Def Lep frontman thanks fans for support while he was “off his game” and admits battling “inherent sadness” during tour

Condolences: Joe Senior in 1993

Def Leppard frontman Joe Elliott admits his first show after the death of his dad was a difficult experience – and he’s thanked his fans for supporting him while he was “off his game.”

Joe Senior died on July 7 at the age of 81 after a long illness. He’d persuaded his son not to postpone his planned tour so Elliott Junior hit the road until he was called to his father’s deathbed, leading to the postponement of some concerts.

But Def Leppard were back in action this week, and Elliott has acknowledged the support of his followers during his difficult time.

He says: “Last night was the first show I’ve ever done without a father, and can I say to the people of Cincinnati, Ohio: ‘Thank you for making it that little bit easier to deal with.’

“I’ll admit I ran out of gas – I had nothing left to give. It was emotional, but it was over 100 degrees on stage too, which didn’t help.

“Going into rehearsals and the tour, even with a sick father’s blessing, is a lot harder than I imagined it would be. Through all the jokes and and smiles during interviews and on stage, there’s an inherent sadness you just can’t shake.

“I had to get the first show out of the way to help me move on. I hope the rest of them are as good; but for now last night has helped me through the hardest weeks of my life.”

Elliott finishes by saying how grateful he and his mum are for all the messages of condolence they’ve received, adding: “My old man would have been well proud – as he was when I photographed him sitting on Rick Allen’s drumkit back in 1993. It’s something I thought I’d like to share with you all.”

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