Joe Elliott talks Def Leppard’s early days in Speakeasy clip

Def Leppard frontman Joe Elliott recently gave an interview to David Fricke for Front And Centre Entertainment’s Speakeasy show.

The fourth series is airing from this month and features interviews with Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame recipients, Grammy winners and iconic musicians.

In a video clip from the interview, Elliott talks about the band’s early days – including how he came up with ‘Def Leppard’.

Elliott says: “I started making names up just out of boredom, I suppose. It sounded good, it looked silly. We didn’t notice that it looked like Led Zeppelin! Whoops!”

He adds: “We absolutely made it up as we went along, but we thought it was our destiny to be the biggest band in the world and nobody was going to stop us. But if you don’t dream like that when you’re 17, you’re never going to.

“When you work in the basement of a factory with no natural light, those were the days that made you want to be a rock star.”

Def Leppard will be inducted into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame on March 29 at the Barclays Centre in Brooklyn, along with The Cure, Stevie Nicks, Radiohead, Roxy Music, The Zombies and Janet Jackson.

The current lineup will be enshrined, along with late guitarist Steve Clark and the band’s original guitarist Pete Willis. 

Def Leppard will also headline Download UK this summer and tour across Canada with Tesla.

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.