DEF LEPPARD drummer Rick Allen recently confirmed that IRON MAIDEN guitarist Adrian Smith was in the running to join the band following the death of guitarist Steve Clarke in 1991.
Allen was speaking to Eonmusic about his upcoming in-person art shows at Wentworth Gallery in Atlantic City and King of Prussia on July 10 and July 11, and the subject was brought up about Smith joining DEF LEPPARD back in 1991, to which the drummer said “I actually really loved the idea.”
The gig eventually went to guitarist Vivian Campbell, however the drummer also mentioned a number of other players who were under consideration, including an unknown Birmingham guitarist and a well known WHITESNAKE guitarist. “There was a kid called Huwey Lucas that was a contender; there was John Sykes; there were all these people kind of lined up,” he said.
However, it was Smith who impressed the drummer, with Rick praising Adrian for his ability to adapt.
“I loved the idea,” Allen said. “It’s interesting — you put somebody in a slightly different situation and new things are revealed about them, and it was cool. It was a compliment that he was so into it.”
Concluding, however, Allen added: “But I think, ultimately, Vivian was the absolutely perfect choice.”
IRON MAIDEN guitarist Adrian Smith initially confirmed the rumor in an August 2020 interview with Eonmusic, saying that he was in fact in line for a spot with DEF LEPPARD back in 1991.
In that talk, Smith was asked if it was true that he was in contention to join DEF LEPPARD, to which he replied, “I was, yeah. I’m not sure… I want to write more books; that might be in my next one! [Laughs] There’s a whole story about that, there’s a whole story about that.”
You can read the entire interview between Rick Allen and Eonmusic at this location.