Written by Gary Graff
Between them they have more than 30 Top 40 singles on the Billboard chart and 15 platinum or multiplatinum albums.
No wonder Def Leppard and Styx — on the road this summer with Tesla — make good touring partners.
The tandem worked for the two rock acts back in 2007, and Def Leppard frontman Joe Elliott says nothing has changed during the intervening years.
“I think it’s a great package. It’s exciting,” Elliott, 55, says by phone from his home in Ireland. “We’ve always been keen on taking out bands that people know. It’s done us a world of good to go out with a name on the poster that doesn’t just say, ‘Plus special guest ...’ We’ve tried it. We had Tripping Daisy in the ’90s, who were great people to work with but nobody knew who they were, and it didn’t make for a great evening of anticipation, if you like. People would go, ‘Who’s this lot onstage?’
“Nobody’s going to go see us with Tesla and Styx this year and not know who they are. They’re going to say, ‘I know all those guys and all those songs. That’s a show I want to see!’”
Def Leppard is, of course, a generation younger than Styx, defining ’80s mainstream rock as much as Styx did the same during the ’70s (and early ’80s). Styx guitarist James “J.Y.” Young says his band “had such a blast” with Def Leppard eight years ago, and also appreciated what touring with the group meant for Styx.
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