Dear Def Leppard,
I’m not usually in the habit of exulting rock stars in the blogosphere, but I’m making a rare exception in your case. I want you to know how much you mean to me.
When I listen to your music I’m all sighs and sounds and undulating angles. I am joyful. I feel life in the simplest way imaginable. I am pulsing with harmonies, riffs and life-affirming lyrics. I don’t care about the quest for perfection in an imperfect world that often leaves me alienated. I hear your clarion call to rock and I’m a believer once again.
If I am having a bad day, if the fell clutch of circumstance conspires to bring me down, I have only to hear the opening chord of “Animal” and the clouds clear away, revealing virgin blue skies. If I’m having a good day, the warmth and humour in “Rock of Ages” catapult me to the highest strata of bliss. Music has that kind of power; it holds sway over every fibre of humanity and all that makes us fragile, damned and beautiful. It is in music that souls are saved and lives resurrected from the gapping void of infinity. There is no stronger medicine. But of course, you know that. This is what you do for a living. You provide a perpetual burst of serotonin to millions of people.
Your story is, of course, part of why I love and respect you so much. It is difficult to reflect on your contribution to music without feeling inspired by the hardships and tragedies you have surmounted against all odds, chances and common sense. I can’t think of any other rock band that has sprung up from the ashes, like a phoenix from the flame, to triumph over the bloodiest of bludgeonings in quite the way you have.
Rick Allen, you have heard this a million times, but let me tell you that you are a mountain of inspiration. I have no idea where you found the strength to not only come back from what happened to you, but to become an even better musician and sock it to the fates with an almighty snarl. Your awesomeness defies Newton’s laws of physics.
Joe Elliott, the key to any real greatness soars beyond the muted greys of talent and tenacity, even attitude. You have all that in goliath spades. But you also have a rare generosity of spirit, and that lifts you far above anyone else.
Rick Savage, Phil Collen, Vivian Campbell, you rock my socks off. You are beyond premier league – you are über-league. How does it feel to bring so much happiness to the world?
Steve Clark, RIP you golden Apollo. You will never be forgotten. It is interesting how one so vulnerable had the clout and intensity to powerhouse a space station.
Music is my religion and I have always kept the faith, and this faith is restored and reignited like a bright spark amidst the darkest clefts of the abyss whenever I hear your music.