Krokus Recall ’80s Fights with Def Leppard, AC/DC
Members of Swiss rock icons Krokus reflected on the negative effects of having lived life too large in the ‘80s, and how their behavior saw them run into trouble with Def Leppard and AC/DC when they most needed the attention those bands could have helped them receive.
In 1983 Krokus were removed from their support slot with Def Leppard on a U.S. tour after frontman Marc Storace repeatedly ignored instructions on which parts of the stage he was allowed to us, and then used comments his counterpart Joe Elliott had used during his own performance the previous night.
“It became very ugly, and when our manager punched the drummer [Rick Allen], naturally we were dumped from the tour,” bassist Chris von Rohr told Classic Rock. “It’s still hard for Marc to look back because he knows he was being a jerk.” Storace agreed, but partly blamed their then-manager for advising him badly. “[A] section of the stage was gaffer-taped off. [He] encouraged me to break those rules: ‘Don’t listen to them, listen to me. I’m your manager.’ The scuffle was like something right out of the Wild West.”
However, Storace reported that he’d settled his differences with Elliott when both bands appeared at a European festival last year. “I apologized to Joe Elliott, who hugged me and said that all of those problems were in the past,” Storace explained.
The 1983 incident came two years after Krokus were forbidden from playing the U.K.’s Monsters of Rock festival, apparently at the behest of AC/DC. While the situation has never been fully explained, it had been speculated that animosity arose after Storace refused an invitation to try out for the Australian band following the death of Bon Scott in 1980.
“There was no direct communication, just an invitation from the same light and sound company shared by both bands,” Storace said in the new interview. “I was happy with the way things were going for Krokus; promoters wanted us everywhere, and I didn’t want to live in Australia. At the time, AC/DC were pretty much on the same level as us, and when they lost Bon I considered that put us ahead of them in the game – though not in any spiteful way.”
Von Rohr recalled how there had been no issues when the bands shared a London studio in 1981, as AC/DC ran short of time and Krokus allowed them the space they needed. “There was no tension between the two groups of musicians – certainly not from our side,” he reported. Reflecting on their early ‘80s era in general, he noted: “[T]here was cocaine around. We had too much success and there was too much of everything.”