If you check the back of the ‘Pyromania’ LP jacket, in the upper right corner, you will see a photograph of Rick Savage and my name under it. This is the story of how this happened, what I got paid, and bad management in four part harmony…
It looks like my 15 minutes of fame is still ongoing, right up to 2012 on LiveJournal. And who knows? Maybe a group of Def Leppard fans some time in the future will be playing a trivia game (or maybe they’ll have one on the radio to give away concert tickets) and the questions will be:
“Which Def Leppard LP is the first to not have a photo of Pete Willis on it?” Pyromania
“Which two members of the group had photos not taken by Robert Ellis?” Phil Collen and Rick Savage.
“Who were the photographers?” Vic Virdi (a photo from ‘Girl’) and Josh Emmett.
And there I’ll be with another few seconds of my 15 minutes of fame!
Not quite. Update: A neighbor told me to add that in 1996, I sold the LP along with the rest of my collection. It wasn’t until 2009 that I realized I should have a copy! So, I went on Ebay and bought one.
The end, end…?
SOPRANO: SURVIVING A CONCERT WITHOUT A HEART ATTACK
On Sept. 28, 1981, I was in total lust…er, love…well, okay, lust with Pete Willis of Def Leppard. I loved everything they did and had copied their videos from MTV over and over on my VHS tapes. So, I shouldn’t have been surprised when my friend Connie called that fateful afternoon about 4 pm.
Connie had found out that Def Leppard was playing nearby and she could get tickets at the record store, so she had. She called to say we were going to see Def Leppard! No…yes. No, no. No, maybe. No, lemme think about it. I didn’t want to scream as I thought this was going to be one of the best concerts I’d been to, ever! (Okay, second to the Rolling Stones, but that’s pretty high up.)
Me: “Where are they playing?”
Connie: “Toledo Sports Centre.”
Oh, great! I had to make dinner for my father and get dressed and I had only two hours? Thanks, Connie!
On the drive down, Connie started telling me that she and a friend had seen a couple of bands at this place before, so she knew how to get there and – “Don’t be worried about all the motorcycles in the parking lot.”
“Yeah. It’s standing room only on the floor, and all the Puerto Rican guys hang out there, but they never push forward, just stand and watch the bands.”
“Puerto Rican guys? With motorcycles?”
“Yeah, and there’s a big thick chain-link fence in front of the stage, but ignore that.”
Okay, big biker guys in black leather coming to see heavy metal bands, and the place has a chain-link fence in front of the stage… Well, too late to panic, Emmett…Okay, not too late to panic, just too late to get out of it! And Connie did say they were harmless… [Insert painful noise in throat from Josh.] And it was PETE WILLIS! LIVE AND IN PERSON! I can do this…
There were three bands playing and Def Leppard was the middle band. I don’t even remember the other two bands, except that the first one was playing when we got there and we weren’t interested in the last one. Plus, I had to get home to my father, and Connie had to go to work.
We went to the concession stand, got a couple of cokes, and talked about the guys in the band. I was going on and on about Pete and how short he was, which was fine with me, etc. Connie just rolled her eyes.
Just as they were coming on, we walked up to the back of the crowd of guys. Sure enough, there were spaces between each one.
Connie said, “You’re little. Just kind of sneak into an empty space and keep moving.”
WELL, COME ON! IT WAS BIG P.R. BIKER GUYS!
Sighing, I plucked up all the courage I had Pete, Pete, Pete…, tapped the guy in front of me on the shoulder and, holding up my camera, said, “Could I get in front of you? I’m short.” Understatement of the year as I was 5’1” and 100 lbs at the time.
The guy looked at me and then at my camera. He put his hand on my back and, tapping the guy in front of him, said, “Let the liddle gurl tru. Che can’t see nuttin’ over us.”
Connie grabbed my shoulder and, smiling, just shut up.
