Joe Elliott Recalls Def Leppard Opening For Ritchie Blackmore, ‘It Was A Disaster’


Def Leppard singer Joe Elliott recently joined an interview with Rockland Radio and remembered when the band performed as a supporting act for Ritchie Blackmore‘s Rainbow. Elliott defined one of their concerts with the group as a disaster by explaining the main reasons behind that.

High ‘n’ Dry‘ is the second studio album of Def Leppard, released on July 6, 1981, and it got critical acclaim and hit the charts worldwide. AC/DC producer Mutt Lange’s touch on the record, the band members extraordinary performances as musicians, and well-crafted sounds and lyrics contributed to the international popularity and commercial success. The band became a groundbreaking act for the rock stage following the album.

In addition, shortly after their finished creation and recording process, the band joined iconic groups such as Judas Priest, Ozzy Osbourne, Rainbow, and Blackfoot for their various tours. Elliott recalled performing in Essen, 1981, opening for Rainbow while talking about an unforgettable memory in Germany. The singer revealed that they hit the road the day after they finished working on their second album.

Therefore, the Def Leppard members didn’t have time to rehearse and weren’t playing live for more than a year. The band walked onto the stage without even a soundcheck. Elliott stated that the opening turned into a disaster because of these circumstances. Even though he couldn’t read reviews about that night in Germany, he was sure that Def Leppard got very negative comments.

When asked about his memories while touring in Germany, Elliott said:

“I’ve got plenty of them. They’re not always good; some are pretty grim, like 1981. We were opening for Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow, and we flew in the day after we finished recording the ‘High ‘n’ Dry’ album. So we didn’t have a chance to rehearse, and I believe that the first gig was in Essen.

We literally walked on the stage with no soundcheck. We hadn’t played a gig for over a year, so you can imagine it was a disaster. I know the reviews were awful, I couldn’t read them because they were in German, but everybody was telling me, ‘What are reviews saying?’ I said, ‘You don’t want to know.’ Looking at that’s now 41 years ago, and it’s a distant memory. That’s become a bit of an anecdote within the band.”

You can watch the video below.