A Heartbreaking Tale Of Childhood Betrayal


Picture it. Wodonga. 1988.

An already-into-rock Peter Hodgson is about to turn 10. All I want for my birthday is Def Leppard’s Hysteria album (on cassette, natch). My cousin Daz was into Def Leppard in a big way and he was a few years older than me and, in my opinion, totally cool. And if he liked Def Leppard, then I liked Def Leppard.

So, my birthday rolls around and in all the excitement I go to open my presend. The first is one of those awesome 80s boom boxes with two tape decks and a graphic EQ!!! I was in heaven! I could play the hell out of my Dire Straits and Beatles tapes on this!

I could make my own mixtapes containing my favourite tracks from the maybe five cassettes I owned at that point! I could tape stuff off the radio! I could graphically equalise it!

Then mum hands me another present, all wrapped up, obviously a cassette. YES, I think. This has got to be my Def Leppard tape! This is going to be so awesome! I was already picturing myself instantly entering adulthood with the mere listen of this landmark album, maybe suddenly and inexplicably finding myself driving around in a Corvette, kitted out in aviator sunglasses and fluro shoelaces – maybe a Hysteria singlet, definitely a mullet – impressing all the ladeez with my mad cool 80s rock style. So I hastily unwrap the present, all trembling hands and chattering teeth. Def Leppard Def Leppard Def Leppard!

You know what the cassette was?

Jason Donovan’s Ten Good Reasons.

Needless to say, I was mortified.

Well, I still listened to it because hey, I now had a new tape. But I begged and pleaded and wailed and whinged until I got my Def Leppard tape too.

The moral of the story, I guess, is that complaining will get you what you want.

I never did get that Def Leppard singlet though.

 

New Satriani Album And Tour!

Wow, 2018 is gonna be a big year for Joe Satriani fans! Joe has announced a new record called What Happens Next, and it’s out on January 12. It features the rhythm section of Glenn Hughes and Chad Smith, so I can’t wait to hear the results. Visit Joe’s website to hear a preview of the track ‘Energy.’ And Joe is also kicking off a new G3 tour on January 11 with John Petrucci and Phil Collen. I’m really excited about this one because that’s three of my favourite guitarists from my teen years (who am I kidding – now too!) on the one bill, and it will be really interesting to see what Phil does in a solo context. 

Here’s the press release about the new record and tour.  Read More …

Star Wars Is Def Leppard

Ok, so if you follow me on Twitter you know I’m a huge Star Wars fan. Even the prequels. Yeah. Come at me if you wanna fight about it. Anyway, something just hit me while listening to a (subscriber-only) Steele Wars podcast where fans called in with their ideas about the possible Obi Wan movie or other non-saga Star Wars movies:

STAR WARS IS DEF LEPPARD.

Def Leppard is a huge band, right? There was a time where they were selling tens of millions of albums (Hysteria alone has sold over 25 million copies). They have die-hard fans the world over who know every song from every album. Every B-Side. Every little piece of trivia. They collect pressings from different countries, etc etc etc. These are your real hardcores. 

Now, here’s the thing. Go to a Def Leppard concert (seriously, do it. They’re awesome) and you’ll see 15,000 people in the audience. Among them are probably, like, 500 people who know every single song. Then there are another 14,500 people who only know the big hits. If the band was to drop in some deep cuts to please the hardcores, you have 14,500 people going “Uh… what’s this? Let’s go get a beer.” Throw in enough of those songs to satisfy the super-intense fans – the B-side collectors – and guess what: the reviews will suck. “Oh they played a bunch of stuff I didn’t even know. What a waste of money. Nobody ever heard Lady Strange on the radio at work.” And next time Def Leppard comes to town they’ll be playing to just those 500 people – but they won’t because the machine is too big. They’re a business with employees. They have staff to pay. They have ongoing costs to cover which the touring cycle takes care of, and you can’t just take a business like that and say “Y’know what? Let’s make 95% less money on the road this year!”

What I’m saying is, some of us may really really want a Star Wars movie that fills in some piece of obscure timeline trivia or would just be, like, totally cool, but instead we’re gonna keep getting Pour Some Sugar On Me.

They’re saving Ded Flatbird for the novels and comics.

New Jackson Signature Models

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You may remember Scott Ian of Anthrax discussing his badass Jackson King V in our interview recently. This incredible guitar is now available to the public in two versions, including a USA-built behemoth. Jackson has also announced new signature models for Misha Mansoor, Phil Collen, Mark Morton and Dave Davidson. Read More …

Def Leppard Australian Tour Announced

 

Def Leppard AustraliaPRESS RELEASE: Def Leppard, one of the world’s dominating powerhouses of rock, today announced details of their 2015 Australian tour – the first show kicks off in Sydney on 17th November. With over 100 million albums sold worldwide and two prestigious Diamond Awards (over 10 million albums sales in the USA for two separate albums) to their name, Def Leppard are one of the best loved bands in rock music.  Since 1992, the band has consisted of Joe Elliott (lead vocals), Rick Savage (bass, backing vocals), Rick Allen (drums, backing vocals), Phil Collen (guitar, backing vocals) and Vivian Campbell (guitar, backing vocals). Read More …

Jackson 2014 Summer Releases

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PRESS RELEASE: Jackson is pleased to announce two new Jackson Custom Shop limited edition guitars and a signature bass guitar charged with new features, and designed for speed and killer looks.

Jackson Custom Select (JCS) Series

Jackson Custom Select Series instruments are Jackson’s top-line best, recalling the time-honored traditions of the ’80s-era Jackson Custom Shop. Nowhere else will you find U.S.-built production-model shred machines of such stellar design, peerless performance and superior craftsmanship, brought to life by the best builders in the business. Read More …

Phil Collen’s Jackson X-STROYER

Phil Collen with new signature model Jackson PC XSTROYER (2)Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen’s Ibanez Destroyer from the “Photograph” video is iconic, and but these days Phil is a Jackson dude, so what does one do when one wants to tap into the spirit of that guitar but with much more customised features? Well, one turns to the folks at Jackson to build a custom Kelly with appointments inspired by that Destroyer! Phil is using this new axe on the band’s current co-headlining tour with KISS. Of course, if you want a real Ibanez Destroyer, you’ve gotta check out THIS bad boy (one of my dream guitars) or these guys.

Below the press release with more info about the X-STROYER (plus a cropped version of the above pic so you can see more detail). Read More …

Def Leppard Rocks PreSonus ADL 700 Channel Strip

1383This email from PreSonus (I use and love their Studio One recording software) just popped up in my inbox and it reminded me of that time I interviewed Def Leppard’s Joe Elliott about guitar for Guitar World – I thought it’d be fun to get Joe’s take on guitar, given that he’s so known as a vocalist but has been playing guitar pretty much forever: he initially auditioned to be the guitarist for the band that would eventually become Def Leppard. You can read that interview here. Now on to the press release:

PRESS RELEASE: Having worked with UK rockers Def Leppard in the studio and as concert front-of-house engineer for well over a decade, Ronan McHugh has had ample opportunity to try out lots of different gear with the band. McHugh has been using the new PreSonus ADL 700 tube channel strip to record the band’s first studio album since their 2008 Songs from the Sparkle Lounge, and he gives the channel strip high marks all around. “Before we started working on the album, I did a record with Joe [Elliott, lead vocalist for Def Leppard],” McHugh reports. “He has another project called Down ‘n’ Outz. We recorded most of the vocals through a Shure SM7, directly into the ADL 700. I found that with the impedance control at just the right setting, it really brings the vocal to life.” Read More …