Each guy would turn around, put his hand on my back, and tap the guy in front of him, so, in a sort of zigzag motion, with words half in English and half in Latino, I was pushed gently to the front of the stage. Rick ‘Sav’ Savage’s side! Durn! But, at that point, I wasn’t going to try to get to Pete’s side because at least I was in front and they had already started playing.
The last guy, right up at the fence, stepped back and, grabbing my arm, nicely, put me in front of him. With an arm on either side, hands on the fence, he said in a thick accent, “Can chu see alright, liddle gurl?”
“Yes, thank you.” And I pulled up my best smile while shaking inside.
He was very tall, all in black leather, thick mustache, and long hair. I mean, this guy was scary looking!
But the band was playing, so I put the camera bag on the floor, with the strap around my feet, and took the lens cap off my camera, putting it in my pocket. I focused and shot my first picture.
Now, I should stop here and point out that we were using 200mm film in those days, and Connie and I hated using a flash as it ruined the colour of the stage lights. So, Connie had worked out a system with the f-stop, so we could take concert pictures without a flash, just the stage lighting. I tried explaining the system to people in bars with local bands, but they never really understood. Boy, were we glad when Kodak came out with 400mm film!
We were dead in front of Sav and he was the first picture on the roll. Usually, I needed to get the settings and focusing right, so the first couple of pictures were always the worst. But this was the picture he chose for the LP jacket, and I call it ‘Sav Magic!’
Rick ‘Sav’ Savage wore a black sleeveless shirt with a red neck scarf and turquoise satin trousers. Steve Clark wore a glittery blue shirt and white trousers. Joe Elliot wore a white sleeveless shirt and white trousers. Pete Willis wore a blue shirt and black satin trousers. I didn’t get any pix of Rick Allan on drums, so I don’t remember what he was wearing. From where I was standing, I never really saw him!
So, the set rolls on and I’m trying to get pix of Pete on the other side of the stage, when one of the armed uniformed guards walks over and stands right where I was trying to get a picture of Pete. The guy I guess I’m with now yells through the fence, “AY! CAN’T CHU SEE DA LIDDLE GURL IS TRYIN’ TA GET PICHURES HERE? MOVE IT!”
The guard actually moved! I told you this guy was scary! They were separated by a chain link fence, and the guard had a gun, but he moved his buns in a hurry, no questions asked!
I’m calmed down, shooting pictures and changing rolls, when, about halfway through the show, a girl started moving from the left side at the front and across the fence to get right in front of Joe. The guy behind me had put his hands down, so she pushed me back and then started to push Connie back. I went flat into the front of this guy. Hard. I mean, she really shoved me.
The guy behind me grabbed her arm and pulled her beside him. He yelled, “AY! CHU PUSHED DA LIDDLE GURL! CHU TINK CHU GOING SOMEWHERES WIT DAT ATTITUDE?”
She was quite a few inches taller than me, but he just put his hands around her waist, lifted her up off the ground and passed her to the guy next to him, who did the same, and so forth, until she was on the left side again. Then, ‘my guy’ yelled, “AND CHU STAY DER AND NO PUSH PEOPLE, SPECIALLY LIDDLE GURLS!”
Should I pause for a moment to point out that I was about 15 years older than him? I’ve always looked way younger than my age, which is usually an annoyance, even now, but, sometimes, it pays off!
The guy in back of me bent over and brushed the shoulders of my jacket, pulled the sleeves down at the wrists and pulled the bottom down, so it was all nice and straight. He very gently flattened my hair in the back, where I had landed against him, and said in my ear, so he didn’t have to yell, as Def Leppard is very loud when you are about six feet from the stage, “Chu all right?”
“Yes, thank you.” And I smiled again.
He put his hands back on the fence and kept me blocked in for the rest of the set.
When Def Leppard had finished, Connie and I started to leave. Wish I could remember the band, but I know it was one we both hated.
So, I put the camera in my bag, turned to thank the guy for helping me and told him we were leaving. Connie had turned around, but he told us to just go across the front to the side as it was easier. He said, “Chu wanna see da next band? Cuz chu can go and den cum back here.”
