Steve Clark
Steve Clark

Steve Clark
guitarist Steve Clark, 90s R'n'B doesn't get much sweeter than this. Steve Clark @ STEVE CLARK GUITAR In Loving Memory Steve Clark at Find

View Wikipedia Article

This article is about the late Def Leppard guitarist. For for other persons named Steve Clark, see Steve Clark (disambiguation). Not to be confused with Steve Clarke.

Steve ClarkClark during the Hysteria World TourBackground informationBirth nameStephen Maynard ClarkBorn(1960-04-23)23 April 1960
Hillsborough, Sheffield, EnglandDied8 January 1991(1991-01-08) (aged 30)
Chelsea, London, EnglandGenresHeavy metal, hard rockOccupation(s)Musician, songwriter, recording artist, performerInstrumentsGuitar, vocalsYears active1977–1991LabelsIsland, MercuryAssociated actsDef Leppard

Stephen Maynard Clark (23 April 1960 – 8 January 1991) was an English musician. He was the principal songwriter and rhythm guitarist for the English hard rock band Def Leppard, until 1991, when he died from alcohol poisoning. In 2007, Clark was ranked No. 11 on Classic Rock Magazine's "100 Wildest Guitar Heroes".[1] In December 2018 it was announced that Clark would be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Def Leppard. [2]

Contents Biography Childhood and adolescence

Stephen Maynard Clark was born and raised in Hillsborough, a suburb of Sheffield, England to Barrie & Beryl (nee Beckingham) Clark. From an early age, he showed an interest in music, attending his first concert featuring Cliff Richard and the Shadows at age 6. At 11, he received his first guitar which was purchased by his father on the condition that he learn to play. Clark studied classical guitar for a year before he first heard the music of Jimmy Page and Led Zeppelin at a friend's house.

When Clark left school his first employer was an engineering firm called GEC Traction where he worked as a lathe operator. He was 3 years into a 4-year apprenticeship with the firm by the time his band Def Leppard was signed to a professional record deal with Phonogram Records.

Career with Def Leppard

Before joining Def Leppard in 1978, Clark played cover songs with his small band, Electric Chicken, in Sheffield. Around that time, he met Pete Willis (Def Leppard's original guitarist and founder) at a technical college. Willis spotted Clark reading a guitar book and asked if he played. He then invited Steve to come and audition for his band, as they were looking to add a second guitarist. Clark never showed up, but when Willis and singer Joe Elliott bumped into Clark again at a Judas Priest gig, Willis re-issued his invitation.[3] Clark finally came down to their rehearsal room and joined Def Leppard in January 1978. According to Elliott in Behind the Music, Clark auditioned for Def Leppard by playing all of Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Free Bird" without accompaniment.[4]

While a member of Def Leppard, Clark contributed to over 90% of the music.[5] Clark and Pete Willis shared lead-guitar duties, and Clark was nicknamed "The Riffmaster" due to his amazing talent and ability to come up with some of the coolest guitar riffs in modern rock.[6] Toward the end of the Pyromania recording sessions, Pete Willis was asked to leave, and guitarist Phil Collen was recruited into the band to replace him.

Clark and Collen quickly bonded, becoming close friends and leading to the trademark dual-guitar sound of Def Leppard. He and Clark became known as the "Terror Twins" in recognition of their close friendship and alcohol-fuelled antics off-stage.[7]

Part of their success as a duo was attributed to their ability to swap between rhythm and lead guitar, often both playing lead or both doing rhythm within the same song.[8] The fact that they came from entirely different musical backgrounds also contributed to their unique guitar partnership. Clark was a classically-trained musician who knew the rules of music and could read and write music and understood the theory and science of the art, as well as studying/being influenced by Jimmy Page and Led Zeppelin, whereas Collen, like Willis, was self-taught and developed his fast, alternate-picking technique from studying Al Di Meola and listening to Jazz players.

Steve Clark: "I do read and write and I know the rules of music which is great in a two-guitar band because we're so different in our approach to playing. Phil will play something if it sounds right, whereas I look at things and say: 'it's wrong to play that note; it's not musically correct.'”[9]

Whereas Collen stopped drinking alcohol during the mid-1980s in pursuit of a healthier lifestyle, Clark never managed to escape his addiction to alcohol.

Clark primarily played Gibson Guitars during his career and signed an endorsement with Gibson sometime before the commencement of the Hysteria World Tour. Gibson made some custom-specification guitars for Clark. He was occasionally seen playing other guitars, including a Fender Stratocaster for the song and video "Love Bites". Clark would also use Fenders in the studio occasionally, due to their unique sound.

