May 20, 2024

Sheffield Scene Part 2: Def Leppard

Growing up on the rough, dog eat dog, underworld of Sheffield’s council estates, Def Leppard originally started out as a Hip-hop crew. With skinheads hidden under their back to front baseball caps, they rapped at local parties about the effect of the Thatcher era upon the steel industry and the young workforce that suddenly had to survive. IT was all about carrying uzi’s, macking women, and catching beat downs off the local 5.0.

However, they were crap. With bills needing to be paid and baseball caps no longer fitting underneath ever growing hair they couldn’t afford to cut, something had to happen. “We were repping, but the man had us on lockdown, bwoy” recalls Joe Elliot. “Heavy metal was the bomb, and we were down with it, man.”

So, they made the switch from Hip-hop underworld to global superstars. The raps of the drug dealing and the racism they encountered in northern working men’s clubs, were swapped for guitar riffs and baggy jeans for tight leather pants.

Suddenly they were playing stadiums across the globe. Their own commercial heavy metal hit the spot with LP’s selling more they could ever imagined. Even a coach crash couldn’t derail the success they were having, and they became one of the biggest bands, not only straight outta of Carbrook, but the world. While ridiculed on the mean streets they once ran, with many calling them sell outs and ‘oreo’s’ their rock music formula led from massive LP to another.

This song became one of their biggest hits and is, erm,  about, erm, who knows and we don’t really care to dwell on it:

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