UK's The Observer recently conducted an interview with DEF LEPPARD frontman Joe Elliott for the publication's "Travel" section. A fewe excerpts from the chat follow.
To get around on tour
"We used to have our own plane with the band's name on the side. It was a dream come true. You drive to a local airport. There's none of this checking in stuff; you just get on the plane. It was only a little 12-seater it wasn't like a LED ZEPPELIN Boeing 757 that we'd hollowed out and put condom machines and stripper poles in. It was Elvis' old plane, a G1, the only one that he physically flew. It was still in service so we rented it. You don't buy a plane if you're going to be on the road; you rent it. It was painted black and had purple trim with DEF LEPPARD on the side, which is a bit cheesy but you've got to do it."
We gave up on the plane...
"After we went through a bit of turbulence and the plane shot 1,500 feet into the air in a second and a half and the propellers were about to freeze, so the pilots had to nose-dive the plane. That gave us zero gravity for about a second and a half so everything in the plane started to float, including us, and when we got gravity back we shot backwards at 220mph into a toilet door. Three of the band decided after that they didn't want to fly any more. I took it as a glitch and would still like the plane, but the majority vote wins. When we went back to buses we split into three different units. You've got a veggie bus, a family bus and the attack bus, which is the one with the drinking and the music that I'm on."
It took us 10 years...
"To do well in Britain. We started in 1977 and didn't have a hit here until 1987 but at the same time we were almost outselling MICHAEL JACKSON in the States. Touring over there was great, much easier than going round Europe because of the lack of borders. Here you would get to the German border and the Gestapo would have your hubcaps off looking for dope and keep you there for three hours just because you had long hair. Six weeks of that and you never want to go back."
The best audience in the world ...
"Much as I'd rather say Sheffield, it is Montral. Why, I do not know. I mean, they're half-French, for Christ's sake, but they get it. It's weird."
Read more from The Observer.
DEF LEPPARD performing "Nine Lives" in Atlantic City: