Posts Tagged ‘andie airfix’

2015 – THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS

January 8, 2015

Apologies for the crazy length of time since the last blog but been away a lot organising various projects for 2015. More on that later …

Kept in touch via the inescapable Twitter @andieairfix
with #MoodOfTheDay and #AirfixArchives. Twitter feed and follow …
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 First … The Holidays. I hope you all had a wonderful time …

Jesus all about meSecondly … I’d like to thank everyone who had The Inclination and The Taste to buy Airfix Editions over the holiday period.

Thank You all.

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Some Prints and Editions are still available of course …
METALLICA, BOWIE, MADONNA, ROLLING STONES, DEF LEPPARD, LED ZEPPELIN, JIMI HENDRIX and more. Go on … you know you want to … andieairfix.com

To welcome you into 2015, I’d like to take the opportunity to thank my followers on Twitter and those loyal to my blog with a quote I love from the wonderfully anarchic and irreverent world of one of America’s greatest novelists and comic writers.

“HELLO BABIES. WELCOME TO THE EARTH.
IT’S HOT IN THE SUMMER
AND COLD IN THE WINTER.
IT’S ROUND AND WET AND CROWDED …

AT THE OUTSIDE, BABIES, YOU’VE GOT
ABOUT A HUNDRED YEARS HERE.
THERE’S ONLY ONE RULE
THAT I KNOW OF, BABIES
– GOD DAMN IT,
YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIND.”

More quotes at KURT VONNEGUT

A Happy, Healthy, Prosperous and Peaceful New Year to You from Andie Airfix at

Satori peace logo

 

I will leave you with an image commenting on the tragedy in Paris yesterday. It is poignant, wonderfully direct and implies hope and defiance in equal measure. Brilliant.

banksy pencil

 

More very soon on Plans for 2015 … including taking a one-man show to Japan (and maybe more places!)
Finally on the road to publishing a novel
‘ I N V A G E N T S ‘

and a design book entitled – yes you guessed it
‘B*B G#LD*F STOLE MY SUNGLASSES’

Later and soon,
As ever
&ie

AC/DC Logo Explodes

November 15, 2013

It’s that time of year again …
(sssshhhh) – 

jesus_shepherd

and so, naturally, you’re out there looking for ideal gifts to shower on your loved ones to celebrate the occasion. And can you find anything that’s cool enough. Of course you can’t – it’s all predictably dull and boring for us music fans.

Well – look no further – problem solved …

Sticking very firmly to the belief of creating …
art that DOES NOT match the sofa …
Here’s a solution for all you Rock’n’Rollers.

Click HERE to see Limited Editions

Andie Airfix Limited Editions bring something unique to Christmas. They’re cool, very affordable and ideal for music fans. Here’s a brand NEW edition.
available from November 18th 2013 …

Editions Web 1a 1000px AC-DC

Created from original pen and ink/pencil drawing of the logo for the Ballbreaker World Tour in 1995. This is pre-computer and was completely hand-drawn (very tricky to do!)

Don’t forget the recently released  ‘Ninja Star 1′ & Ninja Star 2’:  2 METALLICA editions created for the AIRFIX LOUNGE last March, editions Lars Ulrich, METALLICA’s drummer described as ‘AWESOME!‘ …

Editions Web 1b 1000px MetallicaEditions also include:
LED ZEPPELIN  DAVID BOWIE  JIMI HENDRIX
THE ROLLING STONES  THE BEATLES  MADONNA
DEF LEPPARD and LITTLE RICHARD.

CLICK HERE to see Limited Editions

Order NOW to guarantee Christmas delivery worldwide.

All Editions are printed on the highest grade, heavyweight art paper by the latest digital technology to ensure the richest colours and to maintain the finest of detail.

Problem is – and I feel obliged to inform you – that many who purchase Andie Airfix Limited Editions, somehow forget (?!) to send them on to the people they bought them for. Shocking behaviour. The solution is obvious of course – buy one for yourself too – and everyone will be happy.

More very soon …
As ever
&ie

SPIN DOCTOR WHO – Essential viewing right here!