Clark always stated that he was more of a traditionalist when it came to guitars.[10] This can be seen in his selection of gear. At the time of his death, it was estimated that he owned approximately 75 guitars.

Although his name appears on many songwriting credits for Def Leppard's 1992 album, Adrenalize, he did not contribute much to the recording of the album. In the liner notes of the Adrenalize deluxe edition, Joe Elliot claims that a few riffs Clark had demoed were used in a couple of places on the album. His only other contribution was a thumbs up here and there and stating something the rest of the band was working on was "cool." Collen and Clark began working on what would become the song "White Lightning" during the recording sessions for the 1992 album, Adrenalize. Completed after Clark's death, the song described the effects of Clark's alcohol and drug addictions.[11]

Personal life

Clark had dated an American model, Lorelei Shellist, the two having been together since 1984 but broke up. Shellist revealed in her autobiography, Runway Runaway, that Clark's addictions played a major role in their breakup. After Clark and Shellist ended their relationship, Clark began a new relationship with Janie Dean which lasted until Clark's death in 1991. Steve Clark had never been engaged to anyone despite rumours and false claims from Shellist[citation needed].


At the time of his death, Clark was on a six-month leave of absence from Def Leppard.

On Tuesday 8 January 1991, Clark was found dead on his couch by Dean.[4] He was 30 years old. The postmortem revealed that the cause of death was respiratory failure caused by a lethal mixture of alcohol and prescription drugs.[12] At the time of his death Clark had a blood alcohol level of .30 and morphine in his system.[4] Daniel Van Alphen, Clark's drinking companion the night before, testified that they went to a local pub and returned to Clark's home at midnight to watch a video.

He was buried at Wisewood Cemetery located in Loxley, Sheffield, near the Clark family estate.[4]

Tesla, who opened for Def Leppard on the Hysteria tour, recorded a tribute to Clark entitled "Song & Emotion (To Our Friend, Steve 'Steamin' Clark)" for their album, Psychotic Supper.[13]

Discography Studio albums Compilation albums Live albums Extended plays Videos References
  1. ^ "Jimi Hendrix, Dimebag, Tony Iommi, Eddie Van Halen Are Among 'Wildest Guitar Heroes' -". 6 March 2007. Retrieved 15 July cite.citation{font-style:inherit}.mw-parser-output .citation q{quotes:"\"""\"""'""'"}.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-free a{background:url("//")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-registration a{background:url("//")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-subscription a{background:url("//")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration{color:#555}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span{border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help}.mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a{background:url("//")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output code.cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:inherit;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{display:none;color:#33aa33;margin-left:0.3em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration,.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right{padding-right:0.2em}
  2. ^
  3. ^ Fricke, David (1987). Animal Instinct. Zomba Books.
  4. ^ a b c d The Tombstone Tourist: Musicians – Scott Stanton – Google Books. 2 September 2003. p. 303. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  5. ^ Goldmine Magazine June 1993 and The Sun Newspaper January 9th 1991
  6. ^ according to Joe Elliott in VH1's Classic Albums series featuring Def Leppard's Hysteria
  7. ^ Animal Instinct by David Fricke, Zomba Books 1987
  8. ^ on the BBC's Classic Albums show
  9. ^ Interview with Steve Clark & Phil Collen - December 1983 - Kerrang! magazine
  10. ^ Metal Hammer Magazine Fan Pull-Out 1988
  11. ^ "All About Steve Clark Pt. 1". YouTube. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  12. ^ Steve Clark Autopsy/Coroners Report 1991.
  13. ^ "Top 5". The Cairns Post. Cairns, Australia: News Limited. 11 March 2010. p. 14. Inspired by the death of producer and C+C Music Factory founding member David Cole, as well as Def Leppard guitarist Steve Clark, 90s R'n'B doesn't get much sweeter than this.
External links Preceded by
Original Def Leppard Lead Guitarist
1978–91 Succeeded by
Vivian Campbell Def Leppard Studio albums Live albums Compilations EPs Singles Other songs Videography Concert tours Related Authority control

Custom Search
Steve Clark

Steve Clark

Steve Clark

Project of very low consumption, radiation and bitrate softphones, with the support of the spatial audio, of the frequency shifts and of the ultrasonic communications
Multifunction Audio Filter with Remote Control
More Information
Free the Animation VR

Play to reveal 3D images and 3D models
More Information

WhmSoft Moblog
Copyright (C) 2006-2020 WhmSoft
All Rights Reserved