Anniversary 28 – Stephen Maynard Clark

The Day The Music Died

D ear Steve,

It’s been twenty-eight years since the day the music died. Life has never been quite the same since that horrible January.

Back in the 80’s you and I were in the same world. You came to my city and were close to me, yet I never got to see you live unfortunately. But since you’ve been away on the other side for 28 years now, it seems and sometimes feels like it was all a dream… it was like a different world. Life is so different now. Something special is missing…

But WE (Your Fans) still love you. We love you so much and we will never forget you. We always remember your command of the stage, your presence was something to behold! Your unique songwriting skills and ideas, your guitar playing and shape-throwing, your swagger and style, your natural coolness – it just radiated effortlessly from you. Nobody else in the world could ever been as cool. And that dazzling smile of yours – it would light up the world.

Right from the beginning you had a brilliant musical brain, which showed in those early songs and I am so proud of you. Your music shaped the original Def Leppard mould – what a great band you helped to emerge into international superstars from the local streets of Sheffield. You were always professional in your work.

I’m not quite sure whether you realized just how talented, respected and loved you were – and still are today. To me you were the best dammed Rock Star this world will ever see.

And what else I loved about you so much was that you were a real gentleman – a truly decent, down-to-earth human being as well as being a real musician. You were intelligent and smart. You were unique! You were the best!

I also know your lovely mum Beryl misses you dearly and her heart still aches. All of your family miss you.

I’ll always love you and you will live on in the hearts and minds of your loyal fans forever.

I miss you…



Steve Clark with white Gibson EDS-1275

“Steve was really one of the main focuses for me. From their first record on, he was a f**kin’ rock star, with the attitude and everything. And I like playing guitar and being creative, but I also dig the attitude of the rock star trip. Not being an asshole or any of that stereotypical thing, but just some kind of suave coolness, and Steve had it.” – Tommy Skeoch (ex-Tesla guitarist)

“Steve was not just a guitar player. Steve Clark was a MUSICIAN. There’s a difference. Heaven must sound wonderful!!” – Sandi Curran-Johnson

“There was just something so unique about his construction and phrasing – it captured me and made me want to emulate that tone any way I could. His early work with Pete Willis was captivating.” – Art Busch

“Steve Clark was the central nerve system of the band. RIP” – Cliff Donovan

“It blows my mind, just how professional he sounded, Def Leppard really did lose its main man here.” – Neo Ajaka

“Steve was the consummate rock pro…..his feelings bled through his guitar, she was an extension of his very soul……you can see it when he’s playing leads….real guitarists have arms, legs, and Les Pauls.” – Robert Butterworth

“The 8th wonder of the world still lives inside of Def fans. I will never forget him. RIP” – Adrian Trachsel

“I remember asking my guitar teacher to show me how to play Armageddon It. He had never heard any Def Leppard before. He was a pretty decent guitarist, and figured it out for me. Then we got to the solo….His face went blank….”Wow…that’s a lotta notes…” That day he stopped teaching me solos, and told me to try to make up my own. R.I.P.” – Jonny

I see him there most everyday

A lonely man and his guitar

In his eyes, I see the pain

All the faces and the places

All the trouble that he’d seen

There was a time

There was a day

They’d come from miles around

They all knew his name

But days gone by are gone

Now only memories remain

Then he starts to play

Suddenly the pain slowly fades away

Tattered, torn and frayed

There’s a place within his heart he’ll always save

Song and emotion

He know he’s got to his dyin’ day

Song and emotion

You can hear him play

You can still hear him say

Better run for cover

‘Cause it looks like rain again!

And now his life is but a shadow of his dreams

The calm is over, been stormin’ for years

He turns and leans his shoulder to the wind

Lost again!

All along, on his way to the top

Somehow, somewhere, something was lost

Through it all he knew his only friend was

Song and emotion

Know he’s got to his dyin’ day

Song and emotion

Where are they now, where are those people

Who promised him his dreams?

Where are they now for this lonely creature on the streets?

Broken, humbled by the cold reality

Life at the top ain’t always what it seems

Better run for cover

‘Cause it looks like rain again

You best be careful

Of what you dream

Of what you dream

Song and emotion


“Song & Emotion” written by Keith/Hannon/Skeoch/Barbiero & performed by


Copyright: Tesla Electric Company

Recordings/Geffen/City Kidd Music/Ringbearer Music

Ltd 1991

Steve Clark on stage

Photo credits: Bill Hale, D. Pasic, Ross Halfin, Neil Zlozower with thanks.