Archive for February, 2010

20. DEF LEPPARD – Part Six

February 19, 2010

Well, here we go with the last DEF LEPPARD blog – though I’m sure they’ll crop up again later. Promise.

‘Euphoria’ …

Euphoria‘ was a difficult one, but challenge is always welcomed and usually beneficial. I hadn’t worked with the guys for seven years. They’d decided to use another graphic designer after ‘Adrenalize’, which is entirely their prerogative of course. When it first happened to me – a band using a new designer – I was upset and probably a little defensive too. You soon realise though – not to take it personally. With experience you learn to understand that a combination of factors contributes to the decision. Things change that’s all – priorities, record labels, management, trends, record sales and visual styles. Change is the one thing that’s inevitable and should be embraced.

Of course, I was disappointed. I’d worked with DEF LEPPARD throughout their phenomenal rise to fame, sharing exciting, tragic and amazing times, so I knew I would miss working with them enormously. It sounds cleched I know, but  after working with them for so long and enjoying it so much, it took a while to adjust to – professionally and emotionally. It’s strange though – writing the blog about working with the band made me realise there were things I probably didn’t fully appreciate at the time. The ease of the way the design process worked with the band on ‘Pyromania’, ‘Hysteria’ and ‘Adrenalize’ was, in some ways, taken for granted. Now, in retrospect, I see what a fortunate and mutually creative experience it was for all of us.

In 1998 I was asked to do ‘Euphoria’. I knew it was going to be tough. I’d checked out the interim releases – ‘Retro Active’ (a collection of ‘B’-sides and unreleased material from 1983/4) ‘Vault’, (their first collection of greatest hits) and ‘Slang’ (a serious musical departure) and the artwork for each was as disparate as the three albums. ‘Euphoria’, we all felt, had to re-establish some ground rules. The band had returned to its classic sound with the album and it was logical to do the same with the graphics – back to basics so to speak. We decided, almost from the beginning, to pare right down and concentrate on their iconic (and established) logo.

To introduce the new look, I worked on a promo CD. It was simple and retrospective but contemporary too. Crucially it was a ‘classic’ design reflecting the content of the CD. I still like this cover for many reasons. It’s apparent simplicity is deceptive. Although it’s essentially an exercise in typography, every aspect of it was considered very carefully – the spaces between every single letter (remember ‘kerning’ in ’11. DEAD OR ALIVE – Part One’?) were adjusted, especially in the title; the gradation of colour adds dimension to an otherwise flat image and the three components are perfectly balanced and placed. The title typefaces, using heavy and light versions of the same typeface works well to define the play on words of ‘DEF’ and ‘DEFINITIVE’. I see this style used everywhere now …

… in our interwebworld where spaceshavebecomeredundant

and words need to be separated visually without them.


The CD sleeve presented the logo as a three-dimensional lenticular image. Different versions of the image were combined to create the CD booklet cover. This is how the printed CD cover looks outside its customised case …

Inside its lenticular CD case the image sharpens, and the logo and the ‘lightbursts’ are animated. Here, unfortunately, I can only show you one of the several images which appear when the case is flipped back and forth – creating the animated effect …

I can understand why, after three strong image-based album designs, that this cover appears somewhat simplistic and I do understand Roland’s ‘comment’ – ‘Pyromania, great, Hysteria, genius ! Euphoria did really suck tho, nothing a 5 year old can’t do with Photoshop.’ (thanks Roland!) – but 15 years after the first designs, considerations were very different. As I’ve said before, when vinyl virtually disappeared, I found the CD cover size and format inhibiting and frustrating. A 12-inch square provided a canvas to be experimentally creative – allowing additional, interesting and detailed elements of design to be included – giving the sleeve depth and providing fans opportunity to explore different levels of artwork.

Imagine these classic vinyl sleeves being created for a 5-inch format. I don’t think so …

Because of the limited size of the CD format the design had to be more direct. As frustrating as it was it had to be a major consideration. The concept of using the emblematic logo carried through into the inner packaging. The CD insert opened out to a six-panel (28-inch wide) design, using the logo as a background to five of them. It was very satisfying creating that kind of scale within such a small packaging format – a yearning I guess for the luxury of designing for 12-inch vinyl …

Euphoria’ sold 100,000 units in its first week of release and the single ‘Promises’ (co-written by former producer, John ‘Mutte’ Lange) topped the US Billboard charts, a position the band hadn’t acheived for over six years …

… and the design concept was developed for the single releases, again bold and simple was the essence …

In 2001 I worked on a double DVD release which involved using elements from all four albums I’d created. It was a great project to work on and very enjoyable. Not only was it a history of DEF LEPPARD’s amazing achievements – it was also a condensed archive of the artwork I’d done for them.

Where to from here?

Well, Joe’s said to me …‘We’ll get you involved in the box set (if we ever do one!!) … I hope ……’  and record companies are beginning to release music in a new format – Edition Box Sets with innovative packaging and content. It would be an ideal opportunity to showcase some of the art and sketches – the stuff you all raved about on the blog …


After so long it would be cool to include stuff ‘never before seen’. It’s an over-used phrase but in this case it would be true. The guys certainly deserve something totally original – and so do the fans. Also from all the comments and e-mails from DEF LEPPARD fans on the blog, I know I have serious support. In the incredibly perceptive and discerning words of Stephie (!?) … ‘I always thought the Pyromania and Hysteria covers were unique and ahead of their time. They were nothing like the other band’s cover art and they always stood out. I wish you were still designing DL’s cover art. Perhaps on the next?’

