Rock’s Last Two Standing Vocalists, According To Joe Elliott Of Def Leppard
The popular saying goes that ‘rock is dead,’ and the legend has it that an average rock fan might get to hear this once too many times in their lifetimes. Well, people love stating that almost like it’s a fact, and it could be annoying for any rock fan to come face to face with the saying whenever they’re talking about anything related to music.
I mean, even the KISS icon Gene Simmons enjoyed stating that the genre that turned him into a major player in the industry was dead, though it would be much more appropriate to say, perhaps, rock isn’t dead, but it’s just gotten a bit tired. This saying could be much more fitting to the current circumstances surrounding the veteran genre, as any average fan might agree that rock is far from over.
And maybe, Def Leppard singer Joe Elliott would also agree with me on how much-tired rock had gotten in these last few decades, as he also believed that the once-model rockers the community adored had turned into lesser versions of themselves while struggling to fill in the shoes of what they were once.
Well, as Elliott didn’t believe that ‘rock was dead,’ as Simmons did, he had come to accept that some legends weren’t as iconic as they were. Still, he had a firm belief when it came to mentioning two frontpeople, who he believed to be the last standing figures of the genre and never held back while performing and leaving people to think how ‘rock and roll wasn’t dead, after all.’
So, Joe chatted with Spencer Patterson in 2002 while the pair talked about everything from the rocker’s then-latest record, ‘X,’ to the current standing of the rock community. The singer was talking about his own live shows when the topic drifted to how he had to bring his vocals one octave down to perform well, while also adding David Bowie and Robert Plant also couldn’t perform high notes as well as they used to.
However, when it came to naming two other frontpeople, Elliott couldn’t help but sing their praises and appreciate them for how much of avid performers they were, as he felt that the last two standing rock vocalists were Van Halen’s Sammy Hagar and Aerosmith icon Steven Tyler, noting how they never held back on stage despite their age or worried that pitches could hurt their vocal sound.
Def Leppard frontman on why Hagar and Tyler were the last two standing rockers of the scene:
“[Did bringing an octave down helped with his vocals?] Of course. There’s very few people that can stay up there all the time. [David] Bowie’s come down very low in recent years, and Robert Plant doesn’t really go for the high notes that much anymore. There are only two singers I’m aware of that still have the pipes they had when they first came out: Sammy Hagar and Steven Tyler.”
So, it seems that although Bowie, Plant, and Elliott himself preferred to bring an octave down while singing high notes while performing, Hagar and Tyler proved that rock was as alive as it were years ago, as the duo never held back on live shows and sang as well as they had been doing years ago.