Def Leppard has long maintained they could take or leave the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame — but guitarist Phil Collen doubled down by essentially saying the honor rings hollow for the band. Blabbermouth reported during a chat with Michigan's WMPA, Collen spoke frankly about Friday night's (March 29th) induction at Brooklyn's Barclays Center, admitting, “(It's) not a big deal for me at all — actually, any of us in the band — 'cause we didn't expect anything like that. It's done in different ways — it's like an electoral college vote thing; it's a panel. And they did, over the last eight years, start having one vote — a collection of all the fan votes — and what was really cool about it is our fans overwhelmingly had more votes than any other artist in the history of it. So that was cool.”
Collen touched on the fact that Leppard first became eligible for induction into the Rock Hall in 2004 and have watched induction elude them year after year: “I guess earlier on, people weren't so upset. . . Our fans were really upset that we weren't in, so, over the years, they've been getting almost hostile towards it. So that was great; to me, that was the best part about it — just hearing that. And, obviously, that influenced the panel, I guess. If you see these numbers every day, you go, 'Wow!' It's actually great for the band. That means, for whatever reason, people pay more attention towards it. And that's it, really. It moves you into a different bracket, apparently. . . I'm not really a fan of award shows. I'm not really fond of having birthday parties, personally. But there you go. It's what it is.”
We caught up with frontman Joe Elliott who told us he completely credits Def Leppard's legion of fans for the honor: “We are — and always have been — the odd one out, if you like, because the kind of band we've been portrayed as for the last however many decades, has always been one that's like, 'Yeah, they sell a lot of records, but they're not cool.' But it looks like a different dynamic the way the band's been reassessed recently. And the important thing is, this is really been swung by our fans, more than anybody else. It's not some committee of people we don't know deciding whether we're valid, or not. The fans pretty much told them that we are.”
In addition to Def Leppard, who will be inducted by Queen's Brian May, the 34th annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame class will include Stevie Nicks, the Zombies, Janet Jackson, the Cure, Radiohead, and Roxy Music.
The 2019 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony with take place on March 29th at Brooklyn, New York's Barclays Center. HBO will broadcast a truncated version of the ceremony later in the year.