Def Leppard leads rock assault in S.B. (a.k.a. the Rick Allen interview)

The following Def Leppard concert preview story was supposed to run in the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin and San Bernardino Sun newspapers Thursday but did not. So here it is …

English rock band Def Leppard has been though many highs and lows.
Drummer Rick Allen lost his left arm in a 1984 car crash, but his band went on to have its greatest success ever with mid-1980s hits like “Love Bites,” “Pour Some Sugar on Me” and “Armageddon It.”
Def Leppard lead singer Joe Elliott has said the loss of the arm actually made Allen a better drummer.
“I know what he means,” Allen said in a recent interview about Elliott’s comments. “See, as I know him so well, I cut him some slack. What he meant is it’s more solid. And less busy.”
Def Leppard will perform with Poison and Cheap Trick at 7 p.m. Sunday at the San Manuel Amphitheater in Devore.
“When you see the show, it’s pretty seamless,” Allen said. “It really works.”
Def Leppard has recently crossed into the country genre and Allen is excited by it. “It’s another way to listen to our music in a different form. Country music has been crossing over for quite awhile. Shania Twain started quite a trend and Taylor Swift is taking that to the next level. We feel as though we’re really excited.”
Interestingly, Allen said the song “Pour Some Sugar on Me,” which was recorded in 1986 for the band’s blockbuster “Hysteria” album in 1987, was inspired by hip-hop artist LL Cool J.
“The rhythm from ‘Pour Some Sugar On Me’ is a direct influence from him. We’re not opposed to being influenced or borrowing certain things from all different kinds of music.”
Allen couldn’t remember the exact LL Cool J song that inspired “Sugar,” but he said, “One particular song at the time had a similar sort of groove. Music is fantastic in that way. People borrow different things. For instance, the blues has been back and forth across the Atlantic so many times.”
Allen said the band’s mission always has been to “remain authentic, be true to ourselves and write the best songs we can.”