home > lep history >

def leppard / Brian May Guests With Def Leppard In Los Angeles

on this day - 11th September 1983

On this day in Def Leppard history the band played a 'Pyromania' tour show in Los Angeles, CA.
Featuring Queen guitarist Brian May as a special guest during the encore.

Def Leppard 1983.

"To have him on stage was a real buzz."

Def Leppard 1983.

This section looks at the 'Pyromania' tour show in Los Angeles, CA in September 1983. A show recorded and eventually released in 2009 on the 'Pyromania' deluxe Edition.

"He's actually on our stage playing our riff. It was amazing."

Def Leppard played the second of two shows at the legendary LA Forum in Los Angeles, CA during the Pyromania tour on this day in 1983.

The two shows were played neat the end of the hugely successful US tour which had started out with 24 shows in support to Billy Squier in March/April.

By late April the band had become headliners and the biggest band in the country.

With the 'Pyromania' album still inside the Top Ten on the Billboard Top 200 chart they had sold over six million albums by the time they played in Los Angeles.

All of the band's parents were flown over to watch the shows and were famously pictured backstage with them.

As a special surprise at the end of the show Queen guitarist Brian May got up with the band to play the Creedence Clearwater Revival song 'Travellin' Band'.

Read a small review quote below and the story of the show as told by the band (and Sav's Mum!) in the 1987 'Animal Instinct' biography book.

Joe later told the story of how Brian May amazed the band at soundcheck by playing the twin guitar part to 'Photograph' on his own.

The full soundboard quality recording of this show had been widely circulated among fans as a complete 2CD set for many years. In 2009 the band remixed the show from the original master tapes and edited it down to fit on the second bonus disc of the Pyromania Deluxe Edition.

Listen to the full version of 'Travellin' Band' via the YouTube playlist link from the unedited soundboard recording.

Def Leppard 1983.

Def Leppard 1983. Def Leppard 1983

Show Story - From Animal Instinct

When Queen's Brian May joined the band for an encore jam Travellin' band in Los Angeles, he was nearly reduced to a pile of ashes; he was less than two feet from the fire columns when went up at the end of the song. Joe had to yank him away at the last minute "or that would have been the end of Queen".

Nancy Wilson of Heart, David Lee Roth and Alex Van Halen came to the September 10 and 11 shows at the Los Angeles Forum.

Joe remembers soaking up some rays poolside at the Le Parc hotel in L.A. when a phone next to him rang. "I picked it up and a real deep voice on the other end goes 'Is this Joe Elliott?' This is Frank Zappa. I got two kids, Moon Unit and Dweezil, they dig the band, they want to come to your show. Can you make sure they get in?.' I'm thinking , wow, I am really hip today. Frank Zappa is ringing me up!."

Def Leppard's hipness quotient shot up dramatically when Brian May came on stage at the end of one of the Forum shows to play Travellin' Band. Read the quote and listen to the audio below.

"That was great for us," exults Joe.

"We had all been Queen fans for ten years. I bought Sheer Heart Attack when it came out in 1974. So to have him on stage was a real buzz."

Capping a great stand was the presence in the audience of five sets of Leppard parents, specially imported from England for the evening to watch their sons in action.

"When we saw their show in Sheffield last February, we thought they could do no more," Sav's mum had told a reporter from the Sheffield Star that night. "But tonight they pulled something more out of the bag and the vast crowd really made it."

On Stage Quote - By Joe Elliott

"Right I said we got a surprise for ya. And we have and a big one at that. Ladies and Gentleman will you please welcome all the way from England Queen's Brian May."

Def Leppard 1983. Def Leppard 1983

Brian May Soundcheck Story - By Joe Elliott (April 2014)

"Having said that. Brian May played it on one guitar when he played with us, he soundchecked. He got up with us at the LA Forum in '83 and you can actually hear it on the re release of Pyromania. The remastered version that came out about four years ago. The second disc is a live gig. the only live gig we've ever officially released with Steve on. From the LA Forum and the encore was Travellin' Band by Creedence and Brian got up to play it with us."

Def Leppard 1983.

Def Leppard 1983. Def Leppard 1983

Brian May Soundcheck Story - By Joe Elliott (February 2015)

"Come 1983 we were playing the LA Forum and Brian May was in town and we got this message Brian May wants to get up and play with you. We're like Holy Crap!. You know which was amazing and lo and behold he came down to soundcheck. And he brought his guitar. That thing he made out of a fireplace and his own amps. And we're sat at the mixing desk watching him thinking 'Ten years ago we were buying their albums'. Now he's playing the riff for Photograph. It's like Whoaah! this is crazy. So yeah they were a huge influence on us."

"But when he came in the afternoon to soundcheck. We were sat out in the seats. In the empty seats by the mixing desk. Watching one of our heroes bringing his gear up on to the stage and then he started playing Photograph and we were like going oh my god you know. He's playing one of our - ten years ago we were buying Sheer Heart Attack you know and it's like now he's actually on our stage playing our riff. Wow you know. It was amazing."

Def Leppard 1983.

Media Review Quote - By Kerrang!

"Indeed, it's got to the point now where Elliott can get himself screamed at simply by standing still ("There's certain places in the states where I could s**t onstage and they'd clap!") but that just isn't the Leppard way. This band have worked nights and overtime for their success though playing is something they clearly enjoy, old-fashioned grins of the ear-to-ear variety being much in evidence as, at the end of the second forum show, Brian May plus reconstituted mantlepiece steps up to jam on Creedence Clearwater Revival's 'Travellin' Band', Gary Moore and Jon Butcher - who both did stints on the Leppard tour - having done so in the past. Not surprisingly, neither Fernando Von Arb nor Mark Kohler from Krokus received a similar offer...."

Watch all the videos from this show on this YouTube Playlist

Def Leppard Pyromania Album Videos.

related pages/releases


share this page:

explore def leppard tour history
All News
Tour News
Album News
All Tours