Elliott slams lazy labelling from people who don’t know facts, saying it’s condemned his band to a lifetime of underestimation

Def Leppard

Fashion victims: Def Leppard

Joe Elliott says if Def Leppard are no more a hair metal band than Led Zeppelin.

The singer insists the label was applied to his band by people who didn’t know what they were talking about – and it’s affected a large number of 80s rock bands who have struggled to escape the shadow of the negative branding.

Elliott tells the Daily Record: “We used to get riled when people called us a hair metal band. If that’s true, then so are Led Zeppelin.

“It’s a ridiculously stupid, lazy term from people who can’t be bothered listening to the music because they’re fans of REM or Tom Waits.

“We’ve put up with that all our lives. The only people who get into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame are the Tom Pettys and Bruce Springsteens. They don’t want us or Black Sabbath in there because it’s seen to be dirty.

“It’s just a game – but you fall foul of it sometimes.”

Asked who else he’d like to see inducted into the Hall of Fame, Elliott has no hesitation in naming the Sensational Alex Harvey Band.

He says: “You have no idea how big a fan I was growing up. They were phenomenal. I’ve had them on tour with us since, and I sang Boston Tea Party at one of their shows.”

He remembers his passion for SAHB led to an affinity with their hometown, Glasgow, and the iconic Apollo venue of the 70s and 80s, plus its legendary bouncing balcony.

“We were privileged to experience the Apollo as opening act for AC/DC in 1979 on their Highway to Hell tour,” the singer recalls.

“I remember the balcony because I went on it it watch AC/DC’s set and it was bouncing. After about 30 seconds I went back out and watched through a peephole – I thought the balcony was going to fall down.

“Once you’ve done that you’ve got to keep going back. I read a book about the Apollo and it was the same when SAHB played their Christmas shows there in 1975. I wish I’d been there.”

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