"Happy 53rd Birthday"
Joseph Thomas "Joe" Elliott Jr (born 1 August 1959) is an English singer-songwriter, and musician, best known as the lead vocalist and occasional rhythm guitarist of the British rock band Def Leppard. He has also been the lead singer of David Bowie tribute band, the Cybernauts and the Mott the Hoople cover band, Down 'n' Outz. He is one of the two original members of Def Leppard and one of the three to perform on every Def Leppard album.
Early life and Def Leppard
Elliott was born in Sheffield, South Yorkshire and was educated at King Edward VII School. Elliott met Pete Willis, a member of a local band called Atomic Mass, in November 1977 when he missed a bus. After finding out that they were both musicians, Elliott met the rest of the band members in Elliott's bedroom. The band spent hours talking and listening to records. The band had not heard Elliott sing, but they were impressed by, "his attitude and his ideas about being in a band," and became the band's vocalist. The other members even took Elliott's suggestion to change their name to "Deaf Leopard." Elliott had invented the name for the band in youth. Tony Kenning suggested they change the name to "Def Leppard" to distinguish them from contemporary punk bands like The Flying Lizards and Boomtown Rats. The band claims that the similar-looking spelling of Led Zeppelin to Def Leppard was unintentional. Elliott soon became an integral part of the band while also contributing his songwriting skills.
In 1978 Joe asked his dad for some help to finance the recording and release of the first few songs written by the young and up and coming musicians. Joe senior put up 150 UK pounds. (at that time, about $500.) They recorded at Fairview studios in Hull, East Yorkshire, it cost 148.50 and with the loose change they shared fish and chips on the way home. (Joe’s mother Cindy played guitar and taught Joe his first few chords, Joe Sr. actually recorded, on a primitive cassette device, Joe’s first ever song. Joe was eight years old. The song was entitled “Goin’ Forever”).
(Joe’s Dad & Mom with him backstage at New Jersey’s Meadowlands,1988)
As a songwriter, Elliott has drawn from his eclectic tastes in music (ranging from pop-rock to folk) as sources of inspiration. He also often comments that the lyrics to Def Leppard's music are almost never personal; they are meant to be easily accessible to the listener. He also plays guitar and drums as well as piano and electronic keyboard.
Joe Elliott currently hosts a radio show on planetrock.com on Saturday nights.
Elliott currently lives in Stepaside, Dublin, Ireland. He maintains a recording studio in his home called Joe's Garage in which he has recorded and produced many major artists, other artists have also recorded in Joe's Garage while he has been on the road with Def Leppard. Joe dated Denise Dakin from 1979–1989. His first marriage was to Karla Ramdhani in 1989; they separated in 1994 and divorced in 1996. He dated Bobbie Tolsma from 1999-2003. Joe married Kristine 1 September 2004, and their first child, Finlay, was born in December 2009. Joe Elliott's father, Joe Elliott Sr, died in July 2011 after being ill for a number of weeks.
(Joe with Denise Dakin)
(Joe with 1st wife Karla Ramdhani)
(Joe and Bobbie Tolsma)
(Joe and Kristine Elliot)
(Joe Senior in 1993)