“No, thank you. We drove down from Detroit and it’s getting late, so we should go home.”
“Chu come alla way from Datroit ta see dis band? Wow! Well, dey was really good, but we come ta see da next band. But I tink I’m gonna get dis band’s album cuz I wanna hear da music better. Dey play real good, and dey must be good, cuz chu come alla dis way, and chu really sweet liddle gurl! I’m gonna really look inta dis band tomorra! Maybe, I’ll see chu at anoder concert. I’ll remember chu and make chure chu up front whenever.
“Well, look, if you two nice gurls decide chu wanna stay, chu come to da side and just wave ta me and chu can come right back here.”
I thanked him again and then he yelled at the guys to move and let us out. They had all moved forward to block that girl from sneaking back in. Every one of them said goodbye to me, saying that they hoped I had a good time and to come back sometime. A couple even apologized again for the girl pushing me!
As we walked down the side to the front door, Connie said, “You could have had your pick of any guy there, if you were looking for a date!”
Def Leppard was so good. Of course, they didn’t have the number of songs then as they do today, but it was so great just to see and hear them in person. Since I watched most of the concert through my telephoto lens, with extender, the fence didn’t bother me at all. And the tall guard avoided our end of the stage, too. I was so excited that I can hardly remember the concert at all. But I must have loved it, even though I was also kind of afraid of the guy behind me, because Coonnie said I described Pete and everything he did over and over the rest of the night. She was glad to dump me off at my home! She said she couldn’t get Joe in edgewise! (It could have been partly due to my ADD. When I get high on music, you can’t stop me from flying, especially with my mouth!)
Later in the tour, when the band was down South, Joe said something nasty about Puerto Ricans and there was quite an uproar about it. It was printed in all the magazines. I can’t remember what he said, but I would have been in big trouble that night if he had said it earlier!
So, I guess there are two morals here: Pick your time and never judge people by the way they look. Good things will just keep happening to you…like seeing Def Leppard so close and having my photograph appear on the LP!
ALTO: NEXT YOU GET A GROUPIE…I MEAN, AGENT. YEAH, THAT SOUNDS BETTER,
My friend Penny and I shared a love of many similar groups. Penny lived in Texas, and we had been pen pals since the 70s. Penny was a roadie groupie. Now, I’m sure everyone knows what that is by the name, but for those who might be in doubt this is a groupie who likes the sweaty, hardworking band crew. This is not to be confused with regular groupies, who try to hang with roadies just to get to the band, go backstage, or get free concert tickets. To a true roadie groupie, the band members themselves are not that interesting to talk to offstage. Many times, if a band can afford it, the roadies even stay at a different hotel, so the noise won’t keep them awake, as they need their sleep. So, a roadie groupie often never meets the band at all!
Tony (if I remember the name properly) was a very well-known guitar roadie. He always traveled with Yes and was Steve Howe’s personal guitar roadie. (Steve took about 100 guitars with him on every tour. I don’t know why, but this isn’t about Yes.) When Yes wasn’t touring, Tony would tour with other bands, as it was his living. Penny had struck up an actual relationship with Tony and had visited him in England several times, as well as meeting him on the road when he was touring in the States. The last I heard, Penny’s story had a happy ending because Tony bought a house in L.A. and they moved in together…but Penny stopped writing at that time, too.
I wrote and told Penny all about the Def Leppard concert. She got very excited and asked for two poses of each of the band members. Penny thought Def Leppard was one of the best bands to come around for awhile, since the 70s bands. (Not including disco…We never included disco!)
She had her own tickets to see Def Leppard play and had written that she would tell me all about her experience, too. And wave at Pete, although she was a Steve fan.
This was the next letter I received:
Josh! You are not going to believe ANY of this! Honest! But thanks to you, I met the band!
I was all set to see the band when who should call but Tony! (Excitement for me…I think I’m really falling for this guy, you know.) Turns out he is WITH Def Leppard!!! So, when they got to Texas, I was in the hotel straight away. Sold the tickets and went with Tony.
