Why Def Leppard Wouldn’t Collaborate With Bon Jovi
Joe Elliott said there would be no point in Def Leppard recording a collaborative track with Bon Jovi, arguing that their 2008 collaboration with Taylor Swift was a more valuable exercise.
The British band worked with Swift on an episode of CMT series Crossroads, which pairs country artists with musicians from other genres. The performance included Def Leppard tracks “Photograph,” “Hysteria,” “When Love and Hate Collide” and “Pour Some Sugar on Me.”
“The whole thing came together because somebody walked into our dressing room with a laptop,” Elliott told Rolling Stone in a new interview. “He goes, ‘It’s Taylor Swift, she’s doing this interview, and she said there was only band that she would ever do a Crossroads with, and it was Def Leppard.’ We went, ‘Wow, OK, get in touch with her, see what she thinks.’ Lo and behold, couple of months go by and, all of a sudden, we’re doing this show.”
He continued, “We’ve always been that poke-noses-out-of-joint kind of band. I loved the idea of something that’s gonna either piss people off or they go, ‘Good for you for doing something different.’ If you’re gonna do collaborations, I don’t see the point in us doing a song with Bon Jovi. … It’s like, I’d prefer the idea of Jon [Bon Jovi] doing a song with like, Tom Waits. Us doing something with Loudon Wainwright III or Leonard Cohen. Somebody completely off the wall. Or Elvis Costello and Motorhead. Can you imagine what that would sound like?”
Ahead of Def Leppard’s confirmation of induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Elliott recalled the advice Bon Jovi gave him about the experience, saying, “it's not really gonna change my life, really, one way or the other - but Jon Bon Jovi has been telling me for at least 12 months that yes, it will."