Leppard’s Elliott To Support Mott The Hoople
As exclusively predicted on the Classic Rock website, Joe Elliott is to support the reunited Mott The Hoople on the final night of their run of shows at the Hammersmith Apollo. This is on October 6.
Talking to Classic Rock‘s Malcolm Dome, the Def Leppard frontman has revealed what people can expect, and also who else is involved.
MD: So, how did you get the chance to do this gig?
JE: Everyone knows how big a fan I am of Mott The Hoople. And when they announced their reformation, the band wanted me to be involved somehow, which was really nice of them. Someone suggested the idea that I get together a few musicians, and do a support slot for one of the nights. Then The Quireboys offered to back me.
MD: It’s Joe Elliott fronting The Quireboys, then?
JE: In a way, yes. But [Quireboys singer] Spike will have a role in there as well. The band are being called Joe Elliott’s Down & Outz, and it’s really a one-off performance, not the start of a new project.
MD: What songs will you be playing?
JE: We’ll be doing songs from bands and artists associated with Mott The Hoople after 1975, when they split up. So, we’ll have stuff from Mott, the band fronted by Nigel Benjamin, and Ian Hunter. And there will be at least one song from the British Lions album, which featured three ex-members of Mott The Hoople [keyboard player Morgan Fisher, bassist Pete Watts and drummer Dale ‘Buffin’ Griffin]. The idea is to do a set that will appeal to the diehard fans. There will probably be only a couple of hundred people who’ll get excited by hearing these songs again, but that’s what I want to do. I’m a fan myself – this is what I wanna hear.
MD: No songs from Mott The Hoople, then?
JE: No way. That would be daft. Firstly, it would almost be an insult, as this is their gig, not mine. Secondly, if we did anything by Mott The Hoople, people would logically assume that these are songs the band themselves aren’t doing. So it’ll spoil the surprise.
MD: Why are you only doing the one night?
JE: I believe there are different opening bands for each of the other dates [October 1-3, 5]. Simple as that.
MD: Given the fact that both Def Leppard and The Quireboys have been touring almost non-stop in recent months, how on earth have you been rehearsing?
JE: The answer is that we really haven’t as yet. What we’ll do is get together at the start of October, rehearse during the daytime, then go down and see Mott The Hoople in the evenings. I know The Quireboys have been working things out, though. Paul Guerin [Quireboys guitarist] has put a lot of work into this.
MD: Any chance the set will be filmed or recorded?
JE: I would expect Mott The Hoople will be filming. If that’s the case, then I’ll try and grab the equipment for my 45-minute slot. Then the decision can be made at a later date as to whether to release it as a DVD, or put it online.
MD: What about Leppard? Still touring?
JE: It’s just never-ending. We’ve got more shows coming up, in Canada. We’re just finishing up what’s been an incredible American tour. We’ve had Poison and Cheap Trick out with us, and business has been huge.
MD: Given that there have been words in the past between yourself and Poison, when you suggested last year that they had no musical substance, how have you been getting along with them?
JE: Totally fine. They’re great guys, actually. And [guitarist] CC Deville is just so funny. He could easily be a comedian. It’s been a tremendous tour. Cheap Trick have also been amazing.
MD: I hear you might be doing a show with Cheap Trick in Las Vegas…
JE: Well, not a gig, but I hope to get up on stage with them in the next week or so. They’re doing nine dates at the Las Vegas Hilton [September 13-23]. They are performing the whole of the Sgt. Pepper album in sequence, plus a lot of other Beatles songs. I’m aiming to get along to one of the nights and do I Am The Walrus with them.
For further info, go to www.defleppard.com