It's hard to believe but on January 8th, 1991, news broke that Def Leppard guitarist Steve Clark had died.

An autopsy revealed the Clark died from an unintentional overdose of alcohol, Valium and Codeine.  An autopsy would show swelling of the brain as a main factor.  Most likely due to him drinking while taking prescription pain killers he was given for a cracked rib.

Clark joined Def Leppard in 1978, a year after their formation.  He and co-guitarist Phil Collen formed a close bond partially fueled by drinking.  They became known as the "terror twins" because of drunken pranks they pulled on other musicians.

Collen stopped drinking in the late 80's but noticed his friend was spiraling out of control.  He was so dependent on alcohol he would wake up trembling and could not stop until he had his first drink.  Clark would then go on benders in Paris and Minneapolis that required hospitalization.  During the Minneapolis incident, Clark's blood alcohol level was 0.59.  The level that killed Led Zep drummer John Bonham....0.41

Clark entered rehab and there met his would be wife Janie Dean who was trying to kick her heroine addiction.  The two fell in love and married.  However, they quickly began to enable each other and Steve started drinking again.  Clark died on the morning of January 8th 1991.  He is buried in England near his family's estate.

Collen actually ended up quitting Def Leppard but was convinced to come back by vocalist Joe Elliot.  Clark was replaced by Dio guitarist Viv Campbell who remains with the band to this day.  Clark's death devastated the band considering not long before drummer Rick Allen lost his arm in a car accident.  However, Elliot convinced the band that Steve would not have wanted the band to go out like that.  So they continue to rock us to this day much to Steve's approval I'm sure.

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