When Bon Scott Helped Out Struggling Def Leppard
Def Leppard singer Joe Elliott looked back on the experience of touring the U.K. as AC/DC's opening act in 1979 and told of the moment Bon Scott helped out the struggling, teenage English band.
In a new interview with Classic Rock, Elliott said that while the bands didn't spend much time socializing, the Australian giants still made plenty of welcoming gestures during the trek.
"They looked after us," he said. "We had good lights and sound, and we went down really well with their audience. … It wasn't that AC/DC weren't friendly, we just never saw much of them."
He continued: "But the one guy who was really personable was Bon Scott. I remember we happened to be in the same hotel as them one night, we had four straws in one pint, and Bon threw a tenner down and said: 'Here you are, lads! Go buy yourselves a round.' Sadly I never had the chance to pay him back."
Describing Scott as an "amazing frontman," Elliott recalled: "Every night he wore a sleeveless denim jacket, no shirt, and he was in good shape for a guy who drank so much. But it was the expression in his face that I remember most. He looked like he didn't give a shit. I don't mean he didn't give a shit about being in tune or in time, he just had this facial expression that said he was living in the moment."
Def Leppard took every opportunity to learn from the headline act, Elliott added. "One of the big lessons was the value of repetition, which is a key ingredient to long-term success," he said. "Most artists don't want to repeat themselves, but if you want to stay in the game you don't change your set every night. AC/DC never changed their sound, their look or their work ethic."