Anyway, I was sitting in the hall on a bench, and there were a bunch of groupies and friends and some of the roadies hanging around talking. They were waiting for the band to go to dinner and then the gig. And here comes…STEVE CLARK! He was by himself, and Tony calls him over. STEVE CLARK WAS STANDING RIGHT OVER ME!!!
Now, you know me. I can talk to anyone, just like you, but his eyes were SO blue, and he was so tall and well...don’t tell Tony…but M…E…L…T! Still hard for you to believe, but I just couldn’t think of a thing to say! Then, I remembered your photos. I had brought them along to show to Tony cuz I liked them so much, and he has liked your photos in the past. (Remember Jeff Beck????) And I said to Steve: “Here. Here’s some photos for you. Hope you like ’em. There’s two of each of you, so pass them out, okay?”
Well, he gave me this HUGE smile and just took them and said: “Thanks. Nice to meet you. Tony has mentioned you.”
STEVE CLARK KNOWS ME!!!!! S…C…R…E…A…M!
Anyway, he sticks the photos under his arm and starts signing autographs, and then the rest of the band come out and they get into the elevator, not paying any attention to anyone. They yelled at Steve, and he walked over and got in. They were holding it for a couple of other people, and I had stood up, but Tony said we were taking the next elevator. So, I watched, and Steve was kind of bent over a little with his back to the front. Then, as the other two people got on, he turned, and I saw he was looking at your photos! I mean REALLY studying them. He looked up at me, and waving the photos, started to say something, but the doors closed.
Anyway, Tony and I went to dinner and got over to the concert hall for last minute unpacking and tuning of guitars. (He was in charge of everyone’s guitars.) I watched the show from the side of the stage...don’t hate me…it was YOUR PETE’S side…and they were as great as you said! (I think good music is finally back! Disco is dead! Hurrah!)
So, anyway, after all the stuff was packed on the trucks, Tony took me back to the hotel, where the band had a banquet room cuz there were a bunch of media people there. So, I sat on a sofa in the middle of the room, while Tony went to get changed and make a few calls. Then I hear this voice behind me: “Where did you get these photos?” I turn and it is STEVE! So, I told him I got them from you in Detroit. And he says: “Well thanks. They’re really great! I didn’t want to give all of them to the others. I wanted some for myself, but you were nice enough to give them to me, so I passed them out.”
Well, one by one, they each came over with their two photos of themselves and thanked me and said they liked them. And I would see each one pointing to me as the ‘photo person’. (HA! I gave myself a title.) Joe came over and went on and on, and said how nice they were, and how nice I was to give them to them and Tony was right that I was a nice person. (Whoo! Thank you Tony, my love!) Okay, well, here comes the kinda bad part, but I made it good, I think. Pete comes over and asks why his are so far away and kinda darker than the others. He looked really disappointed. (Maybe cuz the others were so nice.) But I stood up, and it was getting more noisy by that time and more crowded, to tell him. But that was a mistake cuz I’m so much taller than him. (He is definitely your size, sweetie!) And I really pushed the part about the P.R. guy making the guard move, just so you could take pix of just him. Well, he seemed to feel much better about it, but I think he was still a bit disappointed.
Anyway, thanks to YOU, I got to meet and talk to all of Def Leppard! (Well, it was about YOUR photos, but how many people can say they talked to them at all about anything???? Know what I mean?)
So, I’ll be reordering a new set soon, okay? And thanks again!
Well, I was so excited about the whole thing! I mean, the band actually liked my photos! Of course, I just resent Penny the ten pictures at no charge. I was so glad that my photos helped her to meet them. And I figured that was the end of that. Except that since I signed my name (all one word, written not printed (joshemmett), with the copyright under it and then my address) that maybe one of them would write me or something. No go. And the Holidays and New Year were coming, and I forgot all about possibly hearing from…well…you know…Pete!
So, I moved into 1982 and figured that was the end of that.
