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Def Leppard, Poison, Cheap Trick To Tour Together This Summer

February 26, 2009 12:51 PM ET

Mid-'80s rock radio is going to come alive in the nation's amphitheatres this summer as Def Leppard, Cheap Trick and Poison join forces for a full summer tour. "We're going out with three bands, which limits the amount of time we can play to about 90 minutes. When you do your greatest hits and some new material or extra stuff you might throw in, you have got to push and shove and clamp down," Def Leppard's Joe Elliot told Billboard.com. To avoid the expected concert industry slump this summer he adds, "We've taken the path of least resistance, we've put a bill together that we think is attractive."

The tour has something for all rock fans, from Poison's hair-metal antics to Cheap Trick's classic power pop to Def Leppard's.. well, what exactly was Def Leppard anyway? When Rolling Stone talked with Elliot back in 2006, he was quick to confront the popular belief that the band was "hair-metal" or "heavy metal." "We may have once accidentally... had one picture taken that let the hair dresser run riot with the hair spray," Elliot said. "But generally speaking, we were a long-haired band. If we're hair metal, so are Led Zeppelin. Warrant and Ratt were hair metal, we're not. We were always better than that. If you came from the L.A. metal strip thing, Motley Crue, Ratt, Poison, Warrant, whatever. And we get lumped in with that, I don't get it." So what genre would Elliott consider the band to be? "We belong in the same kind of category as Van Halen are. It's just rock." It's interesting that a band trying to distance themselves from hair-metal would tour with a band synonymous with Aqua-Net, but desperate economic times call for desperate measures.

In case that tour doesn't fill your rock needs, a trio of power ballad-heavy bands are also teaming up for the Can't Stop Rockin' Tour: REO Speedwagon, Styx and .38 Special. Check out the full dates for both megatours:

Def Leppard/Cheap Trick/Poison
June 23 - Camden, NJ
June 25 - Cuyahoga Falls, OH
June 26 - Darien Center, NY
June 28 - Scranton, PA
June 30 - Mansfield, MA
July 1 - Holmdel, NJ
July 3 - Saratoga Springs, NY
July 4 - Toronto, Ontario
July 7 - Hartford, CT
July 8 - Wantagh, NY
July 10 - Burgettstown, PA
July 11 - Virginia Beach, VA
July 12 - Bristow, VA
July 15 - Cincinnati, OH
July 17 - Tinley Park, IL
July 18 - Milwaukee, WI
July 20 - Maryland Heights, MO
July 21 - Kansas City, MO
July 23 - Noblesville, IN
July 24 - Clarkston, MI
August 7 - Raleigh, NC
August 8 - Charlotte, NC
August 10 - Nashville, TN
August 11 - Birmingham, AL
August 13 - West Palm Beach, FL
August 14 - Tampa, FL
August 15 - Atlanta, GA
August 18 - New Orleans, LA
August 19 - Houston, TX
August 21 - Dallas, TX
August 22 - Tulsa, OK
August 24 - Englewood, CO
August 25 - Salt Lake City, UT
August 28 - Albuquerque, NM
August 29 - Phoenix, AZ
August 30 - Irvine, CA
September 2 - Mountain View, CA
September 3 - Sacramento, CA
September 5 - Las Vegas. NV
September 7 - San Bernadino, CA

REO Speedwagon/Styx/.38 Special
May 13 - Albuquerque, NM @ Sandia Casino Amphitheater
May 15 - Phoenix, AZ @ Dodge Theatre
May 16 - Las Vegas, NV @ Thomas and Mack Center
May 17 - Fresno, CA @ Save Mart Center
May 21 - Ontario, CA @ Citizens Business Bank Arena
May 22 - Los Angeles, CA @ NOKIA Theatre L.A. LIVE
May 23 - Kelseyville, CA @ Konocti Harbor Amphitheatre
May 24 - Mountain View, CA @ Shoreline Amphitheatre
May 27 - Seattle, WA @ ShoWare Arena
May 30 - Sandy, UT @ Rio Tinto Stadium
May 31 - Morrison, CO @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre
June 4 - Kansas City, MO @ Starlight Theatre
June 5 - Thackerville, OK @ Winstar Casino
June 6 - Oklahoma City, OK @ Zoo Amphitheatre
June 7 - Woodlands, TX @ Woodlands Pavilion
June 16 - Boca Raton, FL @ Sunset Cove Amphitheatre
June 18 - Orange Beach, FL @ The Amphitheatre
June 20 - Roanoke Rapids, NC @ Carolina Crossroads Amphitheatre
June 21 - Alpharetta, GA @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
June 23 - Columbia, MD @ Merriweather Post Pavillion
June 26 - Atlantic City, NJ @ The Borgata
June 27 - Gilford, NH @ Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion
June 28 - Mansfield, MA @ Comcast Center
July 1 - Uncasville, CT @ Mohegan Sun
July 2 - Verona, NY @ Turning Stone Resort Casino
July 3 - Scranton, PA @ Toyota Pavilion At Montage Mountain
July 4 - Saratoga Springs, NY @ Saratoga Performing Arts Center
July 9 - Clarkston, MI @ DTE Energy Music Theatre
July 10 - Chicago, IL @ Charter One Pavilion
July 11 - St Louis, MO @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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