August 26, 2007
Gunter glieben glauchen globen
Posted by: Chris
I arrived in Atlanta last night and was surprised by my good friend and colleague Steve Koval with tickets for an concert that would have filled a stadium — in 1983. Styx, Foreigner and Def Leppard, all together, for the "Rock of Ages" tour. They did not disappoint.
Everyone has music that defines a period of their lives. For me, the Beatles saved me from the country music of my native region, and introduced me to Billy Joel later on. But as I entered high school, I caught the rock-n-roll bug, at least until all those hair bands ruined things. Styx, for me, defines high school.
In 1981, when Styx announced its Paradise Theater tour, I convinced my parents to let me go, even though I'd never before been to a concert. Then they announced their Memphis date, in the middle of my family's sacred two-week vacation. I was a good kid — "The Best Little Boy in the World" in fact — but the prospect of missing my teen idols was too much. I pitched a bitch of epic proportions, over a period of days, until my parents relented.
That concert was among the best I've ever seen, and I caught the band again in 1996 for its Return to Paradise tour. They were playing Chastain, also here in Atlanta, and Dennis DeYoung's melodic work was perfect for the setting. But since the park is known for its wine-and-cheese set and yuppie neighbors, it wasn't exactly rock-n-roll.
Not so this time around. The venue was Lakewood, south of Atlanta and in redneck territory. DeYoung long since left the band so it was Tommy Shaw and James "J.Y." Young leading the show. They stuck to the straight-ahead rock numbers, and my throat is still hoarse from singing along. We were even treated to a special appearance by original bassist Chuck Panozzo, who came out as gay and HIV-positive a few years back.
Here's a quick taste, Styx caught live by someone in Charlotte a few days ago. I wish I had my camera last night because we had much better seats.
I'll admit I was bit miffed that Styx was opening for Def Leppard. There's no comparison between Styx's art-rock musicality and Def Leppard's head-banging. (I could understand why Foreigner led things off, since only Mick Jones of the original line-up was there. Still, they were fantastic.) Then, looking around me, I could see it was a Def Leppard crowd.
Leppard has always been a concert band, and its fans are much more concert-going types than the Styx set. I wish Styx had more time on-stage since every other Leppard song was a snoozer, but when they were on, Def Leppard was a blast.
A few items of trivia I tracked down last night after the concert:
Soon afterwards, they adopted the name "Deaf Leopard" (which Elliott had thought of in his school days). At the suggestion of Tony Kenning, the name "Deaf Leopard" was slightly modified to Def Leppard in order to avoid comparison to punk bands, and perhaps also as an indirect homage to Led Zeppelin's similarly styled band name.
From a VH-1 interview with Def Leppard's lead singer Joe Elliott:
VH1: What is "Gunter glieben glauchen globen"?
Elliott: That's the intro to "Rock Of Ages." It's Mutt Lange. There were no guitars in the verses, just drums. So instead of counting off one, two, three, four, he'd say these ridiculous things to make everybody laugh. One of them was "chapatti puppadum something something," all about Indian food. The other one was "Gunter glieben glauchen globen." Some German guy sent a letter to our Artist Pages and said that it's German for "running through the forest silently." I'm assured it isn't. This guy must have just escaped from the happy house or something.
From Google's language translator:
"running through the forest silently": durch den Wald still laufen
TrackBack URL for this entry:
The comments to this entry are closed.