Let’s see. It’s certainly something I’d love to do. I’ll keep you informed of progress. I’m still seriously considering an exhibition and publishing a book of all the art and the various components. What do you think?

Don’t disappear all you DEF LEPPARD fans! The blog will now move on from The Boyz (for now) but I promise you what follows will be fun and entertaining. There will be a Design Summary soon and, for those of you interested in the design process – you’ll be astonished how much you’ve learnt.

NEXT: Paul McCartney and The Mouse.

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I HAVE A SIGN

February 19, 2010

The anti-semetic and homophobic Westboro Baptist Church (its website the sensitively named godhatesfags.com) tours America and stages picket hate-a-thons outside institutions it believes ‘God Hates’ with a variety of placards and signs. The genius EDW Lynch (with pink sign below) decided to join them in San Francisco.

Before long, readers of his blog gathered and outnumbered the protesters with what can only be descibed as genius signs …

Check out www.tinyurl.com/laughsquid to see video, more signs and a way to create your own sign in case the WBC appear at a venue near you.  SO love them.

GOD HATES FLAGS

19. Part Two – The ‘Best Of The Rest’

February 18, 2010

Hey … my arm is out of its sling at last … did have some fun with it though …

Two-finger typing is sure as hell better than one – I got pretty sick of using my nose to operate the shift key(!).

I was going to add ‘The Best Of The Rest’ FANSTORIES at the end of the ‘Euphoria’ blog – to be posted tomorrow – but I think you guys deserve a blog entry of your own. These ones came close to taking the prizes. (Joe, by the way says he’s ‘loving the blog when I get the chance to go in there & go deep …’) 

Will Brenda, Sacha, Sean, Luca, Chris, Chris and Ken please e-mail your addresses from ‘Contact’ on andieairfix.com and I’ll send you all something cool …

I’m sure all the band appreciate all the fabulous entries you’ve all submitted …

So here we go …..

Brenda Guild

Hi Andie, Thanks again for the great story and history of the artwork – truly fascinating. I’m loving the blogs and now the contest – here is my entry for the Best Fan Story Contest. It’s a bit of a twist as it has to do with the band but in a different light.

It all started with the Def Leppard Lip Sync contest earlier this year. Being the huge fan I am – I figured it only made sense to enter when you have only idolized the band for over 25 years and you would do almost anything to meet them – right? Their music has touched every aspect of my life from waking up to “Let’s Get Rocked” to driving home from work to “Desert Storm and Fractured Love” and as loud as you can get. So I entered the contest knowing that I would be one of hundreds and keeping in mind that now my son would definitely have evidence to commit me when the time came around…LOL! As I uploaded the video to youtube.com, little did I know entering this contest would bring me one of the greatest gifts ever – a life long friendship with another Lep Fan, named Talia.

 Talia and I both entered the contest and we had complimented on one another’s videos. I had met several other fans during that time on line but something just clicked with us – it was like I had found a long lost sister. We both had an obsession with Joe (lordy…who wouldn’t) and I shared with her my original obsession with Steve Clark. As the contest went on – we found we not only had Def Leppard in common but our lives were so parallel it was just unbelieveable. From similar jobs to life experiences – I often refer to her now as my “sister from another mister”.

Talia was fortunate enough to be one of the contest winners to win a meet and greet with “our boys” as we like to refer to them. She was so gracious and shared every moment with me through email and videos. We kept in touch throughout the whole experience. I felt like I was right there with her and her hubby, Alex when she told the story. She was so excited and I was so happy for her. When it came time for her to do her video of her experience and send it off to be put on the website – she asked me to take a look at it. She also had told me she had made a mentioned of me in the video in a prior email. It really touched my heart that someone who I had never met would do something like that – it actually brought me to tears. I knew we had become close but it just validated to me the kind of person she was and that our friendship was definitely going to be something that lasted a lot longer than this whole contest experience. Anyhow, Im sure that her husband is now thrilled to have someone else to fuel her obsession with Def Leppard because I’m sure he doesn’t hear enough about them now! LOL!

Today, Talia and I have yet to meet as we live in different states and time zones but we talk weekly if not daily through facebook and still share our Def Leppard stories, memorabilia ,etc and now aspects of our personal lives. We are planning to go to a DL concert together once they come back to the states in 2011 (hopefully sooner as I’m in Leppression right about now!).

So to wrap up, we call it fate that Def Leppard decided to open that lip sync contest up to it’s fans. Even though I didn’t win the contest – I feel like a winner as I was blessed with one of the greatest gifts ever – a life long friend and LEPPAL! Now you can’t beat that!

Sacha Lange

Back in late 1982, my family was a quite normal suburban American family. It was my dad, my mom, my sister and me – the little brother who’d not yet been introduced to rock ‘n’ roll music.

My teenage sister asked to go to a Kansas concert with her boyfriend. It would be her first concert ever. Since my mom had heard of people being trampled to death and the other goings-on’s that occur at rock concerts, my mom’s response was, “If you want to go to the concert, I’ll take you both.”

While they were at the show, for some reason (I’ll never know), my mom, noticed that one security guard seemed to be taking light abuse (joking around) from his co-workers. So, my mom, who was quite beautiful, strolled up to that one security guard, took his arm (as if they’d known each other forever), shut up the coworkers and gave his ego a little boost.

In early 1984, it came time for my first concert. I asked to go to see my favorite artist, Ozzy Osbourne. Being fair, my mom gave me the same deal and took me to the show. When we arrived, she tracked down that security guard. Remembering my mom, he upgraded our nosebleed seats to side stage and, just before show time, he took us backstage to meet a true rock star and the Godfather of Heavy Metal – Ozzy.

As the months and years went on, my mother and I went to many shows and I was lucky enough to get front row to Van Halen, an Alex Van Halen drum stick, a personalized autograph from Billy Idol, and, in 1987, awesome seats and After Show passes to meet all five of my rock idols – Def Leppard.

These events and the surrounding encouragement influenced me greatly and set me on a lifelong path of a deep love and appreciation for music, the ambition to be a professional musician myself, and the belief that anything is possible. So, my story is actually about the one person who ever graced this Earth of whom I am (and always will be) a true fan…my mom. I love you and miss you, Mom.

Sean Goodwin

Ok, well my fan story comes from way back in 1996 when def leppard were coming to the end of their UK Slang tour. At the time I was a member of the then Def Lepp fan club and luckily for me I managed to win 2 tickets to their Rocking The Campus gig at Exeter University on november 28th!!! So I was happy, in fact very happy! only thing was to find someone to take with me. Anyway, I had a female friend (no, not a girlfriend, I wish though!) Julie, was more than happy to go to the gig.

At the time I was living in Portsmouth so it was a good couple of hours drive to Exeter. We arrived and parked up then went into the gig. It surprised me how small and intimate the gig was, only around 200 capacity. The gig was great and loud, and when Joe mentioned that they wouldn’t be doing any ballads and only doing the loud rock songs, all the women began to boo loudly and all the guys cheered!! Well, the rock songs won! There was a bit of interplay between Joe and Viv, something along the lines of “We were going to play Let It Go but Viv dont know it” at which point Viv started to play the intro much to the loud cheers from everyone! anyway there was bit more banter and the gig carried on.

After the gig the guys said their thanks and good night and would see us again sometime. At this point Julie said to me “lets try and sneak through that barrier and get out back to meet them”. I said we got no chance as their was a rather large looking security bloke there. to which she said leave it to me and promptly started to sweet talk him to try and get us through. well he was having none of it then she tried to play her trump card and said to him “how about I take care of you and give you a b*^” *”b” well, I choked on my coke! I could believe how brazen she was!! mind you neither could the bloke! and he still turned her down! no one in their right mind would ever turn down on offer like that coming from her but when he did she was totaly surprised and gobsmacked (’scuse the pun!).

After realising she wasnt going to get her way we decied to finish our drinks and started to make our way out the main door when we noticed said security bloke was no longer at the barrier. we chanced our luck and made our way past the barrier and found ourselves walking down a coridoor and found ourselves out by the bands coaches. luckily no one really cared plus there was also a few other fans already there. so I had photos taken of myself and joe, and myself and viv as well as one with phil. Rick had already got on the bus plus we had a couple of pics with a few of us together.

All in all it was a great evening and meeting most of the lepps was something else. Who knows what may have happened if she had got her way with the security bloke!!

That gig was one of the best leppard gigs I have been to, the sound was great and you weren’t getting crushed by anyone and no one was in your way and everyone had a fantastic view of the band without even having to try!! It was just a perfect gig for me and i’m sure for others that were there.

Well, should this be in the running for any prizes then i would surely love the hysteria singles artwork, it would look fantastic in my front room!!!

Sean

Luca Zerbini

1988 was definitely my Def Leppard year as a fan!

After attending the Sanremo Festival and a couple of Leps show in my country (Florence and Milan) I decided I had not enough and wanted more!

That was the age of when-there-was-no-internet when even to know the tour dates list was almost a mission-impossible (Kerrang was a must!) and when for buying a ticket for a show anywhere in Europe from my country I had to battle against the Postal Office people….

However, easy choice for my next show, Bournemouth at the BIC on the 10th April 1988.

Why Bournemouth?

First because that was my second hometown having spent months there studying English, working in a Pizzeria for earning some money (to be able to some London gigs).

Second because the family I stayed with was and still is my “UK family” and still call them mum and dad.

Third because that was the very first date of the UK tour…

Well, I think I could go on and on….

So after a quick phone call to my “UK family” I even solved the problem of buying the ticket.

The day before the show I arrived to Bournemouth and my UK mum tells me that she knows the manager of the venue and she would have tried to get me in for the soundcheck.

Unbelievable to say that happens…..

First (and last) time in my life….

You know when you wake up in the morning and you take a while to understand where you are and what you have around yourself?

That was exactly how I was feeling when I entered the BIC Concert Hall doors proudly wearing my W.O.M.A.N. cartoon shirt.

I immediately got a bit of confusion front stage with some people running here and there and some loud music onstage.

I remember I tried to get focused on the stage hoping to see Joe and the band: but I saw Loverboy while doing their soundcheck.

Nevermind (even if my real words were something else …)!!!

Then, just a second before thanking the manager of the venue and leaving the Hall I accidentally looked at those people front stage running and shouting: in the same moment the man with me said something like “Let’s go and see if they want to have a photo with you” and walked to those guys front stage.

Still not fully getting what was happening, I saw Joe, then I saw Sav and Rick while following the man a couple of steps behind…

They were playing football front stage while Loverboy was soundchecking and I was walking to them!!!!!!!

They were kind enough to stop playing, signing a couple of records, taking some pictures and even thanking me for travelling to see them!

That was enough for me but, as they say, the best is yet to come.

I went backstage after the show, or better went back of backstage meaning the backdoor of the venue to see them coming out.

I got my missing autograph from Steve and Phil and all once again on the just bought Tour Book!

I remember almost all the members eating a pizza just outside their car and talking to me asking which was my favourite pizza and which one is more popular in Italy…

Simply I could not believe what I was doing…

But the highlight of the night is something which later in my life I took for my self and still using in my down period…

At some point Rick came out of the door from the back of the venue drinking a beer.

I walked to him and he was so kind as to ask me if I enjoyed the show and if that was the last one…

I asked him another autograph for my tour book and smiling he answered:

Of course but I have only one arm and you have to keep my beer!”.

So I did……

In the meantime some other fans arrived to Rick waiting for their autograph.

And I still had Rick’s beer in my hand.

“Beer!” said Rick smiling to me.

So I gave back to him his beer and getting the pen: this happened a couple of times.

Than he thanked me for the help and joined the rest of the band eating.

Be positive, smile and everything will be alright!

The following morning I took the bus to London.

The original plan was to go back home.

But I headed for Wembley…..

Chris Adams

Hello! 

My story takes place way back in 1981. I was fortunate to see Def Leppard open for Ozzy in Daytona Beach, Florida. It was one of my first concerts and definitely one of the most memorable!

It seemed that everyone was in good spirits. Apparently, it was the last night of Ozzy’s tour. Def Leppard had played a practical joke by appearing on stage during Ozzy’s encore playing air guitar with brooms and wearing bags over their heads! After the show, I spotted Joe Elliot standing by the backstage load out door. I walked up to him and kindly asked if he and the rest of the band would sign my album covers. He obliged by stating that they were getting ready to leave the venue, however I could meet the group at the hotel lounge later that evening.

 So, I got in my car and followed their tour bus down the highway. After driving several blocks, the bus turned down one of the side roads leading to the beach. (The paved road ends and the beach’s sand road begins.) The tour bus stopped at that point and someone got off the bus to apparently let the driver know that the bus wouldn’t “bottom out” on the pavement end. Once the bus was completely on the beach, it then sped away leaving this passenger running after it. I proceeded to drive beside the man, obviously pretty angry. He hopped in my car and introduced himself as Rob Allen, Rick’s brother and Leppard’s tour manager. I followed the bus down the beach a short while until it’s destination. ( I think it was a Hilton hotel). The bus driver drove the bus too close to the beach wall of the hotel and became stuck. The band tried to help push it out of the deep sand. Realizing that wouldn’t work, they proceeded to walk up to the hotel and into the bar. Fortunately, I was able to obtain their autographs that evening which I still have to this day. Too bad I didn’t have a camera!

BTW, if my entry is chosen, I would like to win the edition which is a compilation of all of the Hysteria singles.

Sincerely,
Chris Adams

Christopher Santee 

I have been a huge fan of Def Leppard for as long as I can remember. If you were to ask anyone who knows me who my favorite band is, they would all say Def Leppard. I have them downloaded on anything that is downloadable. My dream is to someday meet them. I have Def Leppard posters even up in my room, and I don’t know if it bothers my husband or not, but oh well. When I listen to Def Leppard, it’s like I can feel what they were feeling when they wrote the songs. The lyrics speak to me. It’s like I am there with them in the same room as they are writing these amazing lyrics. Steve Clark will forever be missed, but Vivian Campbell is a amazing artist and was a great addition to Def Lepp. I don’t think that I can narrow down a favorite Def Leppard song because I love them all! I remember a recent experience over the past summer when Def Leppard came into town at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center in Rochester, NY. I was so excited to see them, as well as Poison and Cheap Trick. I had never seen Poison and Cheap Trick before, but the one I was looking forward the most to seeing live again was Def Leppard. I would have paid anything for the seats that I had. I went with 4 of my friends, and they knew who I wanted to see the most. When we got to Darien Lake, we found out that Cheap Trick was not going to be there due to bad weather in NYC. We were a little upset because we had wanted to see them in concert. No worries though-Def Leppard and Poison were still going to play. I wanted to get access to the meet and greet Def Leppard put on before the show. My friends know how bad I want to meet them, so we asked just about every employee there was how we could get backstage to meet them and get into the meet and greet. We asked the guest service booth, security, janitors, other fans, etc. I even went up to a DJ from a local radio station and asked what I had to do to go to the meet and greet. He acted like he had no idea what I was talking about. He knew…..he just didn’t want to tell me. After he said he couldn’t help us, we walked back over towards the guest service booth. The gentleman at the booth was so nice, he motioned for us to come over to talk with him. We walked over, and he said that he knew how bad we wanted to go backstage (I had previously explained to him that other fans had said that after the shows they would wait near the tour buses and near the backstage entrance and when the band members came out, they would be gracious enough to autograph things and take pictures with their fans) and meet them, he said that he found out that he could have gotten us backstage, but the meet and greet was earlier before the gates opened. He said if he would have known that before, we may have gotten to be able to get in for the tail end of the meet and greet. I felt like someone ripped my heart out of my chest. I have waited forever to be able to meet them, and I almost had the chance. We thanked him and told him how much we appreciated that he thought of us enough to try to get us backstage. The kindness of strangers. After we sat back down, we had a amazing time at the show. Def Lepp and Poison put on a longer set and we rocked out the entire night. I sang along to every single song and even the security guard near where our seats were was amazed at how I knew every single word to every single song. Even one of the local classic rock stations in town, the DJ during the work hours knows who I am by name and knows that I request Def Leppard songs to be played every friday when listeners can call or email into him and request songs. He calls me “Def Leppard girl”.

If I am chosen as the lucky winner, my pick of the most fabulous artwork would have to be narrowed down to Def Leppard “Nine”. I love the artwork on it and I love how the nine tiles make the album cover. It is amazing to me and all of the artwork is beautiful and classic.

Toni Santee
Def Leppard fan forever

R.I.P. Steve Clark

Ken Tomczak

I’ve really enjoyed reading your Def Leppard album/single blog entries and would like to enter your fan contest.  Like countless other Lep fans, I consider Hysteria to be my favorite album and album cover of all time.  Forgive me for submitting two stories, but I wanted to share both of them.

MEETING JOE ELLIOTT

The first time I saw Def Leppard in concert was on the Hysteria tour, when they played two shows at McNichols Arena in Denver in February 1988.  My parents decided I was too young to see them on the Pyromania tour.  I was heartbroken, but I waited patiently for the next tour.  Who knew it would take more than four years?  The first Def Leppard vinyl I ever bought was the “Rock of Ages” 12” single and I became an obsessive Leppard vinyl collector at that point.

Joe Elliott made a “Guest DJ” appearance at 106.7 KAZY before the first Denver show and hundreds of fans came out to greet him.  It was practically a mob scene as everyone tried to get closer to Joe.  While he was on the air, the radio station staff instructed all the fans to line up single file along the side of the building.  They explained that Joe would be happy to meet everyone and sign autographs as long as everyone stayed in line and don’t rush him.  The plan was good in theory, but it didn’t work.  After signing just a few autographs, a big group of impatient fans surged toward Joe.  Within seconds, he was pushed into a waiting car and they drove off.

Just then I heard my sister yelling at us to get in her car.  Anticipating the possibility of Joe’s early exit, she was ready to roll.  So we jumped in her car like the SWAT Team and followed Joe’s car in hot pursuit.  Within minutes, we were driving 100 miles per hour on the highway.  We were the only car following them and we stayed with them the whole time.  When they pulled up to Joe’s hotel, he very casually stepped out of the back seat of the car.  We yelled “HEY JOE!” and he stopped to pose for photos and sign my “Animal” 12” single.  (See attached photo – I’m on the far left.) 

Looking back on it now, we were a little carless but it was a thrill to meet Joe and tell him how much we appreciated Leppard’s music.

Both Denver concerts were filmed for what became In The Round, In Your Face.  We had third row tickets and ended up in the film as well as the “Pour Some Sugar On Me” video.  It’s “Where’s Waldo” quick but you can see me jumping off my chair with a poster in my hand around the 3:45 mark.

MEETING PHIL COLLEN

In December 2002, Leppard played Denver’s Magness Arena on the X Tour.  A friend of mine worked for the promoter and he asked Malvin Mortimer if it would be OK to squeeze two more people into the meet and greet.  Malvin agreed and we were ushered backstage after the show.  After an hour or so, Phil and Viv came out to take photos and sign autographs.  I had a Hysteria poster with me for the guys to sign, but I didn’t have a camera.  A 20-year-old kid tapped me on the shoulder and offered to take a picture of Phil and I with his disposable camera.  Turns out the kid and his buddy drove all the way to Denver from Omaha, Nebraska – an eight hour drive.  After he took the photo, I wrote down my name and address and asked him to send it to me.  Phil is my favorite guitar player of all time, so I anxiously checked the mail every day after the concert waiting for the picture.

A week later – nothing.  Two weeks later – nothing.  A month later – nothing.  I didn’t have his name or phone number, so I had no way of contacting him.  After two months, I gave up.  Fast forward to June 2003 when Def Leppard came back to Colorado to play the Greeley Stampede.  14,000 fans in the house – sold out!  My wife and I drove to Greeley from Denver and enjoyed the concert.  We were walking back to our car after the show when I felt another tap on my shoulder.  A 20-year-old kid stops me in my tracks and says, “Hey, I’ve got your picture!”  I was stunned!  It was the same kid from the previous summer – he and his friend had made the eight hour drive from Omaha, Nebraska again to see the show in Greeley.  He said, “I have your picture with Phil.  I lost your address so I couldn’t send it to you.”  14,000 fans in the arena and this guy recognized me from the photo he had taken six months before.  So I gave him my name and address again and begged him to send me the picture.  Then I waited.  And waited.  And waited.  He never sent the picture!  Oh well, it was a thrill to meet Phil and at least now I have a funny story to tell.  Maybe I’ll meet that guy again someday…

If chosen as a winner (pick me!), I’d love to score a copy of your Def Leppard “Nine” artwork.  I have all the Hysteria-era 12″ singles and the “Love Bites” Final Coming Box Set with the remaining puzzle pieces, so I put them together from time to time just to admire your work.  Can I just say that my wife loves it when I do this…

 Anyway, thank you for all of your hard work on the Pyromania and Hysteria album sleeves.  These iconic images are a big part of my life and I have framed copies proudly hanging in our house.  20-25 years later, it’s almost embarrassing to see some of the album covers that bands release.  It’s like they have third graders working for them.  Best wishes and Happy Holidays!

Great stuff – thank you all – &ie

Tomorrow:  DEF LEPPARD – Part Six – ‘Euphoria’

Then: Paul McCartney, Mickey Mouse & Guns’n’Roses. You can’t get much more diverse than that now can you?. Scary! …

THE PERILS, more FANSTORIES and ‘EUPHORIA’

February 15, 2010

Many apologies for delay in posting more stories. Been lurching around with THE PERILS in their *C*OOL BUS around the south coast (and personal stuff – NOT more accidents! – meant I was away from my computer for a further few days). THE PERILS are at …
http://www.myspace.com/theperilsarecoming

On Thursday 18th six more FANSTORIES will be published at the end of the blogpost on ‘Euphoria‘.

From then on in – the weekly blogs will be back to the usual Thursday publishing day. After ‘Euphoria‘ we are into MACCA and MICKEY … finally!

19. THE COMPETITION WINNERS

February 5, 2010

So … we gathered on Wednesday to find the three ‘FAN’TASTICO’S who win the competition. The screaming crowds were kept at bay outside the pub and those inside cheered constantly as the four of us read the 24 final round winners. The judges ….


… scored each story with a maximum of 10 points each – and after a couple of hours we handed our score sheets to our Independant Adjudicator and our Competition Director who added up the scores to find the overall winners. The atmosphere was electric as the Adjudicator handed us the envelope containing the 3 winners. The crowds outside were suddenly silent, faces pressed against the windows in anticipation. In the pub people strained forward, holding their breath …

I stood up. ‘And the winner is …’

(I kept them hanging on for nearly an hour)

The winner is …. KIM!’  

Thunderous applause and the crowd outside went wild.
KIM KIM KIM’ they chanted.

So here’s Kim’s story. Her unswerving dedication, loyalty over such a long time and her love of music impressed us all. So did her writing. Congratulations!

Please note – One or two typos have been corrected but all entries are published exactly as they were written.
 

KIM – FIRST PRIZE (36 points)

My hobby started almost 30 years ago. I say hobby because that’s what it has been for me. I have been very lucky to have seen every tour that Def Leppard has done in the U.S., most I have seen numerous times. As a short story I have to tell you about the Hysteria tour. What a show—I had read that when the stadium almost cleared at the end of the show, the guys would come out from under the stage. As the stadium started to clear, the ushers were trying to get me to leave and I just kept pleading that as soon as they came out I would leave. At the time, Joe was the favorite and as soon as I saw him I just yelled his name and he looked up with that gorgeous grin of his and waved. I will never forget that moment and how I felt, I sit down in the seat and cryed with joy.

Well now, I was really hooked. My collection of anything Def Leppard had begun. It was also at this time that one concert was just not enough, so I would see them as many times as I could in surrounding states. That still wasn’t enough at times. NO I’m not crazy or a stalker but they just have IT. IT just makes you feel great, IT is something that I have yet to understand myself. I just knew that I needed more of IT!!! So the story begins during the SLANG tour. Over the phone with friends that I had made, we made plans to see DL
Sorry, I’m tired and hit the wrong button. As I was saying, we made plans to see them as many times as we could. The first leg of my tour began in Cleveland, Ohio where I met all my friends I had made just because of DL. I had opted out of my beach vacation to travel north and follow the guys for the opportunity to meet them. SSoooooooo well worth every penny. I had most of my tickets in hand for the concerts which I payed a pretty penny for. I was in the first, second and third rows to every show–and in Cleveland is where my long wait to meet them finally came true. We were staying in the same hotel as the guys and we knew that they would go to the bar in the hotel after the show. It was so crowded and I was so nervous. Moving through the small bar I start getting extremely nervous—WHAT DO I SAY? DON’T ACT STUPID! LET THEM KNOW HOW MUCH THEY MEAN TO YOU!! All going through my head. I got very close to Joe, but I just couldn’t make myself get closer. He moves to the bar and sits down, he’s talking to someone and I see three seats open up across from him. I grabbed the two closest friends I had made and we sat for a while across the way. Yes, I was listening to him talk and NO I wasn’t easedropping. Well I guess I was, but I couldn’t tell you what it was about, I just wanted to hear his voice. Of course I had to have a drink I wasn’t going to be able to approach him if I didn’t. So I sit, had a Crown and Coke and listened to him just talk. I had my nerve and knew that when he made a move I was going to be there. And he did and I did, he hugged me and was so gracious to me and we took a picture and I didn’t make a fool of myself. There, what more could I ask for? I felt very blessed because I had seen him earlier get really hateful with someone and it scared my away. Later, I learned he had perfect right to say and do what he did.
As we were leaving the bar , Phil and his then girlfriend Anita were coming in the door. What was so ironic was that Anita had come down during the show and danced with us during the song SLANG. During the show we had no idea who she was. She acknowledged us as she approached us telling Phil she had danced with us at the show. We took pictures and talked for a while. She found out we were going to several other shows and promised to find us because she always came out in the crowd during the SLANG song. And she did! What a nice person and beautiful at that.
After that night, I knew that hands down Phil had to be the nicest guy ever. We traveled through Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and back to Ohio during that trip and I had so many more wonderful memories of the guys and the shows. We were on a first name basis speaking to one another in the hotels, whether we were on the elevator coming or going from the hotel or even in the hallway. It was magical for me because I loved their music so much and had followed their career since the beginning–On Through The Night beginning. In Indianapolis, Joe turned and pointed right at me and sang to me. That was one of the shows that I had front row seats. In Cinncinatti we spent a couple days in the same hotel while they were off a day and that’s when I finally got to meet Rick Allen. What an inspiration he is and he was so nice to acknowledge that he had seen us at the last few shows and asked how we were enjoying them. Amazing!!! Right!!!
It wasn’t over! My friends and I decided after we went home that we just had to go the weekend to the Dallas, Austin and Houston shows. And yes we were there. We fly into Dallas and see Def Leppard that night. Then we rent a car and drive to Austin and stay in the same hotel as them again. I remember walking through the sitting area as we had checked into our room and came down for a walk–someone calling out my name and thinking to myself, WHO KNOWS ME HERE? I’m from Tennessee. I turn and see Phil who was sitting in a chair reading a book. It had been about a month since the trip north and HE REMEMBERED MY NAME!!!!!! We chated and he was amazed we were seeing them the three nights they were in Texas. He said, ” You guys must be superfans!” and laughed. At most of the shows we went to, we were usually in front of Phil who is great about acknowledging you in the crowd and this trip was no different. I got to talk more to Sav and Joe during this trip. Also during this trip I got a 3 ft by 3 ft poster signed by all of them. They had never seen the poster before and thought is was cool. It was the eye from the Adenalize album and it was made out of a hard plastic.
It still wasn’t over for us because they hadn’t been to my state yet and that was even more than I could hope for. A week or so later we traveled to Atlanta, GA to see them. As we were driving in the city trying to find the box office to get tickets we heard on the radio that if you had the most tickets to different shows during this tour you would win front row seats. We ( my same 2 side kicks that I had shared all this with ) looked at each other and for no reason we could think of still had all our ticket stubbs in our purses and wallets. They had been to a few that I hadn’t went to and I had went to a few that they hadn’t went to. We counted and lucky number 13 popped up. We won front row that night and couldn’t believe we had brought them with us. Like what can you do with used concert tickets??????? WIN FRONT ROW SEATS I SAY!!! We still had my town Nashville, TN. It would be the last one, we all knew it. We had a great ride, an unforgetable journey so what more could happen? Well I’ll tell you——I ONLY TOOK PHIL AND ANITA ….IN MY CAR……TO A BAGLE SHOP THE MORNING AFTER THE NASHVILLE SHOW!!!!!!!!!!!!Yes I had Phil Collen in the front seat of my Trans Am. I took a picture of them at the back of my car because my license plate said Def Leppard. I’ll not give out the exact letters but Phil knew what it said. So I have to say I feel very blessed to have these and even more memories since then. Not many people get to meet who they idolize and I feel very lucky. I also have had a child since those days and she has become a fan herself. I always joked to my family that if anything ever happened to me, not to sale my Def Leppard memorbillia in a yard sale. I have some nice pieces and some that are worth a little money. I know I have invested a lot of money in it. Now, I have my daughter and I know she will take care of it and it will live on. She is a fan herself and has a few memories with Phil. He remembered me on the next tour. About 4 years later I took my daughter to see them and he was like WOW you have a child this time. She hasn’t actually met them yet but Phil signed her guitar during the Sparkle Lounge tour from the stage and Joe pointed and sang to her. I can say, “I know how she feels!” And I feel like her day will come when she does meet them. She loves the stories I tell her and loves looking at my pictures and she tells all her friends that her mom has met Def Leppard. I think it was pretty cool and I hope you enjoyed the story as much as I loved living it!!!!!!!!
The second prize goes to Vicki. Once again – sheer dedication and a mission that took years to acheive has to be applauded. Brilliant – and the tattoos are testament to your unbelievable tenacity.

