My First Love: Scott Stapp on Def Leppard's 'Pyromania'.

"I was at my friend's house in 1983 and the video for Photograph came on MTV and from that moment I was hooked on rock n' roll."

“That album connected to me in every way: I wanted to be those guys. When I saw the Photograph video I wanted a model wife, and everything that a teenage boy thinks a rock star has. The music moved me, something inside me was different from the moment I heard this record.

“I’d heard Elvis records, and some Donny Hathaway and Otis Redding from my mother, but Pyromania was the record that completely changed the course of my life. The guitars, the rhythms, the energy in the music, the way it was sung… everything spoke to me.


“I’d never heard anything like it and it just made me want to move, I just felt it. When my friend brought the record over to my house we must have listened to Photograph and Foolin’ ten times in a row. But my step-father was extremely religious, and he came into my bedroom when we were listening to it and he said that it was the Devil’s music, so from then on I had to sneak over to my friend Robbie’s house to listen to it in secret.

“I felt a bit guilty about that, but I also kinda felt that my step-father was wrong about this. And I’m glad I listened to my heart, because everything started from there.”

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Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.