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def leppard / Hysteria Tour End/Steve Clark's Last Show

on this day - 27th October 1988

On this day in Def Leppard history the 'Hysteria' world tour ended in Tacoma, WA, USA.
The last time Steve Clark would play a full live show with the band.

Def Leppard 1988.

"At least we're quitting while we're still ahead."

Def Leppard 1988.

This section looks at the final show of the 'Hysteria' world tour in Tacoma, WA, USA. The last of 227 dates played throughout 1987/1988 and the last show played by Steve Clark with Def Leppard.

"Right now all I can think about is getting home."

Def Leppard ended their 14 month Hysteria world tour in Tacoma, WA, USA on this day in 1988.

The 227th show took place at the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma, WA, USA.

The biggest indoor audience of the tour (26,962 fans attended) with tickets costing $18.50 and the total gross at $494,579. Their 1987 show at the same venue grossed $196,718 and was attended by 11,499 fans.

The longest tour in the band's career at that point had started in Dublin, Ireland on 27th August 1987.

This show turned out to be the last full live concert with Steve Clark as a member of the band.

He eventually died in January 1991 after his long battle with alcoholism came to a sad end whilst on a six month leave of absence from the making of the 'Adrenalize' album.

Steve continued to perform and record with the band through late 1988 and into 1990. His final recorded guitar solo was later released on the demo recording of 'When Love & Hate Collide' in 1995. Included as a bonus track on the UK CD single for the the band's biggest UK hit.

Steve appeared in the promo video for 'Rocket', filmed one month after the tour ended. He then performed with the band on various UK/European TV shows. Most of these happened in January/February 1989 including the Brit Awards at London's Royal Albert Hall and his last ever UK performance on Top Of The Pops three days later.

His last ever appearance on a stage was in September 1989 at the MTV awards.

All performances after the Hysteria tour were done using playback apart from this one where Joe's vocals were live. The music was a new recording of the song that was eventually scrapped and re-recorded in 1991 as the band finished off the 'Adrenalize' album.

The band were supported by L.A. Guns during this final leg of the tour who featured Phil's ex-Girl band mate Phil Lewis on lead vocals.

Def Leppard 1988.

Def Leppard 1988.

The In The Round stage had been unveiled on 1st October 1987 in Glens Falls, NY. This stage was seen in promo videos and the In The Round-In Your Face concert video filmed in Denver, CO.

Between that date and 27th October 1988 the band played to over 1.5 million fans in the USA alone and almost 2 million during the entire tour.

View backstage footage from the Hysteria tour filmed in 1988 (including the last show) in this YouTube playlist filmed by then Tour Manager Ian Jeffery.

It shows the soundcheck and features parts of the band playing 'Die Hard The Hunter'. Steve's solo can be heard and he is shown briefly wearing baggy white trousers and holding one of his white twin-neck Gibson guitars.

Awards/After Party

After the show a backstage party was held and the band were awarded with a double-sided platinum plaque to mark being the first band in history to sell 7 million copies of two albums back to back. This was achieved on 27th September 1988 (not 14th October...) when both 'Pyromania' and 'Hysteria' were certified 7 times platinum.

The band returned to the Tacoma Dome for the first time since this show on 1st October 2016 during the Summer 2016 tour.

Shown below is a quote from Joe taken from an interview with journalist Mick Wall conducted backstage in Tacoma.

Def Leppard 1988.

Steve Clark/Hysteria Gallery

Tacoma 1988 'Hystoric Leppard' - Band Interview Quotes

It's the last night of the Def Leppard tour and backstage in the Tacoma Dome dressing room, a whole host of people have gathered to pay their respects to the band and help them bid farewell to the road and to the fourteen months and don't-even-ask how many miles they have put into it.

Everybody is drinking and chatting idly and nobody notices at first when Joe, Rick, Steve, Sav and Phil begin to gather in one corner of the room, and the man from the record company gets up with a giant, double-sided platinum plaque in his hands and tries to make his speech.

"... to Def Leppard, for being the...er... first band to have...er...two...er septuple platinum albums back to back..."

Suddenly the hubbub of chatter ceases and the room falls momentarily silent. "I don't think they heard you properly, mate." says vocalist Joe Elliott grinning.

The man from the record company mops up the trickle of sweat from his forehead, gulps, and tries again.

"I'd like to...ah..."

When he gets to the part about being the first band in history to sell seven million copies of two albums back to back, the whole room comes in on the 'IN HISTORY' part and at last it seems like we've got a party on our hands here!.

Def Leppard 1988.

Def Leppard 1987. Def Leppard 1987

Later, as for the very last time Leppard plough into that bad-minded old Creedence classic Travellin' Band. I still found it hard to accept that this really was the last time I would see the band play live for...who knows? It'll be a year at least, you can bet our money on it.

Def Leppard have been touring the world for so long now, and have enjoyed such staggering success along the way, that it's almost impossible to imagine a time when they weren't actually on the road! For me, it's become almost a way of life, knowing that Leppard are still out there somewhere, laying down the law in some far-flung location, doing it for kicks and all the honey in the jar.

Afterwards, the backstage atmosphere seems vaguely depressed. There are smiles and jokes and the usual end-of-tour banter, but everybody is worn out and so is the jive.

"Tired, I'm not tired. I'm beyond tired." says Steve.

Phil's having none of this, though. "No, I could keep going for another couple of months, no sweat! I'd be into it," he grins, and he means it. Fourteen months solid of night-after-night pounding the road and storming the stage and Phil Collen, please sir, says he wants more.

Def Leppard 1988.

Def Leppard 1988. Def Leppard 1988 Stage

What are you on, Phil?.

"Well, at the moment I'm still grooving on the vegetable curry I ate after the show," he says. "I hadn't eaten all day and it really did something to me. What I need right now, though, is a nice cold glass of Perrier water..."

He ain't joking either. It's been the best part of two years since Phil took his last serious drink; five years since he ate his last meat. And no, he doesn't smoke or do drugs. No wonder he wants to stay on the road - life must be so boring off it! Phil barely bats an eye at my teasing - after all, he's a lot healthier, wealthier and more famous than I'll ever be, so what the f**k do I know?.

Out On Top

It was a hell of a time to be finishing the tour. Backstage at the Tacoma Dome, Joe puts it like this: "At least we're quitting while we're still ahead. It would be awful to hang around like some bands have done and keep playing until we've completely flogged the album to death, and people have started to get bored with us and stopped coming to see the show."

"Hopefully, when we come back we'll be able to pick up where we left off."

With a year to play with, the temptation to go in the studio with 'Mutt' (Lange, Leppard's regular producer and, some say, the genius behind all their best material) and make a proper follow-up to Hysteria is very strong.

"Who knows, you'll have to ask me in six months. Right now all I can think about is getting home. I know it sounds boring, but after the last fourteen months I think I could stand a little boredom. It should make for a nice change."

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