August 5, 2013

Hoped as much – but now confirmed … the brilliant PETER CAPALDI is the new DOCTOR WHO.

Doctor_Who__Peter_Capaldi_favourite_to_replace_Matt_Smith

As always it’s a hard act to follow. Expectations are huge. Matt Smith was a radical choice too – an unknown actor (then!) but he brought physicality, lunacy and vunerability to the role and made it his own. Capaldi is a daring gamble for sure and Christ knows what he will bring to the role. It’s hard to imagine MALCOLM TUCKER delivering such acerbic horrifying insults as THE DOCTOR

WATCH THIS: Malcolm in ‘IN THE LOOP’
and
WATCH THIS: Malcolm in ‘THE THICK OF IT’

but then, of course, we know better when we watch other performances by CAPALDI. From the horrific outbursts of Malcolm Tucker we witness this heart-breaking and dramatic outburst of emotion in one the best BBC dramas on TV this year, (also starring the exquisite Ben Wishaw, Dominic West and the amazing Romola Garai). This is Capaldi as the Head of News when he finds out his daughter is dead – the powerful performance still astounds and shocks me.

WATCH THIS: Randall Brown in ‘THE HOUR’

Interesting choice then.

From a DOCTOR WHO fan, who really did hide behind the sofa and have nightmares when the Daleks first appeared in 1963, I wish you the best of luck, Mr Capaldi. I get the feeling we’re in for another extreme regeneration.

BRING IT ON!

THE ROLLING STONES visit the Airfix Lounge – ‘Skippy’

July 1, 2013

Seems appropriate … after Glastonbury and Hyde Park

to remind you I created an edition for the Airfix Lounge launch in May …

blog master

I called the Dog ‘Skippy‘, inappropriate as it was – the design of a monstrous rabid dog fronting a Rolling Stones tour. The logo was for the brilliant ‘Urban Jungle‘ tour in 1990. I was commissioned to re-design all the elements of the ‘Steel Wheels‘ tour when it arrived in Europe. The band felt the corporate look which dominated Steel Wheels in the US needed to be much more ‘edgy’ for the European leg of the tour.

Much more on ‘URBAN JUNGLE‘ – PART ONE & PART TWO from blogs in 2012. They give an insight into working with The ROLLING STONES and there are some hilarious stories including serious embarrassment at the launch party for the tour in Rotterdam. Still makes me cringe after over 20 years.

Check out the website

2013 Airfix logo new col

to see the ‘Skippy’ edition and more
– including two editions Lars Ulrich described as ‘AWESOME!’
– the METALLICA ‘NINJA’ Stars, of course.

More very soon – I feel I need to catch up on some of the STORIES! and introduce you all to …

Archive logo grey red

Now THERE’s a Pandora’s box that needed opening. some of it I’d almost forgotten about. I love the older artworks with the colour instuction overlay – amazing what you find …

SABBATH tyr front

Later,
&ie

FREE EXHIBITION – METALLICA and MORE

May 16, 2013

For those of you heading to Brighton for The Great Escape

… Visit the AIRFIX LOUNGE at BRIGHTON FRINGE
(open 10-6pm Friday17/Saturday18/Sunday19 May) …

SPACE@CREATE, New England House, York Hill, BN1 4GH. (Fringe Venue 19)

to see original Metallica artwork … LIVE SHIT, GARAGE INC, LOAD/RE-LOAD and my tribute ‘painting’.

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This 6 foot wide 5-panel multi-media piece, dedicated to Cliff Burton, comprises of photos, muslin, metal wires and staples.

Other work includes …

live shit

original drawings for Scary Guy …

scary 1

Metallica logos for LOAD & RE-LOAD project …

and the 2 editions Lars Ulrich of Metallica called ‘Awesome!’

2 editions

GET ON DOWN …

Details of Exhibition at andieairfix.com

CHECK IT OUT.

Enjoy the weekend in this fantastic town

&ie

WHAT CAN I SAY? …

March 19, 2013

MAKES ME WEEP.

