Wednesday, October 12, 2016


On the evening of October 23, 1987, Def Leppard were headlining the Omni Coliseum in Atlanta, a concert that had sold out in a record 24 minutes, when tickets had become available three months prior. Def Leppard’s aptly named Hysteria Tour was widely anticipated and Atlantans far and wide descended on the arena that evening, hoping to score tickets, if they were not fortunate enough to possess them. It may be an urban legend or it may be concrete fact, but it is generally believed that every single person who lived within the city limits, even those in nursing homes and babies just born, made their way to the Omni Coliseum that night, some paying outrageous prices to scalpers, others huddling in the parking lot singing in unison the chorus to “Pour Some Sugar On Me.”

Here is an oral history of that historic night:

“I had a dietary food allergy to walnuts, yet I had eaten a whole bag of them that day and was really sick. I had forgotten that my girlfriend, Connie, had bought tickets to the Def Leppard concert that night. I liked country music, but I really wanted to see Def Leppard because I heard the drummer only had one arm. He had been in a tractor accident or something. I was feeling terrible, but I went and picked her up. Our seats were so far back that the band looked like baby fleas. But the music was pretty good. I couldn’t see the drummer’s arm. Connie and I broke up when she started dating the singer of this local band, Blonz. I thought they was queers with their long curly hair, tight jeans and pouty mouths, but I guess not.”

Jackson Curtis, age 57

“I was sick with the flu, didn’t want go to no concert. My son want to go, didn’t have no driver’s license. I drive him there, sit around, lot of white folk, lot of black folk, too many people. It was crazy. The music was loud and shitty. The music in the ‘80s was loud and shitty. I didn’t have no fun. My boy, I lost him a few times out dere in dat parking lot with all dem people all crazy. It was just another dumb thang he did.”

Lester A. Cole, age 67

“I believe my son, Harry, was dealing illegal substances at the time. Eight years ago, they finally released him from Dooly State Prison. We was going through old photographs and there was one of us together at the Def Leppard concert. He was wearing that expensive T-shirt that he bought in the parking lot. I don’t thank it was a real T-shirt, like from the band and all, because the lettering was already fading when he bought it. He was smiling with that cute, flappity moustache he used to have. I don’t think we ever did see the concert that night and I still have no idea what Def Leppard is or why he brought his momma.”

Sandy Adcock, age 91, believed to be the oldest living attendee