Joe Elliott explains why John Lydon and Joe Strummer aren’t eligible for Yes

Joe Elliott highlighted in a recent interview with Spin why former Sex Pistols leader John Lydon and Clash’s Joe Strummer would not have been appropriate candidates for a band like Yes. Concerning the influence of hip-hop on Def Leppard’s music in the 1980s, the vocalist stated: “There’s no doubt that when we did ‘Pour Some Sugar on Me,’ we were influenced by Aerosmith and Run DMC’s ‘Walk This Way’ remake.” Steven Tyler rapping in the manner of Debbie Harry in ‘Rapture’ isn’t actually rapping; it’s rapid speech. It all came down to mindset.”

He went on to say that Lydon and Strummer’s singing style was distinct from more traditional rock singers. As a result, they would be unable to join. Yes: “The Sex Pistols were punk, you know.” With all due respect to John Lydon, whom I like, and Joe Strummer, they were no Lou Gramm or Paul Rodgers when it came to singing. But that was exactly the point.

They didn’t want to be there. Punk was an option I could wrap my brain around. ‘Pretty Vacant,’ ‘God Save the Queen,’ ‘White Riot,’ and even ‘Rock the Casbah’ were all fantastic songs, but they were performed by artists who weren’t exactly on the route to joining Yes.” Def Leppard, on the other hand, is now on the European leg of their tour with Mötley Crüe. After performing in nations such as Spain, Portugal, and Ireland, they will go to North America for additional performances.

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