Why Joe Elliott Punched Rick Allen


Def Leppard started their musical journey in 1977. After a couple of lineup changes, the band consisted of vocalist Joe Elliott, bassist Rick Savage, drummer Rick Allen, guitarist Phil Collen, and Vivian Campbell. Their success came after two full-length studio albums, and the ’80s and ’90s were their prime years of commercial success. Def Leppard released their twelfth studio album ‘Diamond Star Halos’ this past May. It was their first studio album in seven years since their self-titled album was released in 2015. However, it is important to remember that success sometimes brings tough times.

As with any other band, there have been several instances where Def Leppard members have been at odds. They’ve been in the same band for many years, so always remaining calm and collected has been almost impossible. However, Def Leppard did something that many other bands failed to do. They prioritized the music and focused on the bigger picture rather than getting stuck on personal feelings for each other. Nonetheless, there have been some heated arguments between band members, and in 1994 a hand-to-hand fight broke out between Joe Elliott and Rick Allen in Spain over a woman.

Joe Elliot And Rick Allen’s Fight Over A Woman


The years between 1994 and 1996 were filled with gratifying moments for Def Leppard, like an album release, but also several hardships like arrests and fights between band members. Def Leppard’s journey in Spain started in 1994 when they decided to record most of their upcoming album at a house in Marbella. The album held a significant meaning as the band was trying to catch the signature sound they were known for, and the sixth studio album ‘Slang’ was released on 14 May 1996.

While working on the album, certain band members were in troubled waters. It was a difficult time for the band as drummer Rick Allen and lead singer Joe Elliott were arrested for spousal abuse and assault. Even though they tried to move past their mistakes during the recording of ‘Slang,’ it was a mentally challenging year for the entire band.

This challenging time unavoidably affected their relationships with each other, and at some point, Joe Elliott and Rick Allen got into a fight over a woman. However, when Elliott reflected on the situation, he told Q Magazine’s July 1999 issue that it had been a tough year. Hence, it affected his mood and actions, including the punch he threw at Rick Allen. However, he said it was done and dusted very quickly, and they were back to normal the next morning.

Joe Elliott’s words about his punch at Rick Allen:

“Rick, our drummer, in Spain, 1994. I was having a, let’s say, ‘turbulent time’ in my personal life. Basically, we had a scrap over women. It was all over in about two seconds. We kissed and made up the next morning.”

Sure there were disagreements and misunderstandings between band members, and there have been occasions where the situation got physical. However, they managed to stay together, focus on the future, explore where they wanted Def Leppard to go, and pay attention to how fans perceived them.