Def Leppard frontman says he worries about ‘everything’ after frozen vocal cord

Joe Elliott said despite his vocal cords being “better than ever” after losing his voice eight years ago, he still worries about “everything”.

The 63-year-old frontman for British rock band Def Leppard is returning to the band’s “home town” of Sheffield on Friday to play a one-off special performance at The Leadmill, ahead of their European tour, to shine a light on the venue which is among a host of small establishments being threatened with closure.

Appearing on BBC Breakfast, Elliott told presenters Naga Munchetty and Charlie Stayt his vocal cords “take a good hammering” when the band perform.

“I worry about everything,” he said. “I lost my voice quite badly about eight years ago. A doctor that I saw said ‘if it wasn’t you I’d tell you to change your profession’ but a vocal coach that we’ve been working with for about 30 years, he just said to me ‘poppycock’ and he built me back up again without any surgery.

“I just couldn’t control anything, I had a frozen vocal cord and apparently they don’t normally come back, but with exercise (it did).

“I guess it is like a dry rubber band, if you massage enough oil back into it, it will become springy again and that’s what happened. My vocal cords wouldn’t meet in the middle and now I’m better than I’ve ever been.”

Teenage Cancer Trust Concert 2018 – Royal Albert Hall
Joe Elliot, from Def Leppard, on stage (David Jensen/PA)

He said: “In fairness it’s the early days that you remember the best because it’s when you’re first starting out and it’s what gives you the opportunity to become a band is playing small venues, which is why we’re going back to The Leadmill and all the profits are going to charity to help keep The Leadmill alive.

“There’s a campaign we’ve been involved with online for over a year now but it’s not just The Leadmill, it’s from Aberdeen to Yeovil, there are clubs closing on a weekly basis.”

He described the tight-knit performance as “a little bit more personal” with the band playing a “completely different set of songs” to their usual set.

Def Leppard formed in Sheffield in 1977 with bandmates Elliott, Rick Savage, Rick Allen, Phil Collen, and Vivian Campbell.

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