This is a design by Andie Airfix.
An iconic sleeve – many have said so. I can’t count the number of interviews I’ve done on how it was created and what a break-through sleeve it was at the time …

DEF LEPPARD SLEEVE book cover

This is NOT designed by Andie Airfix …

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Neither is this …

DL-vivaposter

Whatever happened to artists rights? Lets find out should we?

I’m not a precious designer but there are limits …

The original illustration took weeks to perfect – the sleeve 4 years.

Find out why at …
lounge roundelpresented by ROCK BRIGHTON as part of the BRIGHTON FRINGE in May
(visit http://www.andieairfix.com for details of DEF LEPPARD and METALLICA weekends.

MORE on the AIRFIX LOUNGE very shortly …

To be continued …

36. METALLICA Part ‘ONE’ – ‘Fans’

November 18, 2010

Well, we may as well go straight in with this … not for the faint-hearted …

In 1993 I completed my first major project – a Box Set – for the legend that is METALLICA.

There’s a satisfying coincidence that I’ve just finished another Box Set for them as I begin a series of blogs about arguably the most successful rock band on the planet.

The stories over the next few weeks have never been published so be prepared for fun, insights and a very personal account of events spanning nearly twenty years.

Where do I begin? My admiration and respect for the band is constantly renewed by their adventurous, often anarchic, attitude to who they are and what they do. At the heart of my respect for them is their unswerving loyalty and dedication to their Fans – so let’s start with Victor

Victor was seventeen and worked on reception at the gym I infrequented in Chelsea Harbour. Mostly I used it as a hi-tech bathroom/sauna/swimming pool conveniently situated between my Chelsea flat and the studio. I often chatted to Victor – a serious Metallica fan – and when he discovered I was involved in their artwork and knew the band personally, he hinted every now and again that maybe if I had a spare ticket to a gig …

I’ve been amazingly privileged over the years to be given tickets to major events and concerts and one thing I have always done when I go to one – is to find random fans to take along and maybe provide an opportunity for them to meet their heroes and heroines. Metallica were playing Wembley Arena in London and I asked Victor to join us for the gig. In those days it made economic and practical sense – if there were 8 or 10 of us – to hire a stretch limo. The car was allowed to drop its occupants right outside the ticket collection office and to pick us up immediately after the gig right outside the main entrance into the venue – avoiding what is often a nightmare journey to and from the Arena which was such a bummer, especially after a night out at a brilliant concert and your spirit was elated. (Also of course we could get wasted on the way there and back!). I’d asked Victor to meet us in Chelsea to head off to the gig and his face when he saw the white stretch Cadillac waiting for him was an indication of how overwhelmed he would be later as the evening developed.

We arrived, tumbled out of the limo, collected our tickets and our ‘Go Anywhere You Fucking Want‘ passes …

A couple of us headed straight for the band’s dressing room with Victor. He was already nervous and his mood rapidly alternated between that of a soldier about to meet his generals after a victorious battle and that of a shy 17-year old terrified he would make a fool of himself in front of his heroes. We met Gio – more of him later –  and he escorted us to the dressing room through the labyrinthine corridors beneath the Arena. I knocked on the door. ‘In,’ shouted James Hetfield. Victor froze, his right hand glued to the dressing room door-frame, his feet establishing roots into the concrete floor. Eventually we managed to drag the ashen-faced, open-mouthed, wide-eyed Victor into the room. The band were having their pre-gig dinner. Lars jumped up. ‘Andie, Ricky – great to see you guys. Hey – who’s this?

And that’s the thing …

… Bands and artists of quality recognise how important fans are – you’d be amazed how many don’t – and Metallica are particularly brilliant at diffusing any embarrassment or awkwardness fans feel when they meet the band. I introduced Lars to Victor. Lars was in fine form. ‘Hey VIctor – how ya doin’? Cool jacket man – want us to sign it?‘ Victor’s mouth opened and closed several times but words refused to vocalise and his head moved around in a weird circular movement which kind of looked like he was nodding and shaking his head at the same time. ‘James,‘ Lars shouted, ‘grab that thick marker pen and we can all sign Victor’s jacket.