TENOR: GIRLS CAN TAKE GOOD PICTURES TOO, YA KNOW!
1982 was one of those years with a lot of ups and down. Early in the year, I attended what turned out to be my last concert before I became totally disabled. It was Asia and I went with my long-time friend Gayle.
In late May, I thought I was having another nervous breakdown. The last one was in 1970, so this was really scary as I’d thought everything was under control with my medication and all. My doctor was on vacation, so I went to see the one taking his place while he was gone. Not only did I end up with a great doctor, who is still my doctor today, but a good doctor for my father as well as we both switched over to him. This new doctor said that I wasn’t having a breakdown, but that the effect of the medication I was taking had worn off. In other words, I was going through withdrawal. He put me on a new medication that I still use, and I did start feeling better, but I had put off going for so long that it took weeks for my body and mind to return to normal.
My father had started getting steadily worse throughout the year, but didn’t need to go into full-time care until 1984, when Gayle and I became roommates as well. I was making sure that he got out everyday, and we would go to a fast food place in the afternoon to get coffee and a coke. He really looked forward to it, so when the phone rang just as we were leaving, I thought he would get upset, but when I told him who it was, he just sat down and waited patiently, as he had been a portrait photographer himself and used to film weddings and such when everyone didn’t own movie cameras back in the 1940s and 50s.
It was August 11, 1982. A year after the concert. I had forgotten about the photos Penny had given to Def Leppard. At first, I had thought that since I put my address on the backs of the photos, they might send a note or something, but nothing happened, so I just forgot about it.
Imagine my surprise when the phone rang just as my father and I were heading out the door and when I answered it a man with an English accent said that he was Peter Mensch and he was calling from London. “Is a Joe Shemmett, who takes photos of bands, living there?”
“Well, I’m Josh Emmett and I take photos of bands.”
“But you’re a girl!” He sounded really disgusted.
“Oh, well, it can’t be helped, I guess. Anyway, you took some pictures of the band and some girl gave them copies last year?”
“Yeah! That’s me!”
“Well, we thought you were a guy and we’ve been trying to get in touch with you for months. Did you get the three telegrams?”
“No. Just a minute, please.” I turned to tell my father that the phone call was from England and that it was about some pictures I’d taken of a band and that I needed to talk to their manager right now. Dad said that was fine, he could wait, and sat down in his favorite chair. “Okay, go ahead. I didn’t get any telegrams or anything.”
“Yeah…well…we wrote letters and stuff, but we thought you were Joe Shemmett because of the way you signed your name. And we thought you were a guy.”
Personally, I don’t see why the letters and telegrams and ‘stuff’ didn’t get through, even if the name was wrong because the address was right. Looking back, I wonder if it were a ploy to get the photo rights for next to nothing, but, at the time, I certainly didn’t think of that. I was barely thinking at all! I was thinking that the guys wanted to thank me or send me an autographed group picture or something. Maybe they were even willing to send me the LP that was due out soon!
“Well, the new record is going to be pressed tomorrow, and the jacket is going to be done in a couple of days, and Rick Savage insisted that your photo be used. So, we’re really pressed for time to get your permission right now.”
“Sav liked my photo? Over Robert Ellis’? He takes all their photos and he’s my idol. I even ordered his book of rock photos from England cuz you can’t get it here… And I love the band and I belong to their fan club and have all their records from the start!” I’m babbling about now, right?
“You do? You’re in the fan club?”
I realized much later that evening that I was thinking of another fan club for a different band. ADD will do that to you, and the moment was long past. I think I was just trying to impress Peter with the fact that it wasn’t a fluke. I really had been a fan of the band since they had started.
“Well, Rick likes your photo best and we need your permission and stuff. Anyway, we don’t really have a lot of money, but we could pay you $20 and let you have a pass to take photos the next time they come to town.”
“Oh, I understand about bands starting out, and $20 would mean a lot to me cuz I’m disabled and I could really use it.”
