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This begins with a voice that says something like "Gunter Glieben Glauten Globen." It doesn't mean anything. Producer Mutt Lange got tired of counting the band in with "1, 2, 3, 4...," so he started saying this. The band would sometimes make up stuff when asked what it means.
This song references Neil Young in the opening lines: "I've got something to say / It's better to burn out / Than fade away!" This is part of the refrain of Young's "My My, Hey Hey," released in 1979 on Rust Never Sleeps. (thanks, Ekristheh - Halath)
The band had the music written for this, but were having trouble coming up with lyrics. One night, there was a bible study group in the studio and the next day, lead singer Joe Elliott found a bible open to the hymn "Rock Of Ages." He started singing the phrase and Lange thought it would be perfect for the chorus. They used it as the title and wrote the rest of the lyrics from there.
There are no guitars on the verses, but they come in strong in the chorus.
In an interview with the magazine Kaos 2000
, lead singer Joe Elliott talked about what influenced this song. Said Elliott: "We'd have never written 'Rock Of Ages' if we hadn't have heard 'I Love Rock And Roll
' by Joan Jett. But we didn't steal her entire sound. We took that one song and thought, 'This is very anthemic. We could get away with writing songs of this standard and style.' And that's what we did. It doesn't particularly sound that much like her, the chorus a bit. The actual structure of the song is nothing alike."
In 1998, The Offspring used the open on their song "Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)."
There is an "Ages Of Rock" computer program that details important dates in Def Leppard history.
In the book MTV Ruled the World - The Early Years of Music Video, Joe Elliott, lead singer for Def Leppard, reminisces with a grin about the making of the "Rock of Ages" video: "It was the ridiculousness of it, which is exactly what the video needed to be. [Director David Mallet] was like, 'I want you to walk down this drawbridge holding this sword.' It's like, 'Oh, f--k off. Don't make me do that!' Of course, like an idiot, I submitted to his blinked eyes, looking at me like some long-lost dog. David Mallet's got a great way of manipulating people like that. I was young and dumb and went 'OK.' I look at that now, and I think 'What the hell was I thinking?'"
The band's manager Peter Mensch got some screen time in the video. He's the druid mouthing the opening words and playing chess.
Listen to the verses, and you'll notice that guitars are missing, which emphasizes the vocals but presents a problem: What should the guitarist do in the video? Joe Elliott explained in the aforementioned book: "There's a couple of shots where [guitarist] Phil [Collen] was clapping along on the verse - because there's no guitars - and he's standing directly behind me, so I look like I have these clapping antlers coming out of my head."In the same book, guitarist Phil Collen adds: "Pretty funny when you look back. The robe thing took about 30 seconds to film. You kind of forget about that."
"She Blinded Me With Science
" singer Thomas Dolby worked on the Pyromania
album with Mutt Lange, credited as "Booker T. Boffin." Dolby told us: "It was terrific. I was working only with Mutt. I barely saw the band. I think I saw Joe Elliott very briefly. But I was primarily working with Mutt and Mike Shipley, the engineer. And it was a very manicured sound for a rock record. A lot of what Mutt wanted me to do was sort of double the guitars and make them creamier and thicker."
Ever wonder why there's an owl in the video? According to Joe Elliott, the director David Mallet thought it would be funny to put the bird in the clip where he says the line, "all right," because it sounds like "owl-right."
Kristian Bush of Sugarland
Kristian talks songwriting technique, like how the chorus should redefine the story, and how to write a song backwards.
Go beyond the Wall of Voodoo with this cinematic songwriter.
Joe talks about the challenges of of making a Duke Ellington tribute album, and tells the stories behind some of his hits.
Little Big Town
"When seeds that you sow grow by the wicked moon/Be sure your sins will find you out/Your past will hunt you down and turn to tell on you."