TOPEKA, KS–What started as an early pandemic garage cleaning soon snowballed into a full-fledged passion project. Ethan Holt had just been laid off from his job at Lids when he dusted off his old guitar. What ensued was nearly an entire day of considering whether to start a band. One phone call to Mitch Leary later – his childhood best friend and former lead guitarist of The Topeka Twosome – and the wheels were in motion. Enlisting the help of ex-dental assistant and lifetime friend, Pat Evanston on bass, and the musical stylings of Malachi Iverson, a local street drummer – and the lineup was complete.
Def, Dumb & Blind Leppard was born.
Drawing inspiration from their middle school obsession with the musical stylings of The Who, Ethan, Mitch, and Pat agreed that a tribute band would be most appropriate – at least until Ethan’s original songwriting catches on. And Malachi insisted that they include Def Leppard as well. The concept was a sure hit. The band would open as Def Leppard, reciting several of their greatest hits, then finish each show as The Who instead.
“Don’t encourage him. Ethan needs to be looking for work,” explained his girlfriend, Emily, stifling her excitement in the lead up to their debut concert, live from the garage. “He doesn’t even like Def Leppard. And I don’t care for the homeless one, Malachi. We had to stop letting him use the blender. It was getting weird.”
Before an audience of several prominent Topeka faces, including ex-mayoral candidate, Chester Chapman, their performance was nothing short of phenomenal. Everything from “Pour Some Sugar On Me” to “Won’t Get Fooled Again” felt as though attendees were truly in attendance at a Def Leppard and The Who concert. For the finale, Malachi even smashed all their instruments, much to the chagrin of his bandmates – an authentic simulation of genuine band turmoil.
Despite their early success, the future of Def, Dumb & Blind Leppard is uncertain as the band raises funds for new instruments. And Ethan will be starting a new job at Kohl’s on Monday, bringing his future with the band into question.