Def Leppard pictured by Anton Corbijn. 2023

The Mythical ‘Curse’ of Def Leppard: Fact or Fiction?

Def Leppard, the iconic UK rock band that gained prominence in the 1980s, is a name synonymous with both immense success and personal tragedies. Known for iconic albums like “Pyromania” and “Hysteria,” the band’s journey has been peppered with several high-profile setbacks, sparking rumors and whispers of a so-called “Def Leppard curse.” One A-list rocker even claimed to avoid sharing a car with the band’s frontman, Joe Elliott, citing the ‘curse’. Let’s dive into the details and separate rock n’ roll myth from reality.


The Roller Coaster Journey of Def Leppard

Starting their career in the late 1970s, Def Leppard ascended to stardom with a blend of glam rock and heavy metal that caught the zeitgeist of the 1980s. Albums like “High ‘n’ Dry” (1981) gave them initial traction, but it was 1983’s “Pyromania” that catapulted them to international fame. However, the spotlight has often been shared with personal challenges, including drummer Rick Allen losing his arm in a car accident on New Year’s Eve in 1984 and the untimely death of guitarist Steve Clark in 1991 due to alcohol poisoning. These unfortunate events have led to the formation of a narrative that the band might be plagued by a curse.

Who Made the Curse Claim?

It was none other than Jon Bon Jovi who made waves with his declaration about the Def Leppard ‘curse’. In a recent episode of the podcast Behind the Hits, Joe Elliott revealed that Jon Bon Jovi is somewhat superstitious when it comes to associating with him. For those who may not know, both bands toured together in the late 1980s, specifically during the “Hysteria” and “New Jersey” eras, making this superstition even more intriguing. Jon Bon Jovi allegedly avoids traveling in the same car as Elliott to ward off any potential misfortune.

Joe Elliott Debunks the Myth

According to Elliott, the notion of a ‘curse’ is exaggerated. He believes that other bands have faced tragedies similar or even worse, but those events go unreported or are less publicized. Notably, Elliott also brings up the band’s resilience through challenges as seen in the recording of “Hysteria,” which took nearly four years to complete due to a series of delays and setbacks but eventually became a massive commercial success. Elliott insists, “Good things happen when we’re as a band; nothing bad happens when we’re as a band.” Clearly, he dismisses the idea that Def Leppard is burdened by some nefarious supernatural spell.

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In Perspective: Real Tragedies Vs. Rock n’ Roll Legend

While it’s easy to get swept away by the dramatic idea of a rock ‘n roll curse, the genuine hardships faced by Def Leppard should not be overlooked. For the super-fans, it’s worth mentioning how the band rallied behind Rick Allen, who continued drumming for the band with a custom-made electronic drum kit after his accident. It’s perhaps more a testament to their resilience than a sign of a looming curse.

The Show Must Go On: Upcoming Australian Tour

Def Leppard is not letting superstitions hold them back. The band is scheduled for an Australian stadium tour later this year, marking yet another chapter in their storied career. Fans of the rock icons are already buzzing with excitement, unswayed by any talk of a ‘curse.’ For the aficionados, be on the lookout for some classic deep tracks that they’ve been incorporating into their recent setlists.

Conclusion: Myth or Reality?

The concept of a Def Leppard ‘curse’ is undeniably alluring, especially for fans who have followed the band’s highs and lows over the years. However, Joe Elliott and his bandmates continue to soldier on, proving that they are not defined by the adversities they’ve faced.

For those who want to know more about the band’s intriguing history, including its alleged ‘curse,’ tune into Behind the Hits for the full story ahead of their Australian tour.

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