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Rock News

Rock News

Joe Elliott celebrates his birthday on August 1. Decades after Def Leppard dropped their 1980 debut album On Through the Night, Elliott is still one of the enduring frontmen in rock.

Def Leppard continues to be a live draw. The acclaimed Stadium Tour with Motley Crue, Poison and Joan Jett & the Blackhearts was a massive hit. In fact, the tour was the eighth highest-grossing tour in 2022. Per Billboard, the tour made $173.4 million.

He’s showing no signs of slowing down, either. Even when Elliott suffered from altitude sickness before the band’s show in Colombia in February 2023, he was quickly treated, and the show went on.

While he tends to be rather low-key, Elliott is also low-key one of rock’s most interesting figures. You can tell he’s still a fan at heart. When he talks about new music or the music that inspires him, that passion comes through. He still loves music as much as he did when he was in his formative years.

What else makes Joe Elliott interesting? Keep scrolling to learn five fun facts about the Def Leppard frontman.

  • The Albums He Can't Live Without

    Elliott took part in Spin‘s “5 Albums I Can’t Live Without” feature. While his list devolved into basically naming entire catalogs, three specific albums he named were Mott The Hoople’s Mott, David Bowie’s The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars and Ian Hunter’s 1975 self-titled debut album.

  • His love of Mott the Hoople led to him forming the Down 'n' Outz

    Elliott notably has a side band called the Down ‘n’ Outz. The band currently features Paul Guerin, Guy Griffin, Keith Weir, Phil Martini and Share Ross. They initially formed to open for Mott the Hoople during a 2009 show in London, and the band has been a thing ever since. The group performs covers of Mott the Hoople and other artists related to the classic glam band.

  • The first concert he ever attended

    Glam rock has a strong hold on Elliott from his love of Mott the Hoople to the first concert he ever attended. He shared with Rolling Stone in April 2019 that his first concert was T. Rex at the Sheffield City Hall in 1971 when he was 11 years old.

    “I was absolutely shocked at the noise in this place and how big in 1971 Sheffield City Hall looked,” recalled Elliott. “Cut to nine years later, [Def Leppard] played there, and when I went down for the sound check, I stood where Marc Bolan stood [on stage] and looked back at where I stood watching Bolan nine years previously, and I couldn’t believe how small the place looked.”

  • He's a Late in Life Dad

    Elliott is a father of three now, but he and his second wife, Kristine, didn’t have their first child, son Finlay, until 2009 when the Def Leppard frontman was 50. Since then, the couple welcomed two more children: Lyla, 7, and Harper, 3.

    Elliott told Classic Rock about fatherhood, “It changes everything – and it comes at you like a f*cking express train! It’s not about me anymore. I was fifty when I had my first kid. While everybody else was having kids, I was having a jolly old time.”

    Joe Elliott of Def Leppard performs during "FOX & Friends" All American Concert Series at FOX Studios on June 15, 2012 in New York City.

    Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

  • The Def Leppard track he thinks is the band's best song

    Elliott named “Gods of War” from 1987’s Hysteria as Def Leppard’s best song in a May 2022 interview with VultureIt might be a surprising pick for some, but Elliott explains, ” … it was so different from anything else we’d ever done. From a musical point of view, the only note that isn’t in that song is an E-flat. It covers a lot of ground. It’s a great example of Steve Clark’s very angular and unique riff-writing.”

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