The information on this page is compiled by “Hurricane Joe”, a musician who plays guitar and writes and records his own music and most importantly, is a dedicated and loyal fan of Steve “Steamin’” Clark. We do not claim any of the information on this page to be officially correct, but from Hurricane’s years of study on Steve and his music, we reckon it’s about pretty damn close.
Hi, my name is Joseph Scott aka “Hurricane Joe”. I have been a fan of Steve Clark ever since I saw the High N’ Dry videos back in 1982. Even though I couldn’t play guitar at the time, I always thought that Steve was a great player simply from what I was seeing on Bringin’ on the Heartbreak and Let It Go.
After I saw Steve live in 1987 New Year’s Eve in Tampa, Florida, I decided one day I would play guitar. That’s when I really began to study Steve’s style.
I will admit, if you just listen to Steve on album, sometimes it may be difficult to distinguish who plays what, the real light comes on when you see or hear the band live. When you get a soundboard recording, and you have one guitarist in one ear, and the other guitarist in the other ear, that’s when you learn the most.
You find a song that you know Steve plays the solo in, and then you listen more carefully to that ear to distinguish who plays what. Using that technique I was able to identify many of Steve’s solos. Use that a long with interviews, and then you start to get an appreciation for Steve’s style, and it becomes easier and easier to tell who’s who.
In the early days, Pete Willis especially used a wah wah pedal on almost all of his solos, Steve rarely used one, exceptions are It Don’t Matter and When the Walls Came Tumblin’ Down, – so usually when you hear a wah wah in the pre Phil Collen days, that’s Pete – everything else is Steve.
When it comes to Steve and Phil, it’s much clearer I think. Phil plays speedy triplets with more tremolo screams. Steve bends a lot more than Phil, with less tremolo. Those are guitar terms, but the more you listen to the different solos especially live, you will know what I mean.
I want to stress that live is the way to distinguish the styles, not necessarily studio work. Many times they use different guitars, play each others parts and do overdubs, which wouldn’t happen in a live setting. For instance, Pete Willis didn’t use the wah wah so pronounced on record; when he played live, that’s all you heard. Steve rarely played fast triplets on record, but live Steve was a much more flashier player. You need to listen to Def Leppard live to appreciate Steve’s style.