Def Leppard on Rock Hall Induction: ‘It’s a Good Club to Be In’
"Guys, girls, everybody, thank you so much for voting for us for the 2019 nomination for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame," singer Joe Elliott said. "We are now inductees. We will be there in March because you voted for us. Thank you so much." Elliott went into greater depth on the importance of the band's fans in an interview with Rolling Stone.
"I think it is a nice badge of honor," he said. "I don’t think it’s going to make too much difference to many people. It was something that we weren’t overly concerned about until the fan vote thing became a major part of it. The people that really matter to every band are the audience. You have a filter to it. You have to go through media, radio, TV, A&R men to get to an audience, but the audience is the prime target to any artist. Now the people on the [nominating] committee, none of us know who they are. But once the fan vote became an important thing and that’s when we started thinking, 'Okay, now this starts meaning something.'"
Elliott added that, during the nomination process, the band tried to keep a level head about the whole thing. But all that has changed with the news. "Now we can stop holding our breath and go, 'Great! How wonderful to be in the same club as the Rolling Stones and the Beatles and the Who and Queen and etc., etc,” he said. "It’s nice. It’s a good club to be in."
Even though they've been eligible since 2005, this was Def Leppard's first year on the ballot. They'll be inducted at a ceremony in March along with Stevie Nicks, the Zombies, Janet Jackson, Roxy Music, Radiohead and the Cure. Their election is a well-deserved victory lap for the group, which rose out of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal to become one of the bestselling bands of all time.
After a 1979 self-titled EP and their first LP, On Through the Night, failed to find a large audience, Def Leppard hooked up with producer Robert John "Mutt" Lange for High 'n' Dry. That partnership paid off handsomely in the ensuing years, with Pyromania and Hysteria both selling more than 10 million copies. Success continued into the next decade with 1992's Adrenalize. They've continued to record, putting out six albums between 1996 and 2015. They've also maintained a very busy touring calendar.
Still, their success has not been without some hardships. On Dec. 31, 1984, drummer Rick Allen lost his left arm in a car crash, though he was able to remain in the band through the use of foot pedals. Then in 1991, guitarist Steve Clark died as a result of prescription drug and alcohol abuse. More recently, Vivian Campbell, who took over for Clark, has battled Hodgkin's lymphoma, and has been receiving immunotherapy treatment since 2015.