CulturePop No. 42 – ‘Def Leppard’ lead singer Joe Elliott, Pt. 1

Hanging out over coffee with Def Leppard lead singer Joe Elliott at the legendary rock 'n' roll hotel Sunset Marquis was already a great start to our morning — what made it even better was Elliott himself. Laid-back, charming and happy to riff on any subject we lobbed at him, he talked candidly about rocking out after fifty, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Def Leppard's upcoming tour with KISS, and plenty more.

Given how much we loved talking to his band mate Phil Collen, how can we decide which member of the band was a better guest? We can't and yeah, no reason to do it. They're both awesome — and Elliott had so much to say, we couldn't bring ourselves to cut him off for some arbitrary time limit. Thus, you get part one and part two of our chat with him (part two will be next week). You're welcome. Here's the rundown:

:30 Joe Elliot in a CulturePop sandwich
1:45 The tour with KISS — it's taken 2 and a half years to make happen
3:00 How he bonded with Gene Simmons — over obscure Brit bands
4:35 Logistics of a double bill
5:25 Getting to the press conference was touch and go
5:50 Joe talks about discovering KISS for the first time
8:20 The spectacle of KISS
9:40 Flying with KISS — at least some of the time
11:00 It's disrespectful to go long
13:35 Who's choosing the songs for this tour — fans!
15:10 All the many things he's working on — including the next Def Leppard album
16:11 Why they want a new album instead of a “retread”
16:35 Every producer falls short of Mutt Lange, so they're producing themselves
18:10 Thundering Hippotamuses!
18:20 The challenges of being their own opening band
19:00 The difficulty of transitioning from Dead Flat Bird to Def Leppard might surprise you
21:20 It's getting harder as they get older
22:30 The angel that helps him through
24:15 The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame — why he doesn't give a flying rat's ass
27:15 He was involved with the fundraising, and this is the thanks he gets

Remember, tune in next week for part two!

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