In a recent conversation with Classic Rock, Def Leppard’s guitarist, Phil Collen, and singer Joe Elliott recalled a moment of the band’s performance from 2005 that looked like rock bottom for Leppard, as they performed in a Mississippi state fair.
Here’s what both musicians said:
Elliot: “In one sense, state fairs are like every other gig, big stage, big audience. But there’s a stigma that comes with it. It’s the difference between an eighties artist like Madonna doing six nights at Wembley and an eighties package tour featuring Marc Almond and the Thompson Twins at Butlin’s.
“And at a state fair, you’re just one of the attractions, along with a big wheel and firework display, and a juggling pig or whatever. It’s not exactly Madison Square Garden.”
Collen: “It was like a carnival, if you can imagine doing a gig at a carnival. They put f**king deck chairs out!
”It was full-on Spinal Tap. Like: ‘Are we going on before the puppet show?’ I was so pi**ed off. I just thought: ‘I don’t want to do this anymore.'”