The jacket in question was a silver bomber-jacket. It looked brand new and I remember thinking at that point that maybe Victor had bought it specially for the gig. The band gathered round him for the Signing Ceremony. A flurry of flambuoyant marker strokes later and a storm of graffitti, autographs and dedications covered the entire back of the jacket. Victor of course couldn’t see what Lars, James, Kirk and Jason had done. We chatted for a while, left the band to their dinner and headed off to the Arena and our seats. Still not a word had escaped Victor’s lips and he was looking worryingly pale. ‘Look at your jacket,‘ I said. ‘It’s brilliant.‘ Victor stopped, closed his eyes, took off the jacket and opened them again. He stood there – motionless – just staring at it. Finally he managed to get words to connect both to his brain and his mouth at the same time. The reason for his endearing but acutely strange behaviour was suddenly clear. It wasn’t only Metallica that had caused him to be so excrutiatingly shy and freaked out in the dressing room – there was something completely different to add to his alarm and agitation …  ‘It’s my older brother’s best jacket,‘ he croaked. ‘He doesn’t know I’ve borrowed it! He’s going to kill me. He’ll fuckin’ kill me.

Victor was, thankfully, still alive when I headed to the gym a couple of days after the gig. His brother had burst out laughing when Victor confessed to his hideous crime, enjoying every second of his younger brothers’ deep embarrassment, fear and trepidation. He gave him the jacket obviously. However, when Victor showed his MetalliMates his well-earned prize-jacket, not one of them believed the signatures were real – let alone spontaneously produced for him personally in the band’s dressing room before a gig.

If, by any chance, any of you see a guy wearing a silver bomber-jacket with all the band’s signatures on it, ask him if his name’s Victor. If it is just tell him you know how the jacket was signed and where. It’ll probably blow his head off.

METALLICA blogs will become pretty random over the next few weeks as I’m off to India. Be prepared for the odd Indian experience to infiltrate the METALLICA EXPERIENCE!

.. and in case you thought established bands went out on the road just to regurgitate tired old hits from the past … not this ONE. Check it out. Here’s a track from S&M, performed in 1999, ten years after the song’s original release (featured as their first ever video at the beginning of this blog). THAT’S why METALLICA are brilliant – hardly the same is it? – but without losing the songs sentiment and power in any way.

STAY TUNED … &ie

COMING UP IN METALLICA BLOGS …

… a competition to win an original piece of METALLICA artwork … Berlin … Lollapalooza and Lemmy … dinner with Lars and Marianne Faithful … a trip round Barcelona … mothers and fathers … the Viper Room … Some Kinda Monster … Anton Corbjin … and creating artwork for LOAD, RE-LOAD, GARAGE INC, S&M and much more.

Don’t forget to enter the COMPETITION below to WIN a HENDRIX EDITION PRINT

.

35. WIN a HENDRIX EDITION PRINT!

November 4, 2010

The response to launching two Limited Editions of JIMI HENDRIX on andieairfix.com has been brilliant!

So … here’s YOUR chance to win one

Click here to see details of both Editions.

1st PRIZE
To WIN an Edition of  either ‘SCUSE ME WHILE I KISS THE SKY


… or PURPLE HAZE

… simply answer the following QUESTION

‘The ‘HENDRIX’ lettering – used as a basis for the mural in the Cumberland Hotel and used in the ‘SCUSE ME WHILE I KISS THE SKY Edition – is from which Hendrix live album, released in 1970?’ Here’s a clue …


2nd 3rd and 4th PRIZES …
Three runners-up will WIN an A4 Edition of  either ‘SCUSE ME WHILE I KISS THE SKY or RAINBOW HAZE … (your choice).

Send your answer by e-mail …
CLICK HERE. Enter Subject: WIN HENDRIX.
State Edition of preference.

Competion closes on December 12th

PRIZE DRAW …
On December 15th all entries will be stuffed into a guitar case and taken to our local drinking establishment in Brighton where some Random Geezer or Geezeress will be asked to dive into the case to pick out the four winners. All four, presuming we’re not too drunk to get home, will be notified by e-mail and by a blogpost the following day.

