Friday, October 03, 2008

Def Leppard

I was not interested in getting into heavy metal or hard rock music early in my teenaged years. When I was at a get together of friends somebody was telling me that I had to listen to Def Leppard and that they were great. I think they even threw in something about the drummer having one arm and getting his life back together or something. I don't remember much about the get together, who was there, or what was going on, but I think they were playing pool or something. I do remember the 80s style stereo they sat me in front of. You know the type. Colorful plastic front with light behind the plastic for the various functions and a couple that would light up to match the beat of the song. The tall speakers made of a particle board and some sort cheap, spoungie covering. I'm guessing the covering was to hide the fact that it was not really a huge speaker, but a huge box with a 6-9 inch midrange car speaker at the bottom of the box. If they had placed it at the top it probably would've been less likely to have little kids poke a hole in it, but that would cause center of gravity problems now wouldn't it.

They sat me in front of the stereo and popped in the Hysteria cassette. I was impressed. I think I sat there for hours. Initially I didn't notice anything too offensive and the beat was great. I was hooked. That eventually opened the door to me getting hooked on more of that style of music, much of it much more offensive. I think I have the heart of a drummer, so a beat really speaks to me.

I got books on Def Leppard and it sounded like they had really tried to clean up their lives. It sounded like they were making a break from drinking and drugs and their music didn't seem to have a lot of that stuff in it. As I looked closer at their music and as they made more music I found that although lacking drug references they did have plenty of references to sex. They also had some things that were belittling religion. For example the song Rock of Ages. They took the title of a religious song dedicated to praising the Savior and made a song that praised Rock n Roll.

An additional blatant, yet hidden slap on religion I was presented with years later. Somebody told me that at the end of the Love Bites the phrase "Jesus of Nazareth go to Hell". Initially I was skeptical that that was really there, since I knew tons about Def Leppard and had listened to Love Bites a million times, even though I found it to be possibly the worst song on the Hysteria album.

The guy who was telling me put in the tape and fast forwarded to the end of the song. Turned it up and as the song is fading a voice is speaking. The same voice that says "Watch out love bites." Right after the voice says that it fades a lot more, but you can still hear the voice, but it fades too much to be audible. As we turned it up we could hear the voice faintly saying exactly what he said. I have seen some posts online that say that in interviews with Joe Elliot and Mutt Lang, their producer, they say it says, "If you've got love in your sites, watch out Love Bites" and then the phrase in question, " sure does, bloody hell." I have tried tuning my ear in to make it that phrase and it just doesn't fit. I have included a sample of the part of the song with the phase that I used Audacity to amplify here.

Later in life still having not grown up I got free tickets to a Def Leppard concert. I had never gone to a concert before and was wanting to have the experience. After making a fool of myself with friends trying to get them to go with me I ended up going to the concert alone. The concert ended up being really hard to hear because inside of an indoor arena the sound just bounces around and it is worse when it is very loud. Whenever Joe Elliot or Def Leppard's opening act would speak they would be dropping F bombs.

The point is it should one should be able to see that if you are a Christian this band does not hold you values and neither does their music with out all the extra evidence I have detailed here.

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