Def Leppard & Poison
Two 1980s pop-metal giants — Def Leppard and Poison – along with special guest Lita Ford will bring their distorted guitar riffs and outlandish style to AVA Amphitheater for “The Rock of Ages Tour 2012.”
With more than 65 million albums sold worldwide and two prestigious Diamond Awards to their credit, Def Leppard–Joe Elliott (vocals), Phil Collen (guitar), Rick “Sav” Savage (bass), Vivian Campbell (guitar) and Rick Allen (drums)‚Äî continue to be one of the most important forces in rock music. Over the course of their career, the band has produced a series of classic groundbreaking albums that set the bar for generations of music fans and artists alike. The group‚Äôs spectacular live shows, filled with powerful melodic rock anthems, continue to sell out venues worldwide. Their epic live show and arsenal of hits have become synonymous with their name, leading Def Leppard to be heralded as an institution in both the music and touring industry.
It has been thirty-one years since the release of Def Leppard‚Äôs debut, ON THROUGH THE NIGHT, the album that first caught every one‚Äôs attention, including super Producer Robert John ‚ÄúMutt‚Äù Lange. Convinced that this band had ‚Äúa gift,‚Äù he agreed to come on board for their second album, the influential HIGH N‚Äô DRY, beginning a creative relationship that would completely change the sonic architecture of rock production. The single ‚ÄúBringing On The Heartbreak‚Äù became their first hit, and a precursor for the kind of steely craftsmanship that would later mark the epic releases PYROMANIA, released in 1983, (named one of the ‚Äú500 Greatest Albums‚Äù by Rolling Stone magazine) and HYSTERIA (1987), both produced by Lange. Due to the electrifying advent of “Photograph”, the former sold 100,000 copies a week for a better part of a year, the latter spawned 7 hit singles including their mega-smash hits “Pour Some Sugar On Me” & “Love Bites”. By the end of the 80’s, Def Leppard had sold more records in America than any other rock band which secured their legacy as one of the most in-demand touring bands in rock n‚Äô roll history.
In 1984, Rick Allen lost his left arm in a tragic car accident. His continued perseverance and dedication to remain in Def Leppard has influenced millions of people making him a drumming icon. In 1991, another tragedy struck when the band lost influential guitarist Steve Clark. Again, the band marched on by enlisting Vivian Campbell (Dio, Whitesnake) to join them in the promotion of 1992‚Äôs multi-platinum release ADRENALIZE. RETRO ACTIVE, a b-side collection, came next in 1993, with Campbell making his studio debut with the band on 1996‚Äôs SLANG, a darker edged rock album.
In-between, Def Leppard released one of the most popular Greatest Hits collections of all time VAULT, met with praise by both longtime fans and critics alike. This remarkable collection has remained in the Top 100 of The Billboard Top 200/Top Catalogue Albums chart since its release more than a decade ago. Their platinum certified second Greatest Hits Collection, ROCK OF AGES, was released in 2005 to equal acclaim. Their most recent releases are as diverse as they were unique; 2002‚Äôs X, a pop experimentation from the usual hard rockers, 2006‚Äôs YEAH, a covers album that spawned the hit ‚ÄúRock On‚Äù and 2008‚Äôs SONGS FROM THE SPARKLE LOUNGE, which debuted at #5 on The Billboard 200, with first single “Nine Lives,” featuring country superstar Tim McGraw, staying at #1 on the Classic Rock chart for three weeks. In 2011 Def Leppard released their first ever live album Mirror Ball, which notably debuted in the top 20 on Billboard‚Äôs Top 200 Album chart. The package included a 50- minute DVD with live performances and intimate backstage footage of the band captured on the road.
In addition to their album releases, the band‚Äôs other accolades include: the distinction of playing on three continents in one day (Tangiers, Morocco, London, England and Vancouver, Canada), receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, having VH1 make a movie about their rise to fame, co-headlining a CMT Special with their #1 fan, Taylor Swift and being among an elite few (along with the likes of Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and The Eagles) to have received two Diamond awards for sales in excess of a staggering ten million units.
