In the 1980's, Def Leppard lived the dream. The band hit it big with albums like 1983's "Pyromania" and 1987's "Hysteria," including such memorable songs as "Pour Some Sugar On Me" and "Photograph." They spent years on tour, playing packed houses across the globe.
But in its early years, the band struggled. "Money was tight until about 1983," lead singer Joe Elliott recently told Reuters. "We had signed a record deal in '79, but that all that money went into running the band." Elliott says they earned around £30 per week ($39.40), which "wasn't even enough to buy stage clothes."
When Def Leppard started touring the U.S. as an opener for larger acts, they traveled in a station wagon and shared rooms in budget hotels. "All the profit from the shows went into getting a tour bus, so we never saw a penny," Elliott says.
Eventually, things turned around and they had a hit with "Pyromania." Released in January of 1983, it went platinum just three months later. By October of 1984, the album had sold over six million copies.