DEF LEPPARD's RICK ALLEN On Pandemic's Impact On Music's Crew Workers: 'The Ripple Effect Was Just Devastating'

March 5, 2023

In a recent interview with Pierre Robert of the 93.3 WMMR radio station, DEF LEPPARD drummer Rick Allen spoke about what it was like for him and his bandmates to return to the road last summer as part of the long-delayed "The Stadium Tour" with MÖTLEY CRÜE, POISON and JOAN JETT & THE BLACKHEARTS. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I think everybody was just ready to let loose. I think it had been so long, people cooped up. Our industry, we got hit the hardest right from the word 'go', and [it was] probably the last business to really come back up. So I think people were just really hungry — you could feel that; it was really tangible. People were just kind of having their moment, that coming-of-age moment again. It was so cool. I loved it."

Allen also addressed the financial challenges faced by many of the road crew members who were hard hit by the cancelation of shows, tours and live events due to the pandemic and ongoing recovery. "[It was] super tough," he said. "The ripple effect that went into our industry was just devastating. Myself and my wife, earlier on in the pandemic, we heard about — not a great subject matter — but we heard about some suicides within our circle. We ended up actually putting a virtual concert together with a bunch of my friends. Matt Sorum helped me out. Just a bunch of people. STYX helped out, Billy Idol — you name it. And all these people came forward, and basically we put this virtual event together that was my wife's idea, and we ended up donating all the money, basically, to causes that helped our road crews. That was so important. And then we did a one-off t-shirt collection; all of that money went to our road crew. We were just trying to come up with ways to keep everybody afloat. It was tricky, but I know several bands, several organizations that stepped up and really helped out."

The 36-date "The Stadium Tour" was originally scheduled to take place in the summer of 2020 but ended up being pushed back to 2021, and then to 2022, due to the coronavirus crisis.

DEF LEPPARD's latest album, "Diamond Star Halos", sold 34,000 equivalent album units in the U.S. in its first week of release in May 2022 to land at position No. 10 on the Billboard 200 chart. It marked the band's eighth top 10 LP.

Of "Diamond Star Halos"' 34,000 units earned for the week, album sales comprised 32,000, SEA units comprised 2,000 (equaling 2.7 million on-demand official streams of the album’s songs) and TEA units comprised less than 500 units.

DEF LEPPARD's previous Top 10 albums included "Pyromania" (which peaked at No. 2 in 1983),"Hysteria" (No. 1 for six weeks in 1988),"Adrenalize" (No. 1 for five weeks in 1992),"Retro Active" (No. 9; 1983),"Rock Of Ages: The Definitive Collection" (No. 10; 2005),"Songs From The Sparkle Lounge" (No. 5; 2008) and "Def Leppard" (No. 10; 2015).

Photo credit: Anton Corbijn

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