Today marks an incredible 20 years since the death of Def Leppard guitarist Steve Clark.
Def Leppard is sometimes, rather unfairly, known simply as â€˜the band with the one-armed drummerâ€™. Back in the late ’70s and for well over a decade, Def Leppard was one of the biggest rock bands in the world, selling albums by the millions and playing sold-out stadium tours across the world. As a part of the NWOBHM* its influence on rock and metal bands since has been immense. A big part of this was down to wildly talented guitarist Steve Clark.
Born in Sheffield, England, in 1960 he played guitar from a young age and joined Def Leppard in 1978. One of my favourite stories about Clark came from his Def Leppard audition: he played Lynyrd Skynyrdâ€™s “Free Bird” in its entirety with no backing. He quickly became a key part of the bandâ€™s songwriting process, contributing both lyrics and music, and was known within the band as â€˜The Riffmasterâ€™.
Sadly Steve Clark battled addictions to alcohol and drugs for many years. He died of an overdose on January 8, 1991 at only 30 years of age.
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