Def Leppard frontman Joe Elliott spoke in an interview with Billboard and revealed how he feels about his former bandmates Steve Clark and Pete Willis.
On Pete Willis, he said:
“Pete has kind of moved away from this kind of stuff, so he might just be a little reluctant to come along. The truth is that it’s obviously right that he gets in and he gets his statute, or however it works, but the success of the band was mostly to do with everyone else. I think that anybody would rightly say that the reason we got nominated is more likely to be because of the work we did after Pete left.
He helped us lay the groundwork for what was to come, but the success of the band was more with Phil [Collen] and Steve [Clark] and then with Vivian [Campbell]. It’s like a rocket that goes to the moon. The bit that gets ejected two minutes into the flight is still an important part when it sets off. It’s just not that important when it gets into orbit. Pete is kind of that guy I suppose.
He was an integral part of the band when we started off, but we went our different ways. It became clear that we couldn’t go any further with him in 1982. We had four years together, but we’ve been together for 40. There are 36 other years in this band that he had nothing to do with. Playing with him might be a bit weird, but I don’t see why he couldn’t come if he wants to. He’s totally welcome.”
On late guitarist Steve Clark, he said:
“The Steve that I knew, which was for more than 13 years, I think he’d enjoy it. It’s a difficult question since a lot of what we’ve done to get where we are we did with Steve. And then everything since then has been building the fan base. It’s kind of like asking what Peter Green would think of Fleetwood Mac getting in.
I think if this was to happen to 1988, Steve [would] be like, “Yeah! Awesome!” If a 60 year-old Steve were around today, I don’t know if he’d care. I don’t know. It’s an impossible-to-answer question. I’m just speculating.“
Five days ago, Def Leppard officially announced that they will be inducted in to the 2019 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Click here to entire interview.