Def Leppard's Joe Elliott: My Life in 15 Songs

U.K. hitmakers' singer on "Pour Some Sugar on Me," "Photograph" and other glammy gems

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"Rock of Ages" (1983)

For the longest time, we were making the backing track without any lyrics. Then when it came time to add vocals, we had no idea where anything came in because there are no musical cues. Once the guitar drops out, it's just drums and some bass. There's no indication for where the guitar comes back in for what turned into the "What do you want?" section. So everything had to be done with counts: "1, 2, 3, 4 … go!" Eventually, Mutt got bored of "1, 2, 3, 4," and so he started saying all these mad things — "Gunter, Glieben, Glauten, Globen" was just one of them. And between cabin fever, stupidity, rock & roll, whatever you want to call it, it became the joke. By the time we got the song finished, we stuck it on the front because it was just part of our DNA by then. And people got the humor. Over the last 30 years, everyone asks, "Dude, what the hell is that thing you say?" And then the Offspring stole it for "Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)" ... Well, they didn't steal it; they asked permission. But it connected.

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