May 26, 2018
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Def Leppard, Poison, Lita Ford set for hair-raising Bangor show

By Andrew Neff, BDN Staff

BANGOR, Maine — Fans of ’80s rock music can open up and say ahh! because a trio of performers synonymous with the heavy metal hair band genre will be pouring some sugar on them this August.

Waterfront Concerts has added an Aug. 22 concert date to its 2012 schedule for the Rock of Ages tour featuring Def Leppard, Poison and Lita Ford.

“I would say 30 percent of the requests we get overall involve Def Leppard and Motley Crue,” said Old Town native Alex Gray, Waterfront Concerts promoter. “We haven’t really had a single ’80s heavy metal hair band yet, but we’re constantly asked for this type of show.”

The major factor has been cost, according to Gray.

“Motley Crue and Def Leppard have been very expensive to book in the past, but this particular bill is so good it made it more cost effective for us to do it, especially when agents offered it to us on this particular date,” said Gray.

Def Leppard, which began a career spanning four decades in Sheffield, England in 1977, will headline the 40-plus-dates tour beginning in June with the same member lineup it has kept intact for more than 20 years: Joe Elliott, Rick Savage, Rick Allen, Phil Collen and Vivian Campbell.

The British band has come one of the world’s best-selling bands with an estimated 100 million albums sold worldwide. They have a pair of RIAA “diamond-certified” albums — “Pyromania” and “Hysteria” — with more than 10 million copies sold, making them one of only five rock bands to accomplish that feat in the U.S. Surprisingly, the band has only one No. 1 Billboard single to its credit with “Love Bites” in 1987.

“Pour Some Sugar on Me,” widely regarded as one of the band’s all-time most popular hits, peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard charts in 1988. The two hits combined spent 47 weeks on the Top 100 charts.

Poison started up in 1983 and has gone on to sell 30 million albums — half of those in the U.S. — worldwide. The quartet — featuring Bret Michaels, Rikki Rocket, Bobby Dall and C.C. DeVille — formed in Pennsylvania and went on to chart 10 top 40 hits, six of those climbing into the top 10, in the Billboard Top 100. The band’s most successful song, “Every Rose Has its Thorn,” spent three weeks as the No. 1 song in the U.S. in 1988.

Other hits include “Talk Dirty to Me,” “Nothing But a Good Time,” “Fallen Angel,” “Unskinny Bop,” “Something to Believe In,” “I Want Action,” “I Won’t Forget You” and a cover of the Kenny Loggins and Jim Messina song “Your Mama Don’t Dance.”

Lita Ford’s career began as lead guitarist with The Runaways, a group also featuring rhythm guitarist Joan Jett of Blackhearts fame, in 1975. She went solo when the band broke up in 1970 and has eight studio albums and four Top 40 hits to her credit. Her most successful single was “Hungry” in 1990.

Tickets go on sale Friday, April 20 at 10 a.m. and are available online at, all Ticketmaster outlets, by phone at 800-745-3000, or by visiting Mark’s Music store in Brewer. Ticket prices, not including any applicable fees, are $101.75, $91.75, $81.75 and $61.75 for reserved seats and $41.75 for lawn seating.

The Wednesday, Aug. 22 date allows Gray to promote the coming American Folk Festival on the Bangor Waterfront as well.

“This is the Wednesday night before the Folk Festival, so our crowd will get a bit of a preview of the setup for that, but we’re also going to have the festival’s bucket brigade volunteers at the entry points for this show to help raise some more money for the Folk Festival.”

Gray said he expects this show to sell out.

“It’s crazy how many of our shows are on target to sell out this year,” he said. “This could be one of three or four that could sell out well in advance.”

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