R.I.P. — Remembering Def Leppard guitarist Steve Clark on the 30th year anniversary of his death

Photo by Christopher Lee Helton

R.I.P. — Remembering Def Leppard guitarist Steve Clark on the 30th year anniversary of his death

Def Leppard guitarist Steve Clark passed away 30 years ago. He would have been 60 years old today if he was still alive.

Below is the Sleaze Roxx article from its now defunct R.I.P. section in that regard


Birth Name: Stephen Maynard Clark
Born: April 23, 1960 – Sheffield, England
Died: January 8, 1991 – London, England
Cause of Death: Respiratory failure due to drugs and alcohol

1980 — Def Leppard — On Through The Night
1981 — Def Leppard — High ‘N’ Dry
1983 — Def Leppard — Pyromania
1987 — Def Leppard — Hysteria
1992 — Def Leppard — Adrenalize (songwriting and demos only)
1993 — Def Leppard — Retro Active
1995 — Def Leppard — Vault: Def Leppard’s Greatest Hits 1980-1995
2004 — Def LeppardBest of
2005 — Def LeppardRock of Ages: The Definite Collection

LONDON – Steve Clark, guitarist with the heavy metal band Def Leppard, died of a lethal combonation of alcohol and drugs after a night of heavy drinking, a London coroner ruled today.

Westminister Coroner Paul Knapp said Clark “Was a very heavy drinker who seemingly had abused drugs and regrettably paid the price.”

The 30-year-old guitarist was found dead the morning of Jan 8 at this London home.

Daniel Van Alphen, Clark’s drinking companion the night before, testified that the two went to the local pub and returned to the guitarist’s home at midnight to watch a video.

Van Alphen said Clark drank a triple vodka, a quadruple vodka and a double brandy within 30 minutes. When Clark passed out on the couch, Van Alphen said he left.

Clark, who reportedly earned $28 million a year according to a 1989 American survey, was found dead in his home in London’s upscale Chelsea neighborhood by his girlfriend Janie Dean.

Dr. Iain West, the pathologist who performed the autopsy, testified that Clark’s blood alcohol level was three times the British legal limit and an antidepressant drug and a painkiller were both found at levels exceeding normal therapeutic doses.

He said valium was detected at normal levels.

Def Leppard‘s “Let It Go” video (from High ‘n’ Dry album):

Def Leppard‘s “Photograph” video (from Pyromania album):

Def Leppard‘s “Pour Some Sugar On Me” video (from Hysteria album):