DEF LEPPARD Fan Pays $8,000 For Chance To Sing With Band

March 11, 2003

Mark Zack from San Jose, California paid £5,007 (more than $8,000) to sing and play "Pour Some Sugar On Me" with DEF LEPPARD during the band's soundcheck in their home town of Sheffield, U.K. All proceeds of the auction will go to Help A Hallam Child, helping sick and needy children from South Yorkshire and the North Midlands.

"When I heard I won the auction, I called one of my co-workers who knew about this and said, 'You are not going to believe where I'm going, I just won a gig WITH DEF LEPPARD!'" said Mark, who's been a fan of the band for 20 years. On the day of the event, Feb. 20, Mark was in Sheffield becoming more and more nervous every minute: "At 3:30 AM, I woke up and I couldn't sleep anymore. I got up, grabbed my guitar, went down to the lobby and chatted with the hotel staff about everything that was happening. Later, I put on my wool coat, strapped on my guitar and went walking through Sheffield's City Center 'till about 5:30 AM!"

When Mark finally met the band at the HallamFM Arena later that afternoon, it was "euphoric": "I had goose-bumps, my hair standing on end all over my body, feeling this shrill running up my spine and out my limbs. So happy, that I couldn't stop smiling, almost like being hypnotized into excitement! I was being interviewed inside the HallamFM Arena and Joe Elliott shows up. My smile went from cheek to cheek! I spent time with Sav and PhilSav noticed my Gibson Les Paul and asked me about it, I felt honored! Phil was so cool, I spoke to him about my second guitar I ever owned and how it was being specially refinished and designed by me, taking two and a half years to be completed."

Mark actually planned to bring another guitar, but unfortunately, it was still in the U.S.: "I tried so hard and stressed so much to get that guitar to Sheffield. I really wanted Viv to take it for a ride! I know he's a Les Paul player and he would have absolutely loved this guitar. It would have been great to watch him wail on it through the arena PA system. I remember when Viv was withDIO and WHITESNAKE. He's a great guitar player." During the performance, Mark used Vivian's black Les Paul custom.

About the performance (during which Joe and Viv took care of backing vocals),Mark recalls: "I was, well, kinda bad..... I failed once at being a lead singer in a rock band and I think this was a little reminder! I messed up a few lines on the lyrics, but Joe, Sav and Viv helped in when I got a little lost. I look back and see me stage front center, how my heart was beating 200 times a minute, shaking, and a bit lost, then next thing you know, we're right into it. It was like the first time you ever had sex — it's not the greatest, you really don't know everything you are doing, but you'll never forget it!" Watch a video of Mark's performance (320 x 240, .WMV format, 0:55) here (if you have trouble watching the video, download the ZIPped file, unzip and play the video directly from your local hard drive using the latest Windows Media Player).

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