The Lynyrd Skynyrd Song Steve Clark Played To Join Def Leppard
Steve Clark had been interested in music since a young age, and he attended his first concert when he was only six years old. When he was 11, Clark’s father gave him a guitar and urged him to learn to play it. The guitarist then started to study classical guitar, but Jimmy Page and Led Zeppelin’s sound helped him shape his own when he listened to the band at a friend’s house.
Before starting a musical career, Steve Clark worked as a lathe operator at an engineering firm. Later, he started playing cover songs with his band Electric Chicken. During that period, he met Def Leppard’s original guitarist and founding member Pete Willis at a technical college. He did not know that this encounter would mark the beginning of his rise to prominence.
Pete Willis saw that Steve Clark was reading a book about guitars. After this caught his attention, Willis approached Clark and asked whether he played guitar. Def Leppard was in search of a second guitarist at that time, so Pete thought Steve could join them. Although he invited the guitarist to come and audition, Clark didn’t show up. Later, Willis and Joe Elliott came across Clark again at a Judas Priest gig, and Willis invited the guitarist again.
Finally, in January 1978, Steve Clark came to audition for Def Leppard. The song Clark chose to play during the audition was Lynyrd Skynyrd’s ‘Free Bird.’ This song is Lynyrd Skynyrd’s signature song, and it’s known for being the longest in their catalog. However, the guitarist did a splendid job playing ‘Free Bird’ from beginning to end without needing accompaniment.
Steve Clark’s guitar playing impressed the Def Leppard members, especially Joe Elliott. In the following years, the guitarist earned the nickname ‘riff master’ for his astonishing creativity and ability to provide catchy tunes. The first album Clark appeared as the band’s guitarist was the debut album ‘On Through the Night,’ and his first live appearance was their debut public performance in Mosborough/Sheffield.
When Phil Collen joined the band, Steve Clark teamed up with him to form Def Leppard’s unique twin guitar sound. The two eventually became close friends and were dubbed Terror Twins by the fans. Although things were going pretty well for the guitarist, his alcohol addiction started negatively affecting him. Sadly, he passed away on January 8, 1991. However, he is still remembered as a talented guitarist who helped create Def Leppard’s unique sound.