Steve Clark


musical style: 

photograph of Steve Clark

There is more than one artist with this name:

1) Steve Clark is a lyrical singer-songwriter from Sydney, Australia. Formerly bass player and co-writer in Died Pretty, an indie band who crossed over into commercial success in the late 80s, Steve has moved on to a solo career, releasing his debut album Where the River Meets the Sea in 2003 on Endgame Records.

Featuring well-respected Sydney musicians (including Chiara Browne, Rachel Holmshaw, Bec Quade, Brett Myers, Richard Boxhall, Dorian Mode, Fourplay) he has put together a layered, lushly-produced album, released through Endgame Records.

Steve is currently working on new material for his second album.

2) Steve Clark was the one of the original guitarists and members of Def Leppard. He was with them until his untimely death in 1991.
Childhood and Adolescence
Clark was born and raised in Hillsborough, the north-western suburb of Sheffield, England. From an early age he showed interest in music. His mother even took him to a concert by The Shadows was when he was 6. At 11 he asked his father for a guitar, and he agreed if he learned to play.
His favorite guitarist was Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page, and after hearing "How Many More Times" he fell in love with the sound and knew that he wanted to continue with a musical career. He soon replaced his classical guitar with an electric one. After that, Steve started learning some Led Zeppelin songs note by note, which helped him improve his talent and technique.
Career and Technique
Before joining Def Leppard in 1978, he played cover songs with his small band, Electric Chicken, in Sheffield. Around that time, he met Pete Willis (Def Leppard's original guitarist/founder.) Steve asked for a slot in the band and joined Def Leppard in January 1978, as a guitarist and ended up being one of the main contributors to the band's music and lyrics. More importantly, Steve Clark threatened to leave the band if they didn't stop rehearsing and actually play a gig. Considering the impact he had on the band's skill level and songwriting, lead singer Joe Elliott scrambled to find a suitable gig for the band. The rest as they say is history.
He and Pete Willis shared lead guitar duties, but many of the band's gems could be attributed to Clark's virtuosity. One track of note was the instrumental Switch 625 off of High 'n' Dry.
When Willis was asked to leave due to his drinking problem, former Girl guitarist Phil Collen was asked to join the band. Elliott gave Collen a copy of Stagefright, a track off the band's Pyromania album, asking Collen to come up with a solo for the song. The next day, Collen played the solo for the band and he was in. Steve and fellow Leppard guitarist Phil Collen were dubbed the Terror Twins in homage to Aerosmith's Toxic Twins (Steven Tyler and Joe Perry). Over the years, Collen quit drinking, stopped eating meat and adopted a healthy lifestyle; Clark did no such thing...
He is best remembered for the powerful riffs that drove Def Leppard's first four albums in the 1980s, for which he was also nicknamed as "The Riffmaster". Some of the songs he can be more appreciated are "Wasted" (from On Through the Night); "Bringin' on the Heartbreak" (from High 'N' Dry); "Die Hard the Hunter" (from Pyromania); and "Gods of War" (from Hysteria).
In addition to his ingenuity for songwriting, Steve possessed considerable technical skill on the guitar, as is showcased in the solo from "Run Riot" from Hysteria. However, during the Adrenalize recording sessions, Steve would show up too intoxicated to record his solos, and as a result, almost all of Def Leppard's solos on that album are performed by Phil Collen.
He also contributed songwriting on the band's 1992 album "Adrenalize" before his death.
In 1991, Clark was found dead in his flat by his girlfriend, Janie Dean. The autopsy revealed he had died from a mixture of anti-depressants, painkillers (because of a rib injury) and alcohol with no evidence of suicidal intent [1]. He had battled with alcoholism for a long time and had gone through clinical treatment for many years.
At the time of his death, he was in the middle of a six-month leave of absence from Def Leppard. Several members had grown despondent over their repeated, failed efforts to help Clark, and decided that a leave would be the only solution.
His personal struggles were well documented in the VH1 biopic Hysteria - The Def Leppard Story.
Clark used Gibson Les Paul and Gibson Firebird guitars.

3) Steve Clark: album release "Dog Joggin'" - unknown artist

4) Steve Clark, the musician behind the wintertao label and music, has been making creative music that mixes genres for over 20 years. Tracks include Japanese Witches, Zobahs Cafe, I Want My Star. A new CD Saturday Sidewalk Sketches is set for release around Christmas 2007.
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Gear used by Steve Clark

Steve Clark electric guitars

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