“You are?” He sounded even more grossed out than when he had discovered I was a girl. “Well, we can get you a backstage pass and a pass to take photos right in front of the stage.”
Notice he never said anything about tickets to the show. He said we would have to go to the front and get a roadie’s attention, but they would know who I was. Getting to the front in a real arena was impossible, especially before the show, as they had guards by then who wouldn’t let you past the front tow. But, as I said, I wasn’t really thinking. Also, I don’t think the band ever had a clue about the business side of it at that time, so I don’t blame them at all, especially not Sav.
“Okay, but could I have two, please? For my friend Connie, who got the tickets and drove me to Ohio to the concert to begin with.” At least I was starting to calm down a bit and think a little more clearly.
“Yeah, yeah, okay, two. So, can we use it?”
“Sure!” Like I was going to say NO? “But could I ask why Sav likes my photo over all the ones I’m sure Robert Ellis took?”
“He said it looks like how he thinks he looks when he’s onstage, okay? So, we’ll send you something to sign and everything is all right?”
“Ah, yeah. But do I get more money if you use it on something else, too?”
“No. But, if we use it on anything else we will always give you photo credit, okay?” He was starting to get a bit peeved now.
“Sure.” I was stunned. This was so weird!
“Well. Okay, then. Good. I have to go. It’s long distance. Goodbye.” And he hung up.
I said goodbye anyway and then hung up, too. I was so excited, I could hardly think. I told my father all about it over coffee and called Connie and Gayle that night. Everyone was really excited for me. And Connie and Gayle agreed that it was totally an honor to have my picture chosen over the great Robert Ellis.
Peter must have called Cliff right away. I was waiting for a letter from England as I didn’t know that they had two managers: one in England and one in New York. The one letter had two copies of the contract and a self-addressed stamped envelope (in the same envelope dated the 12th) and arrived a couple of days later:
August 11, 1982
60633 W. Warren Rd.
Westland, Mich. 48185
I am enclosing two copies of our agreement. Please sign both.
Keep one for yourself, and send me back the other in the self-
addressed stamped envelope.
Def Lepp Inc.
25 Grace Court
Brooklyn, NY 11201
It was signed in black ball-point pen, full name, under ‘Best regards’. Then, in black felt tip was hand-printed under the address:
Can you send me back the original, please,
and you keep the Xerox.
The ‘Cliff’ was written.
August 11, 1982
The undersigned agree that Def Lepp Inc. will have the exclusive
rights to unlimited use of a photograph taken of Ric [sic] Savage by
Josh Emmett. The uses of the photo may include, but not be limited
to, album covers, publicity shots, posters and other types of
merchandising and display materials.
In return for the unlimited and exclusive use of Josh Emmett’s
photograph, Def Lepp Inc. agrees to pay Josh Emmett twenty dollars.
Def Lepp, Inc. will make best efforts to provide written
photographer’s credit for all uses of the photo. In addition,
at Josh Emmett’s request, Def Lepp Inc. will provide one photo
pass and two backstage passes for one Def Leppard concert where
Josh wishes to take photos.
Def Lepp Inc.
Clifford N. Burnstein
His name was in black ink, and I signed mine in black ink too. Also, notice that the letter says I made the issue about passes, when all I asked for was one extra pass for Connie. Actually, I wanted a photo pass for her too, but I took what was offered. I thought if we got backstage, Connie could probably go with me in front to take photos, as I’d done it with other bands that were bigger than Def Leppard were at the time. The whole object was to actually get backstage and meet the band.
BARATONE: HOW LONG IS 15 MINUTES…?
Well, after all the rush-rush hassle-hassle panic on Peter Mensch’s part, the LP didn’t come out until the next year. Not only that, it wasn’t even completed at the time he called me! And I didn’t become rich and famous off of the band. So, Peter sleeps well at night…
The point is, we’re all supposed to have our 15 minutes of fame according to Andy Warhol. I don’t know how others measure it, but I measure it in bits and pieces.