Along the way, the band never stopped taking their amazing stable of hits on the road to play for the new and the faithful – The UK‚Äôs Kerrang! magazine chose Def Leppard’s show as one of their 100 Greatest Gigs of All Time. The dedication of their fan base runs deep, and the band has never lost sight of what their concerts mean to their always-enthusiastic and energetic audience.
From their humble beginnings in Sheffield, to becoming a world conquering musical force responsible for two of the best selling albums of all time, Def Leppard truly are Great Britain‚Äôs premiere arena rock band.
Poison, one of rock’s most iconic and enduring bands, has been one of the music industry’s top acts, with multi-platinum album sales and sold out tours since first bursting onto the scene in 1986. The success of the band’s recent album releases and tours shows that Poison is as potent 26 years after the release of their debut album, Look What The Cat Dragged In, as ever.
Poison’s Bret Michaels (lead vocals, guitar), C.C. Deville (lead guitar, vocals), Bobby Dall (bass) and Rikki Rockett (drums), have sold more than 30 million albums worldwide and charted twelve Top 10 hits. Throughout Poison’s career, the band’s members have enjoyed collaborative and solo successes from the stage to screen.
Beyond his legendary work with Poison, as well as his acclaimed solo career, Bret Michaels has gone on to enjoy a stunningly successful run in the realm of reality TV, including a first place finish on 2010‚Äôs ‚ÄúThe Celebrity Apprentice,‚Äù and VH1 hits such as ‚ÄúRock of Love‚Äù and ‚ÄúLife as I Know It.‚Äù A true pop culture icon, Michaels has earned an array of titles ranging from People Magazine’s Top 50 most intriguing people three years running, to Winner of the ‚ÄúCelebrity Apprentice,‚Äù to Maxim Magazine‚Äôs top 100 hottest people.
Michaels recently partnered with Dean Guitars, to design his first ever signature Bret Michaels series, which sold out on HSN within minutes of their debut. Philanthropy remains an important facet of Michaels‚Äô career as well: a lifelong diabetic, Michaels partnered with the American Diabetes Association in 2010, acting as a spokesperson and sponsor. He gives generously to the cause, donating both his time, money, and support to a number of diabetes charities.
Not many people can say that they have survived in the music industry for decades. Lita Ford is one of them. First as an original member of The Runaways, then as a successful solo artist, the legend of Lita Ford continues to grow in rock n‚Äô roll history as well as popular culture.
As a teenager in the late 1970’s, Lita Ford was a founding member and lead guitarist of the pioneering all-female rock group, The Runaways. Lita, along with band members Joan Jett, Sandy West, Jackie Fox, and Cherie Currie, not only proved that girls could rock, but they could do it with the best of them. From the bands beginning to their eventual breakup in 1979, Lita Fords guitar playing provided much of the force behind the bands ground-breaking sound. The Runaways have influenced countless musicians over the years, both male and female. Bands such as The Donnas, Bikini Kill, and L7 wear their influence as a badge of honor, while other all-female groups like The Bangles, The Go-Go’s, or Precious Metal may not have had the opportunity to exist without the doors opened by The Runaways.
The 1980’s began the solo career of Lita Ford. With the release of albums such as Out for Blood, Dancin’ on the Edge, and Lita, she was well on her way to earning the title of “The Queen of Metal”. As a solo artist Lita had the freedom to lean more to the hard side of rock n’ roll. Hit singles Kiss Me Deadly and Close My Eyes Forever, a duet with metal master Ozzy Osbourne, took Lita to new heights both commercially and artistically. Kiss Me Deadly was named one of the best hard rock songs of all time by VH1, while Close My Eyes Forever is featured Karaoke Revolution Presents: American Idol Encore. Lita continued her solo success with a string of well received albums into the 1990’s. After a long self-imposed break from the crazy world of the music industry, Lita Ford returned to the stage in 2008 at the Rocklahoma music festival and to the studio with 2009’s Wicked Wonderland.
The future is on fire for The Queen of Metal, Lita Ford. As we speak, Lita Ford is writing new material and will hit the studio very soon to record a brand new album due in 2011. When asked about the new material her response is simply, “This will be the first REAL Lita album in a long time!”