Vicki Brown – SECOND PRIZE (33 points)

“FAN”alized

 1983 was the year that changed my life forever…

I heard my first Def Leppard song “Photograph”, I  was 14 and I was hooked. I had become a diehard fan virtually overnight.. As a young teen I fantasized about meeting my heros and as the years passed that turned into a lifelong dream. And just like any other fan , I wanted autograph’s!

As I got older my collection of memorabilia grew! I had to have everything!!  Oh,  did I mention that I also became a fan of tattoos? So it just seemed natural that I would get a Def Leppard tat….okay maybe two.
On my upper arm is the “Hysteria” album cover and on my upper leg is the “Adrenalize” eyeball. On completion of the Adrenalize tattoo, it hit me then…..I wanted that autographed!!!
 
Fast forwarding a few years….It wasn’t until  2001, that I won a radio contest on Q107 (Toronto Ontario Canada) I was lucky enough to enjoy an acoustic performance by Joe and Phil promoting there new album X, along with 100 other lucky winners. At the end of the night my friend Joanne pushed me to the stage, where I was able to shake Joe’s hand and asked him to sign my tattoo. Not be able to talk to Phil I started to cry. I must have been a real mess, because Malvin told me to hold on, he will come back and get me. True to his word I find myself in the basement of the club, being hugged by Phil. Awesome sums it up! I left that night th happiest girl on earth, tons of pictures of Joe, Phil and me and two signatures added to my tattoo…three more to get.
 
2003 on a trip to England for a Leppard show in Bristol. After the show I met up with Malvin and thanked him for everything he had done for me two years ago. Then I added his autograph to my  growing collection.
 
Pushing ahead two more years, 2005 in London, Ontario, Canada. Following the show my friend, daughter and I decided to hang around the buses with about 50 other fans.
Vivian came out first and he was more then happy to sign my leg. Moments later Joe was making his way through the fans signing autographs and taking pictures. It was my turn…I  asked Joe if he could help me out, I only  needed 2 more signatures. He was shocked I actually had them tattoo’d on and blown away that I got Malvin’s too. Thinking for a moment, Joe said I will see what I can do.
Waiting for what seemed like an eternity, in reality it was mere moments I find myself being wisked through the crowd headed to a tour bus. Sav signed my leg and I was able to speak with him about a book on Def Leppard I wrote, (a radio dj gave it to him for me early that day) Sav said it was pretty cool.
Off to my next bus…I got to meet up with Rick.  Tears in my eyes and thinking I wouldn’t be able to hold it together much longer, Rick joked with me because I couldn’t stop crying. But he was happy to finish up my piece of art with a one armed drummer stickman. With an overwhelming feeling of excitement and joy, Joe walked me back towards the crowd, as I thanked him for making my lifelong dream come true!!!
 
Leppardized aka Vicki Brown

And finally – Lee, whose sheer audacity (and a great story) made his entry one of the most entertaining. What was her answer Lee?

Lee Houghton – THIRD PRIZE (31 points)

Hi Andie! Great Blog! My story goes back to 2003 and the X Tour (second leg). Having been round the country with my then girlfriend, Angela, watching the guys in concert, she could not make it to the gig in Nottingham. As ever, the gig was excellent and after the show, I waited outside, along with some fellow hardcore fans. All the guys came out, chatted, signed stuff and were their usual polite, cheerful selves! As my girlfriend could not make it, and as she was back at home, I seized an opportunity and asked Viv if he wouldn’t mind speaking to Angela on my mobile.I told him she had to be in work early and was back home, in bed, but would be thrilled if he could say a quick hello. With a twinkle in his eye, he said “sure” and I dutifully passed the phone over. The following conversation then took place:

Viv – “Hello Angela, how come you are not at the gig?”. Angela replied, explained she needed to be in work early the following day.
Viv – “Oh really, that’s a pity…. Did you say you were in bed? Are you masturbating?”.
At this point, all I could hear is some giggling on the end of the phone, Viv hands the phone back after saying goodbye, with a wink. Yours truly is left blushing beetroot red. I gingerly spoke into the handset…
Hey Babe, that was nice of Viv…Err, you aren’t masturbating, are you????” 
A true story!!

Later …. MORE great stories we all loved. Every one a winner.

THE COMPETITION RESULTS

February 3, 2010

Finally, and thank you all for your patience, the results of the FANS  STORIES COMPETITION will be posted on …

FRIDAY 5th FEBRUARY at 12.00 NOON

Having narrowed the entries down to 20, tonight the judges will choose the final 3 ‘FAN’TASTICO’s who will win Editions of their choice – those who moved us, astonished us and made us laugh. You’ll be pleased to know the Judges (Ricky, Max, Rewa and myself) have been beacons of sobriety all week and been in training now for over a week in preparation. (Special Training Award goes to Max who managed to fall UP the stairs during training last Saturday.) Apart from the winning entries to be publshed on Friday, other Fans’ stories will be published at the end of the last (for now!) DEF LEPPARD blog on ‘Euphoria‘ next week . There have been some real insights into what makes music (and our heroes and heroines) such an important part of who we are. Thanks to everyone for taking the time to tell your stories – it’s been brilliant to read them all.

See you Friday, &ie