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November 10, 2021 24 mins

Rock & roll is alive and well as Brian May inducts Def Leppard into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame class of 2019. Brian shares a look back, through a few photographs, of his personal journey with the band. He was blown away with a band whose arpeggiated guitar riffs, juicy bass lines and beautiful harmonies rivaled the likes of his own band, Queen. 

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:00):
M Welcome to Induction Vault, a production of I Heart
Radio and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame M.

Rock and Roll is Alive and Well. As Brian May
indux Death Leopard into the Rock and Roll Hall of
Fame Class of nineteen, Brian shares a look back through
a few photographs of his personal journey with the band.
He was blown away with a band whose arpeggiated guitar riffs,
juicy basslines, and beautiful harmonies rival the likes of his
own band Queen. For Brian, his relationship with Death Leopard

goes beyond admiration and friendship because they connected on an
emotional level, as both groups experienced the death of band
members within the same year. When Death Lebert stand on
the stage to accept this award, they thank everyone, most
importantly the fans for sticking with them through the ups
and downs of their career. They take the audience on
their own journey through all the triumphs and tragedies that

try to knock them down for good. Despite all that
they've been through, resilience only made this rock juggernaut and
even stronger family and one worthy of a Hall of
Fame induction. High Folks, High folks, I would guess from tonight,

sixty five years after Bill Hayley sanging Rock around the clock,
Rock and Roll is alive and well, am I right?
I have the greatest job in the world. I am
so honored and privileged to be importing, definitely, but into
the Hall of Fame. What an amazing privilege. I kind

of just want to talk. I can't do auto Q,
but I can do bits of notes. It's old school, Okay,
you forgive me. Um. I'm going to quote first from
the Joe Elliott Book of Philosophy, which says, you get
one chance to do the good ship, don't fuck it up.
So this is my guideline tonight. Okay. I want to

do them justice. I really want to do these boys justice.
And I'm not going to tell your history. I'm just
going to tell you my personal view. I want to
tell you how these guys came into my life and
how important they are cast your mind's back. Nine and
eighty one. Queen were in a in a studio in
Munich recording an album called Hot Space, and I nipped

out to see some friends of mine, Richie Blackmore's Rainbow
and we should be supporting, but a young, precocious bunch
of boys called Deaf Leopard. I got there late and
I missed them, and I felt so bad about it.
I sought out the addressing room and went in to
see him, sort of poked my head through the door
and said, hi, guys, I just wanted to say hellocas

I miss you. I'm really sorry. I'm I'm Brian May
from Queen and they said as a man, they said
no ship, which was kind of nice. So I think
we got on from that point. And they told me
that Queen has been a great influence on them, which
is always a great thing for me to think about.

Um cut to three. You know what you do when
you're on tour. We're out on tour, and when you're
in the cars and the planes or whatever, you hit
the button to see if anybody's playing your record. So
this is what I'm doing. I'm training around. Every time
I hit the record, every time I hit the button,
I'm hearing this amazing kind of clang, sort of arpeggiated guitar,
and I'm hearing here an amazing harmon. Is this big

juicy bassline. I'm hearing these huge, fat drums and it's
not Queen. It's these young, precocious boys called Deaf Leppard
and the song is Photograph, this amazing song which catapulted
them to fame. It was never off the radio that time,
and before the album was finished that it came from Hysteria,

they had sold ten million copies of that album, which
is pretty rare. I tell you ten times quitetinum album. Okay.
Cut to the September Rady three. I'm in Los Angeles again.
We're recording an album, which this time is the Works,
I think, and Um I go out. This time Deaf
Leopard are playing the local arena, which is the legendary

l A Fum. I go down. They're very inconspicuous. I
sit at the back, and when these boys hit the stage,
I have to tell you, I have never seen anything
like it the I've seen some great shows in the Forum,
but I've never seen an audience react like that. They
got to their feet, they never sat down, and they
screamed and shouted the whole way through the performance. Deaf

Leopard killed that night. I went back to I went
backstage to see him afterwards. They invited me and just
like when we first played in the States, all their
moms and dads are. They're very proud moms and dads.
And I get introduced to him, and the boys say,

will you come up and play with us tomorrow night?
There two nights, so I said yes, and the rest
is history. We played Traveling Band. It's history. He said
to say that I nearly lost my career and my
life because this is pyromania and the production has all
kinds of fire in it. You know, you know what
that is. And actually Joe warned me, he said, watch

out for the fireworks at the end. Bran think, you know,
just just be careful. But I'm at the end. We
finished Traveling and we're up behind the drums and there's
a kind of chasm in front of us where the
fire is about to come out. I have no idea.
I'm gone, I'm like giving it all this and and
Joe is going bribe Brie, and I'm thinking he's just
kind of appreciating me, you know, but he's going bright

bright the fine. Anyway, this huge sheet of flame comes
up in front of me, and just in time, Joe's
dragged me out of it. Otherwise I wouldn't be here tonight.
So early on in our career. Joe Elliott saved my life.
You know. The history of of definitely but is incredibly