Through sales of both Hendrix editions Andie Airfix will support the THE JIMI HENDRIX FOUNDATION. Their MUSIC FOR LIFE and BAND START-UP initiatives provide innovative help for young musicians.

GOOD LUCK BLOGGERS

And finally … check out our GREETINGS CARDS which, by popular demand, includes our award-winning Christmas Card from last year.


Next … METALLICA – Part One

21. GERRY BARAD and PAUL McCARTNEY

March 4, 2010

After DEF LEPPARD we need to go back aways to meet GERRY BARAD and to learn a lesson from PAUL McCARTNEY

First though I need to say a quick ‘HELLO’ to Lucy who’s just gone back to Australia.

HELLO LUCY!

 

There were of course other projects I worked on during the LEPPARD years and many of them involved working with the Canadian merchandising company BROCKUM – run in Europe by the inimitable and legendary Gerry Barad, who became a great friend and mentor. He was a whirlwind of energy, very very funny and a formidable force in the industry – constantly pushing the boundaries of merchandise production. As disillusionment set in for me (with the demise of vinyl) I was looking for a new creative outlet to express my talents. When I first met Gerry we immediately hit it off. We recognised we both had similar, if demanding, philosophies of how things should be done. I wanted to experiment with new formats to stretch my creativity and Gerry needed someone to help him design innovative merchandise to entice the biggest artists in the music industry to sign with his company. Over a period of many years he and I worked with GUNS’N’ROSES, THE ROLLING STONES, AC/DC, BON JOVI, METALLICA and many others. His initial introduction to such musical heavyweights led to work with many of them on different projects – probably the most prolific being METALLICA who I worked with on albums, tours and DVD’s for over a decade.

Gerry introduced me to PAUL McCARTNEY in 1989 – someone else I’ve worked with over many years since, including the design of the lavish 3-DVD Box Set ‘The McCartney Years’ as recently as 2007.

Gerry was as brilliant as ever. I was a little nervous (who wouldn’t be?) but as I’ve said before – I had work to discuss which makes situations much easier. Gerry and I were waiting in Paul’s dressing room during rehearsals for his first tour as a solo artist. His last tour had been with WINGS, ten years previously in 1979. Linda McCartney looked after us – she was always wonderfully gracious and hospitable – while we waited for Paul to arrive. I sat on a sofa patiently whilst Gerry paced the room psyching himself up for the meeting. Paul arrived and Gerry swung into action immediately – talking furiously as he continued to wear out the carpet. Paul looked at me, raised his eyes to the ceiling, winked and smiled. He obviously knew Gerry well. Gerry sat down next to me. ‘Paul, ’he said. ‘This is Andie Airfix. His artwork is so good – if you were dying, you’d want some of it in the same fucking room. Trust me.’ Paul burst out laughing. It was plain-sailing after that. Gerry’s enthusiasm, confidence and crazy sense of humour was inspirational and his commitment to providing his clients with the best and most innovative merchandising was second-to-none.

During that same project PAUL McCARTNEY taught me an invaluable lesson – one which I never forgot and have endeavoured to practice throughout the whole of my career …

There are serious logistical problems working on world tours, particularly with tour programmes. The obvious problem is that there are no live photographs of the tour when it opens. Dress-rehearsal photos can often be used but the timing has to be spectacularly well-organised to print in time for the opening night. The McCartney tour was heading for Japan at some point – a huge fan-base for McCartney – and I was asked to design a special concert programme for the Japanese dates. (In Japan, 90 per cent of audiences buy tour books, compared to an average of between 15 and 30 per cent in other territories.) The text had to be in Japanese. I don’t read or speak Japanese, unsurprisingly, so the typography process required serious organisation. Each title, heading, and piece of text was translated and given a number relating to each page and the sequence it had to appear in. This was 1989 and therefore each of the 48 pages had to be created on boards, pasting each piece of text onto the relevant page in the correct order. I could have designed something simpler I suppose but the challenge was impossible to resist. I did a lot of research into the layouts of Japanese magazines to give the layouts authenticity. To give you an idea of the complexity …

