kids in america

Tonight’s final episode of ‘How The Brits Rocked America: Go West’ on BBC4 is sub-titled ‘We’re The Kids In America.’

It’ll focus on the late 70s and 80s when the Sex Pistols, the Cure, the Police and Duran Duran amongst others made their mark on the States in various ways.

I haven’t seen a preview, but I hope the programme finds room for a bunch of kids from Sheffield, who gave Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ a run for its money.

Def Leppard have never been very fashionable or cool in their homeland.

But their two mega-selling albums – ‘Pyromania’ (1983) and Hysteria’ (1987) – were snapped up by Americans in their truckloads.

In the summer of 1983, the band suddenly went big time thanks to MTV getting behind ‘Pyromania’ and a ‘live’ show that really rocked.

As a reporter on their local paper, I was given daily updates by bass player Rick Savage’s dad, Ken, who worked as a compositor in the print room.

By the time the tour reached the Forum in Los Angeles, and the band had flown their proud-as-punch parents out to witness their success, I was there too, notebook in hand.

The follow-up, ‘Hysteria’ – ‘all killer, no filler’ – is I think one of the standout albums of the 80s, thanks to some great songs and Mutt Lange’s production.

So I do hope BBC4 gives Def Leppard due credit – a terrific British rock band, who for a short while were the biggest on the planet.

Def Leppard – Photograph

Def Leppard – Hysteria

How The Brits Rocked America – BBC iPlayer

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