On this past Friday's (September 10) edition of "Sixx Sense", the new national radio program hosted by MÖTLEY CRÜE bassist Nikki Sixx, Joe Elliott (DEF LEPPARD) attempted to clarify the comments he made a couple of years ago about bands like MÖTLEY CRÜE and POISON, both of whom were part of the so-called "glam-rock" scene in Los Angeles, and how DEF LEPPARD managed to avoid being compared to them. An excerpt from the conversation between Sixx and Elliott follows below.
Sixx: "In the past at some point, with DEF LEPPARD and MÖTLEY CRÜE both out there, there was kind of this, like, struggle. I remember seing some stuff that you said kind of degrading to MÖTLEY and I remember a couple of times just feeling MÖTLEY might have taken a couple of swipes back. I don't even understand what happened. Do you?"
Elliott: "A couple of years ago, I got kind of sideswiped by a journalist in a tent where I couldn't hear what he was saying and he couldn't hear what I was saying. [See video below.] And somebody said something along the lines of, "What does it feel like to you when you are consistently compared to other bands like..." And I think two of the bands they mentioned were POISON and MÖTLEY CRÜE. It wasn't a particular swipe at anybody. They were mentioning other bands like WINGER and WARRANT and RATT. And I was basically trying to say to the guy I don't see where the comparison is. So that gets taken out of context, where I said that I think we have more substance than those bands. And, of course, had I not been too jetlagged or I stopped talking 'cause I couldn't hear myself 'cause the tent was next to the stage, I would have gone on to say, 'But I don't actually believe that all those bands that you just mentioned are coming into the category of what I'm talking about.' And I did say about 48 hours later in another interview that MÖTLEY CRÜE have gotta be taken out of that equation, because I've got about six or seven of your albums on my CD shelf. So I wouldn't do that anyway. My point was that I just don't like being compared to anybody, even if it's somebody better than us, like the STONES and THE BEATLES. I wanted us to be a stand-alone and this guy was trying to put us in a category that was essentially Sunset Boulevard . . . And when you put these things in print or you hear it out of context, it doesn't always add up. I don't care enough to hate a band; I mean, there's no point — I just don't listen if I don't like them. You guys, I listen. I check out most of the stuff that you do when it comes out, whether it's be Vince [Neil] singing, whether it be John Corabi, whether it be you guys doing a cover of 'White Punks On Dope'. If I'm going that deep, I'm not gonna be sitting there slagging you off — it's just stupid. But, like I said, we all can be found guilty of getting fed up with the same questions and then you kind of flippantly answer one and end up acidentally knocking somebody else over that you don't intend to."
Joe Elliott's appearance on "Sixx Sense" can be heard below.
During the June 6, 2008 press conference at the Sweden Rock Festival in Sölvesborg, Sweden, Elliott was asked how his band managed to avoid getting caught up in the whole "glam-rock" scene of the '80s even after citing such image-oriented artists as MICK RONSON, DAVID BOWIE and T.REX as major influences.
"If you actually look at the way that the 'glam' bands, if you want to call it that, from Los Angeles dressed themselves up, they totally missed the point," Elliott replied. "When English glam bands from the '70s came on 'Top of the Pops' [long-running British music chart television program], it was almost an afterthought to what they were actually doing — music always came first, and then they'd be like, 'What are we gonna wear?' . . . Bowie was very image-driven, and maybe the music came second, but a lot of the other bands, it was always about the music — the image thing was just something that they did to just upstage other bands on 'Top of the Pops'; that's what they used to do. So we were never driven to do the mascara thing or whatever these bands did. They didn't have any substance musically, I don't think, in comparison to us, so we didn't feel we needed to do it. Bands that do that are doing it to cover up the fact that there is no substance in their music. The only band — and I'm not saying it because we're here — the only band that did pull it off was [Finland's] HANOI ROCKS. I thought HANOI ROCKS were a good band, and they looked… Michael Monroe [HANOI frontman] was one of the best… I would have shagged him. [Laughs] I like Michael, I think he's sexy, and I'm not gay. And I think Andy McCoy [HANOI guitarist] does the best kind of Keith Richards... so much better than MÖTLEY CRÜE or POISON or any of those bands. They [HANOI ROCKS] were real — the rest of the guys, it was all a bit fake for me."
In a July 18, 2008 message posted at DEF LEPPARD's official web site, Elliott attempted to clarify his remarks, saying, "I was simply making the following simple point when I said a lot of those Hollywood bands weren't 'real' (or whatever I said)... I was born Joseph Elliott, Sav was born Richard Savage, Rick was born Richard Allen, Phil was born Philip Collen, Viv was born Vivian Campbell, and oh, Steve was born Stephen Clark. . . It's nothing personal, it was just an answer to a question."
Joe Elliott interviewed on "Sixx Sense":
Elliott's original comment (recorded in June 2008):