The McCartney management hired a gaggle of top photographers for a week (imagine the cost?) to provide live photos of the tour to include in the Japanese large-format  programme. This was pre-digital so all photos were on film. I was sent over 4,000 transparencies to select the best for the book. It took nearly two weeks to work through them and make a selection to show Paul at our next meeting. At the end of the two weeks, as much as I adore him, I never wanted to see a picture of Paul McCartney ever again. I had a call from his  manager. ‘How’s it going?’ he said. ‘How are the photos?’ ‘They’re good,’ I said, ‘but after my conversation with Paul about exactly what he wanted – I’m not sure what he really wants is there.’ There was an excrutiating silence. I could feel I was on dangerous ground and sensed anger. ‘You can’t tell him that.’ ‘Tell him what?’ I said. ‘That the pictures aren’t good enough.’ ‘I actually said they were good,’ I replied, ‘but what he really wants to see isn’t there. That’s something different. If he asks me what I think – I have to tell him – that’s my job.’ The ‘instructions’ I was given were very clear – I should keep my opinion to myself.

I had my meeting with Paul and the first question, predictably, was ‘So … what do you think of the photos?’ I took a deep breath. ‘There are some great pictures,’ I said. ‘Do you remember the conversation we had about what I wanted?’ said Paul. ‘Of course I do,’ I said, realising exactly where we were going. ‘And …?’ he said. ‘There are some great pictures,’ I repeated. ‘The tour book wil be fabulous – trust me, but … you’ll be disappointed – there aren’t any of the gritty, sweaty shots you wanted, at least not any that are good enough to use.

Paul sat down on the sofa and spread his arms across the back of it. ‘I HAVE seen them you know, or a lot of them – before they were sent to you. Everyone has been telling me how brilliant, fantastic and exciting they are. I wasn’t quite so enthusiastic, but thought perhaps I’d missed something. The terrible thing was – I began to doubt my own judgement. Thank you. My disappointment was justified wasn’t it?’ ‘Probably,’ I said, ‘but I suspect the photographers were given a different brief, if they were given one at all. I guess if we’d had our conversation before the shots were taken I would have thrown in a few ‘suggestions.

I began to doubt my own judgement.’ That honest revelation hit me so hard. Many famous ‘stars’ work with people who constantly want to please them, who want to avoid confrontation – for obvious reasons. I have to say, the photo-incident was a one-off experience with McCartney – he surrounds himself with people confident and talented enough to be honest with him. What most ‘stars’ want is to be challenged on occasions. The lesson about the photos is clear. In potentially difficult work circumstances like that one – always, always, say what you really think – that’s why you’re there. You never know what goes on in the complex politics behind the scenes. Avoid getting involved – it’s none of your concern, nor should it be.

The Boy still Rocks! … Glastonbury 2004 …

Another thing …

… People often ask me ‘Do you meet the artists?’ It’s situations like the one with Paul when I realised – it’s essential. No-one can brief me as well as the artist and there are questions I need to ask which are very important, questions no-one else would think of asking. A manager or ‘go-between’ can always tell me what an artist wants (or an interpretation of it more likely) but rarely do they tell me what the artist doesn’t want – one of the first questions I ask at an initial meeting. People are often unsure of what they want – but are more confident disclosing what they dislike. On many occasions, finding out what people don’t want or like provides more clues on how to approach a project than being told what people think they want.

One of the most stressful jobs I ever worked on was for THE ROLLING STONES – precisely because there was not the opportunity to meet them all together. More on that later but enough to say on the next morning after I’d delivered the final piece of artwork, I woke up to find half my hair on the pillow – literally. It was an egotistical nightmare.

Speaking of egos … we’re about to head to LA, and the HOLLYWOOD BOWL to work with THE MOUSE. You don’t believe a mouse has an ego? – think again. Check out TEAM DISNEY HQ

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.