Joe Elliott Spent Most of Stadium Tour in ‘Total Isolation’
Def Leppard's frontman avoided hotels almost entirely, remaining holed up alone on his tour bus except for his driver. He allowed for a little social time with Nikki Sixx, but avoided any large gatherings in a bid to avoid contracting COVID and canceling shows.
“The safest way for us to keep that show on the road was just to avoid human beings as best we could,” Elliott tells Classic Rock. “So all of us in Leppard traveled separately, which is the smartest decision we made. I didn’t stay in hotels. I lived on the bus – just me and Dale, my driver, in total isolation.”
The worry, he said, was “if we cancel a stadium show in Arlington, Texas, at four in the afternoon, people will have traveled hundreds of miles and spent hundreds of dollars to get there. So we avoided contact, we tested every day and it worked. We didn’t lose one gig.”
Despite acting “like children onstage,” most of the entourage are “actually quite responsible when we need to be,” Elliott added. “The one guy I hung out with a lot was Nikki. One night in Denver we went for sushi and talked about everything but music. It was funny – we didn’t realize Tommy [Lee] was in the same restaurant until we could hear him! He’s quite loud, you see.”
Elliott admits he didn't have much of a personal life in 2022. “We’ve just done the biggest tour that we’ve ever done,” he said. “I’m not gonna say the biggest that we’ll ever do because it’s onwards and upwards from here – 45 years into our career, that’s a marvelous feeling. And there’s more to come from Def Leppard in 2023. We’ve got the beginnings of the next album percolating away on the back burner. There’s another thing we’ve been working on that will be revealed soon.”
Def Leppard and Motley Crue will take the Stadium Tour to a global audience during 2023, starting Feb. 18.
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