Could Def Leppard’s earliest champions give rise to Tyler’s success?

Mick Bailey (third from right) with Def Leppard original line-up in the earliest days of the band

The story of Sheffield’s Def Leppard could never be complete without a nod to the two local rock DJs that helped introduce the band’s first self-financed EP to the world.

It was as early as 1978 that the Bailey Brothers – two ex-miners that went on to front MTV’s first rock show and were pivotel to the UK’s NWOBHM (New Wave of British Heavy Metal) movement – first caught the band live and made it their mission to promote the Def Leppard sound to the world via their influential DJ shows at places like London’s legendary Marquee Club, Brixton Academy, Birmingham Odeon and Retford Porterhouse following the band’s release of their debut Def Leppard E.P. on their own Bludgeon Riffola label in January 1979.

“They were fellow Sheffielders and we enjoyed a great friendship with all the band”, said Dez Bailey. “I remember shooting a few frames of pool with bassist Rick Savage at the South Sea pub in Sheffield – one of the band’s regular watering holes. Straight after he gave me a world exclusive listen to the now legendary ‘Hysteria’ in his car! He went on to give us the world exclusive track listing and we published it in Metal Hammer the following week!”

Now history looks set to be repeated as Rick Bailey –  Dez Bailey’s son and owner of Sheffield’s only American Sports and Dive bar – handpicked the Crossfire Eagles, aspiring guitar rockers containing none other than Def Leppard bass player Rick Savage’s son Tyler, to play at his bar’s first birthday party a few days ago.

Rick Bailey said: “They were that good we’re hoping to give them a residency – I can see them following in Def Leppard’s footsteps. Their songwriting is amazing.”

The Bailey Brothers went on to have major international success via their 1980s MTV show; they were regulars on the bill at Donnington Park’s Monsters of Rock Festival and became renowned rock journalists.

And their influence is still felt today.

Dez Bailey said: “Tyler Savage admitted the only time he’d ever been nervous was when he found out the Bailey Brothers were present at their FirePit Rocks birthday party gig. They needn’t have worried – they were awesome!” 

FirePit Rocks is thought to be the country’s first ‘dive bar’ outside of London and contains some of the region’s finest collection of music and sporting memorabilia.

The classic American concept is long-established in the States.

The bar offers BBQ food, live sport, music, quizzes, retro gaming, beer pong, jam nights, DJs spinning classic indie/rock/hip hop/BEATS and more.

FirePit Rocks is situated at 138 West Street, Sheffield S1 4ES.

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You can follow FirePit Rocks on Facebook (@FirePitRocks) and Twitter (@FirePitRocks).


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