The Hard Rock Hotel hosted a memorabilia display dedication with Great Britain’s premier arena rock band Def Leppard in honor of its upcoming residency VIVA Hysteria! at The Joint on Thursday night. Def Leppard band members Joe Elliott, Vivian Campbell, Rick Savage, Phil Collen and Rick Allen joined Paul Davis of Hard Rock Hotel and Bobby Reynolds of AEG Live Las Vegas for the special unveiling.
“Hats off to you guys,” said Davis to the band. “We’re honored to have this unique instrument here. To see a true piece of rock ‘n’ roll history is really moving — I can’t believe it’s here.”
The dedication featured the original drum kit Allen used following a near fatal car accident. The instrument was custom designed by Allen so he could continue to play the drums after the loss of his arm. The elaborate set serves as Def Leppard’s memorabilia centerpiece due to its importance in the group’s rock ‘n’ roll history. During the event, Allen was emotional as he addressed the importance of the one-of-a-kind, self-made drum kit, giving insight into his personal story behind the piece.
“The first time I played this drum kit it was with sheer terror, and it has gotten me to this point,” said Allen, “I’m just so happy I can share this not only with the band but all of you.”
Allen continued, “There’s a natural thing that happens when you lose something where the rest of your body takes over. I think it’s a natural response for survival, but there is also a learning curve and that learning curve is pretty steep. Once I got over it, I realized the information was in my brain, and I just needed to channel it to a different limb. It was a long journey, but it was well worth it. We’re here. I’m here.”
In addition, band members spoke about their upcoming performances and posed for pictures in front of the display. The dedication was the kick-off event to their residency starting today. Three additional exhibits are available for viewing at Hard Rock Hotel including a display of the band’s gold records, iconic guitars and costumes. The special memorabilia will be on display throughout the legendary rocker’s residency.
Click on the photos below to enlarge.