Classic Rock News

Def Leppard says they’re enjoying being on tour now that they’re “semi-grown up”

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Ross Halfin

Def Leppard and Mötley Crüe played together 40 years ago, but on their current co-headlining tour, which resumes August 5 in Syracuse, New York, they say things aren’t quite as debauched as they were back then.

Whereas there were plenty of drugs around back in the day, Def Leppard singer Joe Elliott tells People magazine that nowadays, the only thing that Crüe drummer Tommy Lee gets high on is pranks. 

Elliott says if you fall asleep around Lee or touring Crüe guitarist John 5, they’ll put “plant pots” on your head and “take pictures” of you while you’re asleep. “So God help you—just don’t shut your eyes,” he says. Guitarist Phil Collen cracks, “At least Tommy’s smuggling plants now instead of cocaine. Bonsai trees, that’s his latest obsession.”

Childish hijinks aside, Collen says, “It’s been really nice being semi-grown up and actually appreciating all that we do.” However, guitarist Viv Campbell notes, “You never really grow up in this industry. You can’t.”

Elliott agrees, saying, “I think the wonderment of what you do is part of what keeps your mind young. The childhood dreams, when they go, it starts to fall off.”

But Elliott says the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees now have the maturity to look back and marvel at the fact that they’re still together, despite all they’ve gone through.

“History tells you, with a car crash, death, cancer, whatever the hell we’ve survived, we’ve always had this underpinned strength of, it’s the music that kept us all together,” says Elliott. “We’ll survive anything that gets thrown at us.”

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