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Definitely: The Official Story of Def Leppard, released May 18th.

 Part memoir/biography, part scrapbook, ‘Definitely’ is the ultimate record of Def Leppard's legendary career. The wide-ranging account from the band chronicles Def Leppard's incredible story illustrated with hundreds of photographs and first-hand accounts from the band. With unlimited access to the Def Leppard Vault and extensive text contributions, to in-depth brand new and archival interviews.

The band were in conversation with journalist Michael Hann at The Royal Festival Hall in London to discuss the new book recently.

Vivian Campbell revealed that after listening to Leppard’s 1983 album ‘Pyromania’, Phil Lynott called time on Thin Lizzy because he struggled to see how Lizzy could remain relevant in the changing  musical climate.

At that time Campbell was still with Sweet Savage and happened to be in Frank’s Funny Farm in Camden with Phil Lynott. The two musicians knew each other because Sweet Savage had opened for Lizzy in the past. On this night Lynott was “despondent.” He asked Campbell if he had heard the ‘Pyromania’ record, Campbell thought it was great. But Lynott struggled to see Lizzy’s place in where music was going and said to Campbell “I don’t feel like Thin Lizzy is relevant anymore. I’m thinking of splitting up the band. “

Joe Elliot then weighed in, saying that on the same night he went to introduce himself and to Phill Lynott who replied, “I’ve heard the record, it’s the reason I’m splitting the band!”

Joe Elliot is openly a massive Thin Lizzy fan and wished he has told Lynott to “make a fucking better record,” but Lynott’s comments left him crushed. “It’s the worst, most horrible, fucking left- handed compliment you ever hear in your life, when you hear one of your heroes saying I’m splitting the band because of you!”

The band did pay make up for it and tribute to Thin Lizzy, their legacy and influence by remixing Lizzy tracks back in 2011.

Elsewhere in the interview the band talked about their early days in Sheffield, first playing at Donnington Park. Rick Allen graciously talked about Ozzy Osborne’s “freak show” comment when referring to Allen’s amputation. And was quick to add that he did receive an apology from Ozzy.  He also went on to say that “there was no rule book for one handed drummers “ to which Rick Savage responded “there is, now he’s (Allen) written it.” - the comment received a standing ovation from some members of the audience.

The talk celebrated Def Leppard’s working class roots and ethos. Sav stated “we wanted to be the biggest band in the world, for the right reasons. “ And it’s clear that band that are still humble and grateful for the career they’ve had. For them it was never about celebrity. It was always about the music and connecting with the fans. And it’s that that has made them one of the biggest and most enduring bands in the world.

Definitely: The Official Story of Def Leppard gives fans the most in depth history of the band. The book is narrated by the band, as if they were in conversation and of course there are tonnes of photography and memorabilia from the Def Leppard vaults.

The book covers their early years in Sheffield, their albums and the tragedy’s that have befallen the band, but also their triumphs.

The images are striking, capturing the band along the road to world domination. The candid shots also show another side to the band, and it’s worth the jacket price alone to see them casually looning about backstage, or just chilling. As much as the on superb stage shots capture their glory the candid ones reveal the human side to these rock Gods.

There are tales of bets with Robert Plant, Rick Allen’s disguises, the creative experience, the Def Leppard song chopping board, touring and everything in between. It really is an AAA pass to the band warts and all.

There’s also plenty of archive merch, passes, drawings to delve deeper into the bands history. It’s fascinating stuff and the publisher, Genesis have done an ace job of putting this together.

At 300 pages long it doesn’t matter if you are a fan of the band or just interested in music history this is definitely a definitive book to have in your coffee table.


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