Rick Allen spoke with Forbes before heading on the Japanese leg of Def Leppard’s world tour in November. He remembered a memory with AC/DC’s Bon Scott while discussing his early experiences in the music industry: “I recall having a cup of tea with Bon Scott. We opened three or four shows for AC/DC on their ‘Highway To Hell’ tour. And on my 16th birthday, at the Hammersmith Odeon, Bon Scott came over to me and handed me a bowl of Smarties and wished me a ‘Happy Birthday,’ and we had a cup of tea together.” Allen has previously described Scott as a ‘humble and quiet guy.’ This time, he went into greater detail on the distinction between his onstage and offstage identities, explaining: “He was lovely and unassuming.” He didn’t come across as a crazy man to me. What a tragic loss.
I recall seeing the first night of that tour. They got on stage and played ‘Live Wire,’ and they were one of the most powerful bands I’d ever seen: hard rock and roll with well-executed and well-crafted tunes. Excellent musicianship and singing. Everything a rock band should be, in my opinion.” His early involvement with the band and its former frontman influenced the Def Leppard drummer’s musical selections when he compiled an all-time favorites list for Spin last year. He placed AC/DC’s ‘Back in Black’ at number one and stated: “This album is raw, unapologetic rock and roll.” When recounting his meeting with Scott, he added: I needed to pinch myself… “I’ll never forget my birthday.”