January 8th is a sad day in the Def Leppard camp — guitarist Steve Clark died 25 years ago today (in 1991). He was 30 years old when he succumbed to an unintentional overdose of codeine and prescription drugs.
Singer Joe Elliott says, “25 years ago today was one of the darkest days in the history of Def Leppard… I miss him every day and have so many great memories of him, from the day I first met him outside Virgin Records in 1978 to the last gig we ever played together at the Tacoma Dome in 1988. There was one more performance at the MTV Video Music Awards in 1989 and a handful of recording sessions over the next year or so, but my lasting memories of this shy, funny, tortured but brilliantly talented guitarist will always be him on stage. So, think about Steve today, play some early Leppard and smile… For me it’ll be a quiet moment of reflection for a lost friend who wrote some great riffs, helped create some great songs but, like so many others, shined so brightly but left us way too soon.”
Guitarist Vivian Campbell, who replaced Clark in Leppard, writes, “Although I briefly met him on a couple of occasions, I never knew Steve. But over the last 24 years I’ve gotten to intimately know his music, and thus his spirit. I very much wish he were still with us… Only the good die young.”