LEPPARD: Joe to the Rescue
When Mott the Hoople did their run of five shows across the U.K. last month, Def Leppard singer Joe Elliott not only joined them on stage, he came through in a pinch for Ian Hunter by lending him a guitar.
During Mott's heyday in the '70s, Hunter used to play a guitar shaped like a Maltese Cross, but he says it was "not a very good instrument" and he "sold it many years ago." But he did play two Cross guitars last month and he says that's because "Elliott had two copies made...and he gave me one for my 70th birthday. While playing in Cheltenham, England, I realized the Gibson Les Paul Junior I was playing in ordinary tuning wasn’t anywhere near as good as the Maltese I was playing in open tuning. We E-mailed Joe, who was in the States, and asked if I could borrow the other one. By 4 p.m. the next day, Joe was in Birmingham with his Maltese Cross. It sounded great –- exactly like mine –- so that was it. I used them both for the tour. There are only two in the world. I think it’s really neat that a guitar can look that good AND sound so good. Very cool! Praise be to Joe!"