I’m A Drummer! Reliving Hysteria Part VII

logo_def_leppardWell, this is now dragging out quite a bit, isn’t it? I feel as if I owe readers a bit of a recap so we can all remember where we were in the saga when it was so abruptly dropped.

There were some guys in Sheffield, England who formed a band. For various reasons (aka: luck) they became Def Leppard, a top-selling “metal” band of the 1980s and perhaps 1990 and maybe three or four months in 1991. I wrote “metal” because there seems contention out there over whether or not D.L. is actually a metal band. It depends… do you buy that Poison was a metal band? Poison makes D.L. look like metal gods. Anyway…

They went on some U.S. tours, where they were beloved. They put out a successful album. But then there were problems. Joe wanted to work too hard, push things. All he cared about was the band’s fame and fortune. Rick wanted to party and drive fast and in return he lost an arm. Now everything is up in the air (except for that arm). Is it the end of D.L.?


1. The band has finally achieved unity on the hair front – all are now blond. Except for Rick but he’s had a lot on his mind lately. No new hair color for him until he can wash himself again.

2. The conversation about drinking between Steve and Phil. Not exactly an After-School Special, is it? “Listen, driving drunk, blacking out, that’s half the fun, isn’t it?” “But I bought this $15,000 watch… I mean, yeah, I can afford it but it’s ugly as sin. Between this and that shitty Volvo outside, my drinking is giving me bad taste.” “Well, you may have a drinking problem, but I don’t. If I had a problem, would I still look this good? I don’t think so.”

3. Signs you may have a drinking problem:
You buy expensive, ugly watches you don’t remember buying and you didn’t even have the sense to have the salesperson removed the appropriate amount of links so that it actually fits your wrist.
You cough up blood.
You scream about sculpture at a party, causing all your friends to steer their slutty dates elsewhere.

4. As predicted, all the hard recovery work for Rick Allen is best summed up in two or three scenes. Drumming on hospital dishes! Oh, oh, there goes your iceberg lettuce salad but at least you got the drum beat for “Rock of Ages” right. “Hmmm… think I’ll wander down to the lounge. Wait! What’s this? An article in Solar Power Today about flying an airplane with your feet? Amazing. And me here with just one arm and two feet! What timing!”

5. Just think, the world almost didn’t have the gift of “Pour Some Sugar On Me.” But Mutt Lange saved the day. He came in, as if he’d never left, and laid down the law. “We’re going to challenge Thriller, lads! Pyromania was just a warm-up.” As if. The heavy metal Thriller? I’m sorry, but I don’t think so. According to Wikipedia, Thriller is still number one, with 110 million sold, and Hysteria topped out at 20 million. Apparently, Bat Out Of Hell by Meatloaf sold more units than Hysteria, which does not make me happy.

6. Just when you think everything is coming up roses for the gang again, ol’ Steve has to drink himself in a stupor and end up in the hospital (that location got a lot of use in this film). Damn his hole-ridden liver! And now it’s all in his hands…

7. Amber Valatta, you’re no brunette.

One thought on “I’m A Drummer! Reliving Hysteria Part VII

  1. I don’t understand the timing of when Rick saw that article… he’d already started playing with his one-handed drumming setups. Wouldn’t it have been more dramatic if he’d seen it first, and been inspired, and then tried one-handed drumming?

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