Cliff handwrote me three notes on his 5½ x 4, yellow, lined ‘FROM THE DESK OF CLIFF BURNSTEIN’ notepaper:
FROM THE DESK OF
Nice of you to write. “Pyromania” is
now scheduled to be released around
January 14. Joe had some throat
problems and that delayed the completion
of the album.
Glad you like Phil. I don’t think we
wrecked GIRL – I think they were self-
Meanwhile, “High ‘n’ Dry” is selling great and
should be their first “gold” (500,000 sales) album
“Pyromania” is supposed to hit the
stores on Jan. 20 (Thurs.). It will, too.
There will be a “world premiere” of
one track “Photograph” on MTV
on Jan 17 and the radio stations
get it Jan. 18. We’re hoping for
big things. Possibly, we’ll be on
some Billy Squier dates, one of which
is scheduled for Cleveland at the end
of March – maybe you can come.
I don’t mind your letters, by the way.
I presume your friend Linda is referring to
Charlie Lewis, our old roadie.
Charlie’s not with the crew anymore,
so give her this address + phone no. –
it’s the most recent I have:
981 Central Ave.
Cortland, NY 13045
Good luck on that.
As for the Oilers T-shirts, let’s wait ’til
the band’s in the US before we worry about
that. First show is Mar. 18 in Atlanta with
Billy Squier. Cleveland is as close as we’ll come
on that show, but starting the last week in
April we’ll be headlining – probably with
Krokus and one other act as support.
No doubt we’ll hit Detroit on that swing.
As far as I know, the band will use no
pre-recorded tapes on the [booking, which is scratched out] tour
except maybe for intros. The harmonies will
probably be a little ragged but otherwise
the songs will sound fine.
Sometimes Peter or I travel with the band.
The road manager is Robert Allen (Richard’s
older brother). We like to give him a
little room to operate. Besides, Peter + I
have plenty of work to do that is best handled
If you send a letter to Rick via me or via:
Peter Mensch we will make sure it gets to
Best regards, Just put it in an
Cliff B. envelope inside the
outer envelope to
Peter or me with a note.
That was the last I heard from anyone. Sav never answered my letter. I asked about Phil Collin from ‘Girl’ replacing Pete and whether they would have to use any of Pete’s recordings from the LP on tape for the show, as he had been dumped from the band with Phil as his replacement. And the references to Charlie, Linda, t-shirts and pre-recorded stuff were questions from friends. I seriously do not know anything about Oilers t-shirts. Are they footballers and what did that have to do with a rock band?
When I bought the LP at the store, I didn’t tell anyone that it was my photo on the back cover because I was afraid they would wonder why I didn’t get a free copy of the LP if I really had taken the picture. Rather embarrassing…don’t you think?
My pen pals bought the LP too. And we had to wait until it came out to find out which photo they used, as I had no idea myself! Then my pen pals sent a dollar for a copy of the photo, which included printing and postage, so that they could hold it against the LP to show people they really knew me! I hope Peter M. sees I didn’t make any money there either…
I put a copy of the photo in my wallet and have carried it with me since 1983.
I thought surely my 15 minutes of fame had come when my friend, Rhody Gares, in NJ wrote me.
Rhody was very shy and would never lift her voice above a whisper. She had trouble dealing with people at all and went everywhere with her sister. When the ‘Pyromania’ LP came out, she wrote and told me that she went to the mall to get it, even though she didn’t care for Def Leppard. She went into the ground floor record shop and discovered the price label was right over my name. She said she went to the checkout counter, slapped it down in front of the clerk and, so everyone could hear her, said, “My friend took the photo on this LP! This is the closest I’ll ever come to fame and YOU COVERED UP HER NAME! I’M NOT BUYING IT HERE!” And then she went to the store upstairs, where the price sticker was in the other corner. The next time they went back, the store had moved the sticker so it wasn’t over my photo and name. I was so proud of her, standing up for me like that, and I figured that was my 15 minutes! Bless her! Her sister said Rhody was shaking like a leaf all the way home, but figured it might be a step in the right direction!