colorful and filled with all kinds of stuff which I
can't even go into because I don't have the time.
But they started August seven in Sheffield, England, which is
not a very glamorous place, and as a lot of
people have said here, there's a great urge to get out.
They recorded eleven incredible albums and they played their asses
off around the world many many times. They did it

the old fashioned way. They played and played and played,
and they made great music in the in the studio.
They sold eventually more than a hundred million albums, and
they endured being very fashionable and being very unfashionable as
well as sometimes happened, particularly in England where sometimes the

press wasn't very kind. You know, I don't know why
this happens, but they kind of got attacked, among other things,
for making hit records. Now, can I just remind you
what some of those hits were. We got bringing on
the Heartbreak, photograph, Fooling, Pour some Sugar, Armor, getting It, Hysteria,

Let's Get Rocked, when Worlds Collide, Animal Love Bites, Rock
of Ages, Rocket it's a long that isn't even the fullest.
They released fifty singles, most of which were hits, and
many were number ones, But there was this kind of
feeling abroad in the press and in the media, particularly
in the UK as I say that maybe that made

them uncool. Let me tell you those songs. The fact
that they wrote real songs that people can sing and
carry in their heads is the reason that Deaf Leopard
will be remembered in hearts and minds long after all
of us have left the building. I just want to

say something about their endurance. You know that the Deaf
Leopard Band is a family and evolving family. I would
say the amazing baseman, Rick Savage is it's really the
founder member. He's the only guy who's at the beginning,
and he's here at the end. It's not the end,
it's the continuing story. But um but very soon Joe

Elliott joined him, and Joe brought the name with him,
which apparently refers to some orally challenged cat of some kinds. Um.
So these store was are the very birth of the band.
But the family grew and evolved and faced all kinds
of adversity. The loss of drummer Rix Allen. Rick Allen's

arm was a massive shock, can setback which would have
ended the career of a lesser band. But thanks to
the incredible fortitude of Rick himself in bringing himself back,
and also and also thanks to the incredible loyalty and

cohesiveness of that family which is definitely good in supporting
him when he came back, they actually grew in stature
and in every way, not only Rick, but the whole
band benefited in a sense. And I was there at
Donnington when he first came back for that triumphant return amazing. Similarly,

the loss of the fantastic Rick Riffmeister I would call
him Steve Clark, will always be mourned. What a great player,
what a wonderful player. And I think many people thought
that that could be a mortal blow to the band,
and it could have been, for it's the human beings.
But the current guitar duo of Phil Colin and Phil

and viv Campbell is awesome. In fact, I would say
Colin and Campbell are truly frightening as a guitar duo,
and it's amazing not everybody realizes that these guys are
not just crowd pleasers. They're also they embody such an
amazing technical excellence and they have it all. I have

to tell you, I regard all these guys as great
friends and kind of part of my family. That's why
it's so important for me to be here. I wouldn't
have let anybody else do this. Okay. They all turned
up for our Freddie Mercury tribute, which was and we've

played together loads of times, and Joe and I in
particular have shared many precious and fun moments snatched among
the madness of touring life. We have a strong bond
and he's one of my dearest pals. When Steve died,
Joe says that the first phone call he got was

from me. And when the news got out of Freddy's passing,
first phone call I got was from Joe Elliott stuck.
These guys are a magnificent rock group in the classic

tradition of what a rock group really is. I'm just
going to quote a couple of more things. Early on,
Joe said, what's the success, what's the story? The secret
of a successful rock group? I said, don't split up.
A few years later he came back and he said
to me, I have a couple of other secrets to

being a successful rock group. You have to not get fat,
and you have to keep your hair. I had to say,
these guys did not get fat, they did not lose
their hair, they did not split up, and they are
here tonight, Ladies and gentlemen. These guys are a great band.
They're also they're also as honest and decent a bunch

of magnificent human beings as ever came out of Yorkshire,
or Britain or the world. Ladies and gentlemen, is my
privilege to welcome to induct into the Hall of Fame
Death Lemberg. After the great we'll hear from members of

Death Leopard on the Rock and Roll Hall Game induction
Bob hey do, thanks for having us. Good to be here.
First of all, massive, massive love and gratitude to our

very dear friend Brian May, Brother Brian, but such a
flattering introduction, We love your mate, and congratulations on the
incredible success of the movie. Couldn't have happened a nicer chap.

Also like to congratulate our fellow inductees tonight. It's been
a real honor to be able to share this stage
of the likes of Roxy Music and Stephen Nicks and
the Zombies, artists that we have admired from a distance
for many, many years. All Right, so down a business,

we'd like to take this opportunity to acknowledge a few
people and some significant moments that have played a very
important role in getting this band to where it is today.
Starting off with our parents. How back then we were

just a bunch of teenage wannabes living at home, dreaming
the dream. And you know, so without their help and encouragement,
it would be a lot tougher to be standing up
here on this stage tonight. My mom, for example, taught
me my first three chords when I was eight years old.

