The lead singer, Joe Elliott, came up with the name in high school, when designing posters for fake bands in art class.
That’s right. Def Leppard, one of the most successful rock bands of all time, took their name from an imaginary band made up by a bandmember in art class.
Actually, the original name was Deaf Leopard, but drummer Tony Kenning didn’t want it to sound like a punk band. Despite the similarity between their name and that of Led Zeppelin, the band says it was not intentional.
Tony just drew a line through the A and stuck a line down the O so we could still see the original spelling, but he had graffiti on top. It wasn’t until maybe a month later when somebody wrote it out again that we noticed, ‘Well, it looks like Led Zeppelin,’ but at the time, we all went, ‘We’d rather look like them than The Flying Lizards, so stick with it.’ Silly name, really, but look at racehorses — I don’t think I’ve ever seen one that doesn’t have a silly name.
Take a moment to enjoy one of De
af Le oppard’s most popular songs: Pour Some Sugar on Me, released in 1987.