Strange as it may seem, this life is based on a true story." - Ashleigh Brilliant
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Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Coming here before, you may be aware that I'm somewhat of a Def Leppard fan. You may have noted that I am the mistress of the "Love Bites" fanlisting. You might have heard me, at some time in the past few years, refer to the band members of Def Leppard as "my motherfucking guys". What you may not know is that between the ages of 15 and 19, Def Leppard was more than my favorite band and I was much more than "somewhat of a fan". Def Leppard was the Sun, and I revolved around Them. I was obsessed with a rock band.
I know there were a lot worse things I could've been heavily into during those complex teenage years of growth and self-exploration. I had plenty of friends that were into drugs, sneaking out, and sex. Since I was too afraid of my parents to be into anything really hardcore, I ended up falling in love with a rock band. In retrospect, it wasn't a bad choice. In fact, it was a helluva lot of fun.
The concert at New Orlean's UNO Lakefront Arena this past Sunday was the fourth time I've seen Def Leppard live. The last time was in Texas, in 1996, and I actually got to meet the band afterwards. My first ever Lep concert was also at UNO in February of 1993, and I saw them again (same tour - "Adrenalize") in Baton Rouge that September. Every Def Leppard concert I've ever been to have been marked in my mental memory book as some of "the best nights of my life". This Sunday past was no exception.
They may be getting older, but they still fucking rock. My greatest compliment to the band is that the next day I had a sore throat (from screaming my fool head off) and sore arms (from the excessive pumping into the air). My mouth hurt from grinning and yelling. My head ached from screaming so loud and hard. I was sore and absolutely happy and ecstatic. My guys. They’ve still got it.
I felt like I was 16 again. And it made me realize it was time to bring "The Collection" home. Being obsessed with a rock band meant that I became an avid collector of anything remotely tied to Def Leppard - including anything that had their name or likeness attached to it. Over the years, I spent about $2000-$2500 on my Def Leppard collection. My teenage job (at a video rental store) was mainly to support my habit. But it was (and still is) something to be proud of. Back then I met collectors who'd been collecting since the band started, or even started in the Pyromania era (around '83), who were mightily impressed by my collection. Many said I had rare pieces that even the most diehard collectors hadn't been able to get their hands on.
I've no idea what my Def Leppard Collection would be worth today, though I don't really care because I have no intentions of selling any of it. I'm bringing it all home (it's been stored at my family's) and am going through it again for the first time in 10-something years. I'm re-cataloguing everything, taking pictures and scans and intend to post it all on the web for other fans to admire; or, at least, for me to gaze at all in one place. There are currently a few things missing (my three huge black binders of articles, organized by year and magazine...going back to the earliest and first articles ever written on the band, some books, my 300+ posters, and my tour programs), but I'm hoping they will be found. The rest - the albums, '45's, singles, pictures discs, fan club newsletters (that published some of my work), promo stuff, videos, audio interviews, bootlegs, old magazines, autographs, Japanese articles, etc. - I plan to start slowly going through this week. It's going to be so fun to revisit that past part of my life. When it's all up online to share with the world, I'll let you know.
In the meantime, just so you know, this old Lep fan is in love all over again.