Singer Marc Storace explains why Krokus got kicked off Def Leppard’s ‘Pyromania’ US tour
Krokus frontman Marc Storace was recently interviewed by Andrew DiCecco for Vinyl Writer Music.
Storace was asked why Krokus ended up getting kicked off Def Leppard’s Pyromania tour to which the singer replied (with slight edits):
“Well, it was the best tour of our lives. It was the best time for rock ‘n’ roll; it was the best time for hard rock. It was the heyday of the rock business as we know it, in the clichés of big tour support, big budgets for recordings, and so on. We had a big, good, loyal crew on that tour. We hitched up with Def Leppard, and our album was climbing the Billboard charts – the top 100 – right behind Def Leppard. And Michael Jackson was out there with Thriller. So, you can imagine this whole US music scene; it was such a cool time. I doubt it will ever return in the same way, like kids partying in the parking lot, convertibles, beers, smooching, dancing, all the clichés that we only see in movies today.
This whole thing with Def Leppard started out so great, and with Def Leppard, we did arenas; the biggest arenas all over the USA. I have to remind you that Krokus was, at that point in 1983, we had been on the road paying our dues and learning the ropes, so we were quite a tough band to follow. “Screaming In The Night” was turning us slowly into a top act, and we reached No. 24 on the US Billboard charts, which was, for us – a band coming from Switzerland, known for its chocolate, cheese, Swiss watches, and banks – and here we are, a hard rock band that looks weather-beaten like a bunch of pirates hitting the stage in the wildest look we ever had. It was great because the kids loved us and they wanted us back, and we gave encores. We came out once or twice, then obviously, you ran out of time and Def Leppard had to set up and stuff.
But then, later on, things were going so great and we were getting on so well with the band; hanging out sometimes backstage. I used to do these jams with Phil Collen in hotel bars. If there was a cover band playing, might get up and jam with them. You never knew what was gonna happen in the next state. And these bars after the show was amazing partying going on. Stuff like we never really experienced again in this dimension. So, things were going so great. We were selling records; Def Leppard was selling a huge amount of records and merchandise. Everyone was happy – except for the fact that they wanted to kick Michael Jackson off the first position. He was holding them back from climbing into the first place with Pyromania. Pyromania is today still the best record that they ever did, in my eyes, because it sounded real analog; not too polished. We talked about stuff like that backstage with the guys. But then, shit happened.
I don’t know from where or why, but I guess we were becoming uncomfortable for the Lepps because we were getting too much applause and the kids wanted us back for encores and stuff. I was doing these singalongs; stage left, stage right, stage middle,
everybody together. The whole house singing along. It was amazing; goosebumps. Then, suddenly out of the blue, our manager [Butch Stone] walked into our dressing room one of those afternoons and said, “I’ve had a complaint from the Lepps. It’s about you, Marc.” … “Me? What did I do?” … “Well, they don’t want you to do your singalongs from the same positions that Joe Elliott is using on stage. So, they’re gonna mark it off with this white tape and you’re not to go over it.” I said, “Well, okay. Shit. I was having fun. What happened?” Before the show, that evening, [Butch] came up to me and said, “You know what? Forget about those lines because I’m not into that. I can’t accept this rule myself.” He said, “I’m the manager. You go ahead and do what you did before. If anyone complains, send them to me.” And that’s what I did. Here I am, doing my thing, meaning no harm. And the next thing we knew, that evening, Peter Mensch, Def Leppard’s manager, came up and said, “You guys are off the tour after our show!” So, Butch went out and I guess they got into some kind of a hot argument. A few days later, we were off the tour. That’s why we never did the whole thing, which was a big pity, and I still regret what I did to this day.
But one thing I did, 2019 – now we’re fast-forwarding from 1983 to 2019 – Sweden Rock Festival was one of the first festivals from the festival tour which we did in 2019; our Farewell Tour in Europe; Adios Amigos from Krokus. We were playing on the same bill as Def Leppard, again, for the first time since Pyromania. I thought, “Wow, what a great opportunity. I wanna go in there and meet the boys and I wanna tell Joe Elliott personally how the story was,” because everyone pointed their fingers at me and I wanted to get the story right. So, I met Joe – surrounded by everyone else – the two bands came together. It was like everyone slapping each other’s backs, giving hugs, handshakes, and all that. Because time heals, and that’s what I told Joe. I said, “I want to say this, just in case something happens and we never see each other again. We’re not getting younger.” I said, “I’m sorry for what happened. I followed what my manager told me to do and that’s why I did what I did. I just wanted you to know.” He said, “Eh, come on! This was like a hundred years ago. I never thought about it again.” We were hugging and stuff, and it did me a load of good to get that thing off my shoulders and be at peace again with the Lepps.
That night, we all watched their show from the side of the stage as we did in 1983, and after the show, we had a drink together. So, peace was done. And actually, we were booked to play with the Lepps again in Mexico on the last lap of our Adios Amigos Tour, which had to be canceled because of the pandemic.”
You can read the rest of the interview with Marc Storace at Vinyl Writer Music‘s website.