SHEFFIELD superstars Def Leppard dismissed rumours of a split as Joe Elliott and Rick Savage returned for a special home-coming performance.
The Hysteria hitmakers caused just that among fans when they cancelled 23 tour dates last year, citing only "unforeseen personal matters".
Frontman Joe fuelled gossips as he performed and recorded a forthcoming album with a new band, the Down 'n' Outz.
But in an exclusive video chat with The Star, lead singer Joe and bass player Rick fleshed out their reasons for cancelling the USA tour and announced the five-piece will play on.
They are writing new material, plan to release live recordings, a box set and will celebrate the 30th anniversary of their debut album with their music available for download on iTunes.
A 2011 tour will follow and a Sheffield date is always "a given" when they play in the UK, they say.
VIDEO: Press the play button to watch Star Digital Editor Graham Walker's video chat in full with Joe and Rick.
Joe and Rick set the record straight during a break in rehearsals for a star-studded Sheffield City Hall concert they headlined, to launch a new children's charity in memory of their late DJ pal and charity fundraiser, Dave Kilner.
It featured local greats Dave had championed, including Amarillo star Tony Christie, electro band Heaven 17, St Elmo's Fire rocker John Parr and funnyman singer-songwriter Steve Womack.
Impersonator John Culshaw introduced surprise guests, with a video performance by Paul Carrack. Backing the Leppard duo, while Phil Collen, Rik Allen and Vivian Campbell continued their break, was Joe's Down 'n' Outz, featuring members of The Quireboys.
The Down 'n' Outz were originally intended as a one-night-only band, opening for Mott The Hoople at HMV Hammersmith Apollo last October.
Dublin-based Joe, aged 50, who recently became a dad for the first time, with the birth of a son to wife Kristine, said of the cancelled tour: "There wasn't any mystery to it really. My wife was pregnant and needed a bit of attention from me, which she wasn't getting.
"There was a lot of things in our private lives that needed attending to. We're not splitting. Not at all. We often joke, what else would we do? You just can't imagine doing anything else."
The all-star charity concert back home in Sheffield was originally planned by Radio Sheffield's Steve White, to celebrate Dave Kilner's career, explained Rick, 49.
It became a tribute in his memory as widow Shirley, with daughters Nicola and Rebecca, launched a charity to help local disadvantaged children, called Help A Child Have A Chance.
Rick said: "He was massively supportive of us. We grew up together. He helped us out since the early years.
Joe feared he might miss the concert when the volcano eruption grounded flights while he was in the States. He got three separate flights back home to Ireland and then his ferry was cancelled.
He said: "I would have swum across if I had to. It's a privilege to be involved.
"We weren't going to let a little thing like a volcano get in the way."
The gig brought back early memories, including the time after a Sheffield rehearsal when they couldn't afford the bus fare home and ended up sharing a pint with three straws in it, said Joe.
He recalled: "We walked home past the City Hall - this was 1978. I picked up a piece of chalk, which I found on the floor and I wrote on the wall, 'We will play here in 1980'. And we did. We sold it out."
MORE VIDE0: KISS frontman Gene Simmons and the band turned up to meet old friends backstage at Dave Kilner A Night To Remember. Watch our video chats with the stars - CLICK HERE.
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