In an interview with Classic Rock, Joe Elliott recalled the time Def Leppard opened for AC/DC in their ‘Highway To Hell’ tour. The singer revealed the most important thing he learned from the band at the time.
Def Leppard joined AC/DC’s ‘Highway To Hell’ tour between 1979 and 1980 to open for the band. AC/DC gained their commercial success after this album and tour, and at the time, they had more stage experience and success than Def Leppard. This is why opening for them during their tour was a big deal for Def Leppard as it was an opportunity to learn from one of the rising stars.
Def Leppard couldn’t socialize with AC/DC a lot during the tour because they weren’t around. However, Joe Elliott recently recalled that Bon Scott gave them money to buy beer after seeing them sharing a pint and regretted that he passed away before they were able to pay him back. Yet, even with small encounters, the band learned something in that tour: the importance of repetition.
Here is what Joe Elliott stated:
“We watched them like hawks every night. We wanted to learn, and one of the big lessons was the value of repetition, which is a key ingredient to long-term success. Most artists don’t want to repeat themselves, but if you want to stay in the game you don’t change your set every night. AC/DC never changed their sound, their look, or their work ethic.”
He praised that AC/DC was always consistent with their setlist, sound, style, or work ethic. Not repeating themselves could be a good idea for producing records, but they didn’t change much on stage, which probably made their audience connect more and familiarize themselves with the band.