When the LP first came out, I called Arthur Penthallow, the most famous DJ we had at the time, at WRIF and asked him to play it. It was an underground station (but now it’s just FM and everyone listens to it) and it could play anything it wanted, even cuts off of LPs, as they weren’t formatted. He said Def Leppard sucked and he would never play anything by them as long as he lived and hung up.
Late that night, I called another DJ (whose name I can’t remember) on WWWW, and she not only played cuts from the LP, but talked to me for about an hour, as she felt that I was a Detroit ‘celebrity’ because my name was on the LP!
When the LP took off and was selling like hotcakes, I called Penthallow. He still said it was shit and stupid people would listen to anything, but not on his show and he hung up on me again!
When the band came to town, headlining their own tour and playing a big arena, they were sponsored by WRIF, and Penthallow, of course, was going to be MCing. You should have heard him on the radio then. He bragged about how he ‘discovered’ them and broke the record here in Detroit and that they were the greatest band ever!
I never got to meet the band, but I stayed a loyal fan for years. Then, like many, I kind of pushed them to back of my mind, until the Hysteria: The Story of Def Leppard movie came out along with MTV’s Behind the Music. And, then, I got the bug again and went looking for them on the internet, finding LeppardLove, a Yahoo! Group.
When I wrote to LeppardLove as a newbie and said I was the one on the LP, no one wrote anything on the message board, but I got several emails off-list telling me I was a liar and should shut up (and worse language). Then, a person who really disliked me wrote on the group that I should stop answering questions because people like to dream about meeting the band. What I wrote was what things were like during certain periods of time touring for any band, as I thought that would let people really put themselves in the situation and have virtual reality fun. Again, I got email off-list as well, but, just then, the Hysteria Yahoo! Group started, so I quit LeppardLove and joined Hysteria. We all know one person was unhappy, as she was on that group too, but that is just one out of all the people on there, so it didn’t bother me.
I was going to put this true story of the photograph on LeppardLove, but realized that wouldn’t be very smart. Then, I was just thinking of putting it on Hysteria, when DefSouls Yahoogroup was started! I know we were allowed to write our stories on the message board, but I asked first because I didn’t want to cause any trouble on that list, too. They were all very nice and seemed to enjoy reading the whole truth and nothing but…strange as it was!
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Studio album by Def Leppard
Released 20 January 1983
Recorded January–November 1982 at Park Gates Studios, Battle, East Sussex, England, and Battery Studios, London
Heavy metal, hard rock, glam metal
Robert John "Mutt" Lange
Pyromania is the third studio album by British rock band Def Leppard, released on 20 January 1983. It featured new guitarist Phil Collen and was produced by Robert John "Mutt" Lange. The album charted at #2 on the Billboard 200 and #18 on the UK Albums Chart.
The album was partially recorded with original guitarist Pete Willis, whose rhythm guitar tracks appear on all songs. Midway through the recording sessions, Willis was fired for excessive alcohol abuse and replaced by Collen, who contributed guitar solos and other parts that had not yet been recorded by Willis. On the original LP release, Willis is visible in the background of the photograph of singer Joe Elliott, while Collen is given his own personal photo as the new full-time member of the group.
With its melodic hooks (and heavy MTV exposure) Pyromania became a massive success, and was the catalyst for the 1980s pop-metal movement. The album has sold over 10 million copies in the US where it is certified Diamond. Three songs from Pyromania, "Photograph", "Rock of Ages" and "Foolin'", became Top 40 singles in the US. In 2004, the album ranked number 384 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. In 2006, Q magazine placed the album at number 35 in its list of "40 Best Albums of the '80s".
A Deluxe Edition of Pyromania was released on 8 June 2009, featuring a digitally remastered version of the album, plus a live bonus CD. The complete, unedited concert was originally broadcast over FM radio. The live bonus CD, of their 11 September 1983 show at the L.A. Forum, is heavily edited.
- Def Leppard And My Photo