Fabulist Icons is a real-life story about what it can take to survive in the rock industry. This eye-opening book by Mike Rogers is a journey through his life, charting how he worked as guitar tech with rock legends Def Leppard during one of their most momentous periods. Affectionately known as “Mrs R”, he became much more than just their technician.
So if you’re a Def Leppard fan and ever wondered what went on behind the scenes during the lead up to the recording of Hysteria, one of the most iconic heavy rock albums of all time, and how the band coped with the chaos and tragedy that was the backdrop to the recording, this book will go some way to answering your questions.
The 152 10”x 10” full colour pages of Fabulist Icons are packed with exclusive and candid photos of the band taken by both Mike and Ireland’s foremost female photographer, Una Williams.
Buy your copy now – signed by the author.
Mark Rumble –
This is the book I’ve been waiting 33 yrs for! That’s how long I’ve loved Def Leppard. Since I first heard the song Animal on the radio. Little did I know that I’d still be a fan, but that the song Animal and its parent album Hysteria would now be considered one of the most successful rocks albums of all time, but more importantly one of the greatest albums ever recorded. The reason I mention this is that this book shows a revealing behind the scenes look at not only the hugely successful Pyromania tour, but it’s main focus is on the recording of the Hysteria album. An album that was recorded in several attempts, starting in Dublin, then moving to Holland and then to Paris. It features the legendary talents of Mutt Lange and Nigel Green and also the infamous Jim Steinman tenure which was a disaster. This book, written by Mike Rogers who was part of the bands crew and Entourage from 1983-1986 and illustrated with fantastic photos from Mike’s own archive and the that of local Dublin photographer Una Williams who was also their to document the historic sessions. What makes this book so special is that it shows the numerous historic moments in a candid way, with the band larking about in Dublin with Mutt Lange during the writing sessions. Playing football to let of steam. The cross over when Jim Steinman joined proceedings, to being sent home, to then Nigel Green joining the team. Then to the final recording sessions which saw Mutt rejoin and finish the album. Mike was there for it all and documents everything in such amazing detail you really feel like you were there. Of course, during this time Rick had his life changing accident which saw him lose his arm. We have the full story of how that impacted the band and how he relearned to play. Great pictures illustrate the story throughout as we see a very young Rick outside his parents house in Sheffield and then back in the studio.
The books final chapter follows the historic 1986 monsters of rock shows in Europe which included the emotional Donington show which introduced the new look band to their home crowd. The gig that saw the UK take the band to their hearts again, which 34 yrs later they still are. It also features rare photos of stand in drummer Jeff Rich who shadowed Rick whilst he found his feet.
I should add that this book also covers Mike’s story before that with his early bands as a guitarist himself, through to working with the likes of Pink Floyd and Judie Tsuke. The main bulk of book is about his time working with Def Leppard however and I can’t recommended it highly enough. If you want to find out what goes into the huge logistical operation of a band and entourage on the road and in the studio then this is for you. To finally read about and see behind the scenes from an era of the band when they made not only their most successful albums, but one of the best albums in history you will not be disappointed. No self respecting Leps fan should be without a copy!
Rachel C (verified owner) –
This has been the missing gap in my Def Leppard knowledge! A wonderful insight to the rock and roll lifestyle, and all the trials, tribulations, and shenanigans that come with it. This is essential to any die-hard Def Leppard fan’s collection, and as a Leppard fan, you get so much more than just that! I’ve been turning myself into a Def Leppard encyclopedia for the last few years, and this was exactly what I needed! It’s a big slice of life (kind of like the Forrest Gump of Def Leppard- you’d be surprised at how much Mike was there for!) and a true ‘tale of the guitar tech’. The recording of Hysteria was such a challenging yet iconic time, and hearing the story of this time from an inside perspective is something that every die-hard Leppard fan should read. Hearing how Mike went from musician to tech to Leppard-family status is a story that needed to be told, and Mike is a true “fabulist icon” in every way, whether it be with Leppard or not. In a way, it feels as surreal as a fictional novel, but still as pressing and raw as nonfiction. All recollections of details had me glued and I can’t thank Mike enough for sharing all contents of this book, text and photos, with the fans!
Erin Byrne (verified owner) –
I just want to say that I recently read this book and loved every minute! As a longtime fan of Def Leppard, it was a pure joy to read about all the great stories of their life, both on the road and in the studio, from someone who experienced it all firsthand. Mike’s knowledge and attention to detail is top-notch, and the fact that he remembers every detail of each and every guitar and piece of equipment is beyond impressive!
And the photos…wow! They are worth the price of the book, alone! Very candid and intimate shots of the band just relaxing and having fun, and clearly enjoying their very British sense of humor! You get a very personal look at their lives in Holland and in Ireland during the time they were making Hysteria.
And truly fascinating to learn all the inside details of how much work goes into supporting a successful rock band as a guitar tech. Way more than I ever realized!
I recommend this as a must-have for any Leppard fan. You will be riveted, I promise!