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Subject: RE: RE: RE: Def Leppard (ssc)
Date: Tuesday, January 08, 2019
Time: 12:36:47 PM
Remote Address: 22.214.171.124
Message ID: 319435
Parent ID: 319432
Thread ID: 319427
I told the story here many moons ago, like 15 to 20 years ago, about the night I and my family partied with the band, minus the drummer and bassist. This was back in 1980, and my wife was working in this small bar in Colorado Sps called Maggie May's Pub, and they were staying in the hotel next door and were opening for Black Foot the next night. So it was a Friday night and I was at home watching our 2 kids when she calls me on the phone asking me if I knew who the band Def Leppard was - and that they they had just walked into the pub. At the time their High 'n' Dry LP had just been released, and I only knew one or 2 songs by them, but anyway I was bored at home, so me and the kids headed on over to Colorado Sps where she was working (in the next town over). As we entered the joint, the drummer was exiting the place at the same time we entered and said "Hello", so that was my only contact with him I had, but the rest of the band (minus the bassist) along with a few groupies was in this small bar along with a few regulars of the joint.
The first thing my wife said to me when I got there was, "Their all under age, other than the lead singer who's 21. What should I do?" I said to her, you know the rules, you're get into big trouble if you serve them. She already had, so I suggested she close down the place and lock the doors (even though it was early, like only 730 PM). I told her that she could reopen the joint after they all left. So that's what she did, and the next thing I know, is that a private all night party breaks out (that the band members were paying for)! I got to know and hang out with the 2 guitarists, Pete Willis - the kid who actually started the band, and lead guitar player Steve Clark. Singer Joe Elliott was sitting in the middle of the bar and had these 3 pretty, young gals on his side the entire night (he left with all 3 of them around midnight). I only got to say hello to him for a sec as he returned from the rest room once.
At first I hung out with Pete, as I just happened to site next to him at the bar. He was only 19 years old. Spent about 4 hours just speaking to him and their manager, Famous, who was around 30 or so. Among other things, they wanted to know about Ron Reagan, who had just been elected president. I of course hated Reagan, and told them a ton of negative things about him. Pete was a real nice guy, I got along great with him - and he got us backstage passes for the show for the next night. But by 11 pm or so, he was totally wasted and drunk and one of the roadies put on his winter jacket and escorted him out of the joint and back to his hotel room. Only problem was the jacket placed on him - was mine, and I never saw the jacket again, and this was a time when we were broke and I couldn't afford a new one (I tried to get it back from him the following night but he nor the same roadie knew what happened to it!). After Pete left, I saw Steve sitting in the corner of the pub at a table totally alone with a drink in his hand, so I headed over to just say hello to him. He was also just 19, and I first said to him, "What ya drinking?" "A plain coke" was his answer. I said to him "Really? You don't drink?", and he said to me, "Nope, I don't drink booze at all" (sadly, that won't last for him, as he would die from alcohol poisoning just 10 years later). He then smiled and said to be, "What a pretty little baby you got there". I was holding my daughter, who was around a year old or so at time. So I asked him if he would like to hold her, and he took her from me for a several minutes. We then started to talk - for about 2 hours. What a great guy he was, too. He, like Pete, was interested in knowing what America was really like, and I in turn asked them about England. I told Steve that I was totally surprised to lean from Pete that he didn't know a thing about the Beatles at all, and when I said this to him, he says to me, "I don't know them either, they really are from before our time. I only know a song or 2 by them, like "Hey Jude". I also of course asked them if they knew the Stones, and yes, they both knew the Stones, in part since the Stones were still a current band. "Yeah, I like a few of their hard rock songs, but they are an old band too" was his answer. I think these guys answers to me was the first time I ever in my life felt like I was old, even if I was only in my late 20s myself at the time. But how could kids from the UK not know the Beatles (it was only 1980!)?
Anyway, the next night we went to the show at the sold out Colorado Sps' City Auditorium, and that's where I realized I did know a couple of their songs. After the show was over, we met then again that night at the pub, but they had to catch a plane the next morning, so they didn't stay there too long.
Pete was kicked out of the band about a year later because of his heavy drinking, while Steve died about 10 years later. Joe and the drummer are still in the group today, along with the bassist, who wasn't in the bar either night. But yes, that was a fun night hanging out with those 2 guys, indeed!
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