Joe Elliott on Rock Hall Induction: ‘It’s a Good Club to Be In’
Def Leppard will be enshrined into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March, along with Roxy Music, Stevie Nicks, The Cure, Radiohead, Janet Jackson and The Zombies. Frontman Joe Elliott recently spoke with Rolling Stone and shared his thoughts on the accolade, his fellow inductees and more.
Elliott, who once said the band would “politely refuse” induction into the Rock Hall, calls the distinction a “nice badge of honor” adding, “It was something that we weren’t overly concerned about until the fan vote thing became a major part of it. The people that really matter to every band are the audience.”
The vocalist adds that the band wasn’t overly excited about the possibility of being enshrined until they noticed fans were aggressively voting for the band. “We were being informed daily how we were nudging ahead of Stevie [Nicks] and then there were comments like, ‘Do you know that every winner of the fan poll over the past six years has been inducted?’ We were, ‘Okay, cool. That’s interesting to know.’ Then we finally find out we’re in. Now we can stop holding our breath and go, ‘Great! How wonderful to be in the same club as the Rolling Stones and the Beatles and the Who and Queen and etc., etc.’ It’s nice. It’s a good club to be in.”
As we previously reported, Def Leppard won the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame fan vote with 547,647, besting Stevie Nicks by over 100,000 votes. Elliott recently told Loudwire that the problem with the Hall of Fame is “what elitist think is an impact is very different to what the regular man on the street counts as impact.”
The 2019 Rock Hall class runs the gamut from Roxy Music to The Cure to Janet Jackson. Elliott shared his thoughts on the other artists entering the Hall, “It’s not one type of music, which I think is a great reflection on people’s taste. I think it’s great that Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent (of The Zombies) finally got in there. I’m really surprised, again, that Todd [Rundgren] didn’t. Janet Jackson, for all her success … People might argue that it’s not rock & roll, but that ‘Rhythm Nation’ stuff kicked ass."
Elliott also shares that former Def Leppard guitarist Pete Willis will be invited to the ceremony. “He deserves to be inducted since he was involved in the first three albums. A lot of people aren’t aware that he did play until halfway through Pyromania. He contributed as much as anybody on the first two albums. Of course he deserves to get in. I haven’t seen Pete in 14 years. I don’t know if he’s aware yet. We’re going to reach out to him over the next day or two now that the dust has settled and we’ll see if he wants to come.” He adds that Willis may not perform with the band saying that Willis has “kind of moved away from this kind of stuff” and may be a “little reluctant to come along.”
While on the topic of former guitarists, Elliott was asked what the late Steve Clark, who passed away in 1991, would think about the band’s induction into the Rock Hall. “The Steve that I knew, which was for more than 13 years, I think he’d enjoy it. It’s a difficult question since a lot of what we’ve done to get where we are we did with Steve, and then everything since then has been building the fan base,” he says. “It’s kind of like asking what Peter Green would think of Fleetwood Mac getting in. I think if this was to happen to 1988, Steve [would] be like, “Yeah! Awesome!” If a 60 year-old Steve were around today, I don’t know if he’d care. I don’t know. It’s an impossible-to-answer question.”
Elliott concludes saying being inducted in the Rock Hall is a "a nice badge of honor" and that "the people that really matter to every band are the audience.” The 34th Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place on March 29 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
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