.
“We work extremely hard, people might consider, ‘They only tour for four months a year, so there’s another eight months sitting on a deck chair in the Bahamas.’ No. absolutely not.
“We have a family to look after and be with, I’m doing two radio shows, we’re writing songs, Vivian’s with Last in Line, I’ve got Down N’ Outz, Phil [Collen]’s got Delta Deep and possibly still got Man Raze, Rick Allen is the only one that doesn’t do another activity.
“We work hard all the time behind the scenes. It’s like a car engine: if you’ve got the hood, you close the lid you can’t see it, but it’s still working, and that’s us. We’re behind the curtains, they are pulled, but in that room, it’s an engine, and we are always doing something, it’s just that people don’t know about it.
“I’m talking to you now, I’ve done two others today, I also got two tomorrow. I’m promoting this record [‘This Is How We Roll’ by Down N’ Outz]. This is work, but to me, pleasurable work.
“It’s not ‘work’ as in going down the coal mine, but it’s work, and it has to be done. But it energizes me, it doesn’t exhaust me. And that’s why I’m so full of beans to do this at the age of 60 because it’s like, ‘Well, what else am I gonna do?’ I enjoy what I do, what I consider doing pretty well.
“I’ve had my moments when I wasn’t in great shape, but that was more to do with health. I had pneumonia on the last Down N’ Outz tour, but I still did the tour. I was told by people that I must be mad, but the fact is that I didn’t find out ’til after we did the last gig. ‘You’ve got pneumonia, son.’ ‘Oh, sh*t!’
“So you know, I lost my voice when we had to cancel. But [Dio bassist] Jimmy Bain lost his life [in 2016], and that’s the scenario right there: I lost my voice – big f*cking deal. Jimmy lost his life.
“I got my voice back because I worked really hard with a vocal coach every day, every single day for 16 months, to get my voice back and it’s better than it ever was before.
“A lot of rockstars are lazy, and a lot of rock stars are thought of as lazy, like, ‘Ah, you guys do drugs and sh*g women and smoke reefer and drink beer.’ Punk-rock was an enormous part of my life. You wouldn’t think that listening to my music necessarily, but honestly, the attitude, punk was a lifesaver.”