Because, these days with radio being irrelevant, everything releases to the web. And websites insist on making exclusive deals so only they have it. This one’s with RollingStone.com. Okay, fine, at least I get to hear a new track. And at the end of next month, a whole album of new tracks.
My favorite band in the world, with new music coming. Nothing much to do with writing or publishing or media, except this:
Joe Elliot gets interviewed a lot about Def Leppard, because it’s part of the job when you’re the lead singer. All five of the guys are great, but Joe’s the one that gets the call a lot. He has a quote that I feel applies to every creator, no matter if it’s music or movies or books or whatever. If you’re a creator, if you lay your art out there, you probably identify on at least some level with this.
“We always wanted to be the biggest band in the world. For a little while, we were.”
The quote comes from the early or mid 90s if I recall correctly. There was a period, maybe just a few months in the late 80s, where Def Leppard were the biggest band in the world. Hysteria had broken wide in a big way. Really big. It made the Bon Jovi hysteria (see what I did there . . . yeah, okay, I’ll move on) of around 86 and 87 look like a fairground act. That was the MTV era, where if you could get huge airplay with your video, you could do amazing things for your career. These days, everything’s splintered and fragmented. There are so many channels of content delivery, and I don’t mean traditional radio or television channels; I mean channels as in the more dictionary definition of avenues or lines of delivery. Internet, streaming, mobile, viral hits, Youtube, Facebook, I’m not nearly hip enough to know all the things people are into. But it’s a lot and they’re all over them.
Any creator that wants to ‘rule the world’ has to know it can’t last. Tastes change, people move on. Ebb, flow. Folks love to root for you on the way up, and they apparently love to stab you in the back the moment you’re on top, then kick and spit on you as you tumble down. It happens to everyone who climbs to ‘the top’.
But I’ve always liked how Elliot put it. “For a little while, we were.” He said that decades ago, and they’ve never given up or packed it in since. So many people, so many creators, sulk and slink away when they don’t get 100% adoration. When people don’t universally love them. Guess what, no one gets everyone’s love. Def Leppard have always been a very grounded band, and I think it’s one of their best assets. They just keep cranking away, doing what they do; making music. I happen to like it (love it), and others do too; but both the guys and fans like me know there are those who don’t share our love. That’s fine.
It’s okay if you’re not the be-all end-all. It really is. If you’re a creator, you do what your voice tells you to do, for your fans who love that voice. Hopefully there are enough of those fans for things to work out. And never sweat that there aren’t enough to let you rule the world.
It gets lonely on top. And there’s never enough room. Someone else always wants that spot. There’s a lot to be said for finding a comfy place in a stable corner somewhere that you don’t get banged about quite so much. Def Leppard figured this out a long time ago, and they just keep rocking.