I've learned two more since, and I've come to realize,
you know, actually really need them at all. My dad's
who lent us a d fifty pounds to make our
first ever recording back in which was absolutely the launch
pad for this very wild ride that we have been
on ever since. Now that m hmm, that's two. That's

just two examples of what our folks did for us
along the way. And I could stand here on out
with great tales of parental you know, support and what
have you. But as basically as a major significance. It
goes without saying that without their their help and their
financial support or otherwise, things would have turned out very,

very differently. So thang your moms and dads. Thank you
very much, Moms in love. Another significant moment in the
band's birth was a simple act of missing a bus,
which is something that I did on one August night
in seventies seven. But I decided to walk home instead

of waiting for the next one. Fate would have it
that I would bump into a young kid who I
knew to be a pretty good guitar player. That kid
was a guy called Pete Willis. Pete was the co
founder of this band and one of the best right
hands in the business. Now, sadly Pete couldn't be with

this tonight, but I want to emphasize how very important
Pete Roll was in this band in the early days.
He he was a terrific player. He had a very
mischievous sense of humor. But he brought many, plenty, plenty
of great musical ideas to this band. And it was Pete,

after a chance meeting in a college canteen, both reaching
for the same guitar magazine introduced us to the late
great Steve Clark over there I would have following ten years.
Steve made a massive musical contribution to this band is

incredible and unique riffs helped shape some of the most
important songs that we will ever write, and it really
does go without saying that we love him and that
we miss him every day. Ye two gentlemen who helped

take us to a level that we could only previously
have dreamt about were Cliff Bernstein and Peter Mensch. They
formed Q Prime Managements and they looked after us for
the best part of twenty five years. We will always
appreciate the fact that Peter bankrolled this band for years

until things started to take off, and boy did they
take off. But not before the most significant contribution that
Peter and Cliff ever made, which was introducing our music
to our future producer, co writer and mentor, Mr Robert

John Mark Lang. Now. We first worked with More on
an album in nine, an album called High and Dry,
which was a good record, but it was that saw
us moving our whole new orbit with the phenomenal success

over the album Pyromania, where we were properly introduced to
our new boss for the first time our wonderfully loyal
fan base, without whom we would not be up here tonight.

For that, I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever. So thank you,
thank you, thank you. You have stayed on board with
us for the best part of the following thirty six
years and supported us through some tough times along the way.
But those tough times have helped us make this band

what it is today. It's solids were appreciative of who
we are and what we stand for. Those songs written
over the years were always our main priority. You only
just have to check out our misguided fashion sense over
the years and you will understand where I'm coming from here.
And although it seemed that there was always a looming

sense of tragedy, tragedy around every corner, we just wouldn't
let it in. But it is true. It did seem
that every time that we made some musical headway life,
we'll just knock us back down somewhat. Pyromania is a
raging success, and then Rick Rick has a life changing accident.

He survived it and came out the other side stronger. Yeah, yeah, yeah,

you're not a wepefully h m hm. Rick Hall and
everybody hysteria gave us the global success that we'd always craved.

But then we lost Steve, but we survived and we
came out the other side stronger people. And that's the
way that he's always played out throughout our career. So
let's face facts, people here. If alcoholism, car crashes and
cancer couldn't kill us, the nineties had no fucking chance.

So finally, I'd like to just bring this into the
now and thanks some people who have been helping keep
this beautiful machine on the road, hopefully for many, many
more years to come. Our manager, Mike called by, Actually, Mike,
I can love your man. It took over the reins

from Howard Kaufman, who looked after us from two thousand
and five until his sad passing in two thousand and seventeen.
How did an incredible job breathing new life into this
band at a time when he could have gone either way?
And Mike continues to so so thank you, Michabe. Actually

to our friends at Universal Records past and present, especially present,
and to our families, to our wives, to our children
who helped keep us grounded. Honey, how much did that
first cost? Really? Thank give us a good reason to
keep doing what we do unless, but absolutely not least,

my fellow bandmates here. We're not blood, but with the
closest thing to brothers that this only child has ever known.

I couldn't and I wouldn't want to do it without
these guys. Thank you, m thanks for joining us on

this week's episode of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Induction Vault. For more on your favorite inductees, to shop
inductee merch or to plan your trip to the Rock
and Roll Hall of Fame, visit rock Hall dot com
plus Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Special on
demand on HBO Max. Our executive producers are Noel Brown,
Shelby Morrison, and Esa Gurkey. Supervising producer is Taylor shakogn

Research and archival assistants from Isabelle Keeper and Shannon Herb.
Thanks again for joining us on this week's episode of
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Vault. Induction Ball
is a production of I Heart Radio and The Rock
and Roll Hall of Fame. For more podcasts from Heart Radio,

visit the I Heart Radio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever
you get your favorite podcasts.
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