So many major rock bands lost a band member way too young. And among them was Def Leppard guitarist Steve Clark, who died from alcohol poisoning on January 8, 1991, at the age of just 30. Unlike other bands who split when a member died like Led Zeppelin, Def Leppard kept going and now frontman Joe Elliott has revealed why in an exclusive interview.
Speaking with Express.co.uk, the 60-year-old said how Def Leppard were halfway through making their fifth studio album Adrenalize when Clark suddenly died.
Elliott said: “We looked at each other deep in the eye, deep in the heart and soul if you like, and went ‘What are we doing here?’
“We came out with the old cliché of ‘Would Steve want us to carry on? Would he want us to finish this record that he was involved in while he was alive?’
“We came to the conclusion that he would have said ‘yes.’”
Elliott said: “Steve wasn’t around us when he died. He died in January 1991 and we had said to him in, I think it was September, ‘Go home’.
“He wasn’t even a functioning alcoholic by then, he wasn’t any use to anyone in the studio by then. He hardly turned up and when he did, he didn’t do anything.”
The band told Clark to go home for six months and get into a good routine of life and generally get better.
However, on January 8 he was tragically discovered dead on the sofa by his girlfriend.