Hamilton

Stench of '10,000 asses' Def Leppard complained about was hot summer garbage: city

In an email to Mayor Fred Eisenberger and council John Hertel, the director of communications for the city, says staff have determined the smell the band complained about was caused by the combination of garbage and a hot July day.

'This building is old, the underneath of this building f--king stinks:' Joe Elliott

City staff have determined the stench Def Leppard frontman Joe Elliott noticed at FirstOntario Centre was caused by a stinky combination of garbage and a hot July day. (Dan Taekema/CBC)

It turns out those "10,000 asses" that wrinkled Def Leppard's nose were actually the stench of garbage on a hot July day.

The British rock band stopped at Hamilton's FirstOntario Centre on July 20 for a packed show, but in a video posted to YouTube by frontman Joe Elliott the singer couldn't help but comment about the fact that something other than excitement seemed to be in the air.

"This building is old, the underneath of this building f--king stinks, like a 10,000 asses stink," he says with a lyricist's flair. "It's awful. Its f--king minging. However, it's going to be a sold out gig so who cares?"

Watch the video from Def Leppard's stop in Hamilton: Caution contains language some might find offensive.

His comments earned a few chuckles from some city councillors, especially as the debate around the future of the arena rages.

"That's a lot of asses," joked Ward 2 Coun. Jason Farr.

"I guess they're getting old. I'm surprised they even notice the smells and stuff like that," laughed Ward 4 Coun. Sam Merulla when reached by CBC last week. "Normally, they'd just play the show and have a few rounds of whisky."

Arkells bassist Nick Dika even weighed in, sharing his take on Twitter.

For his part, Farr guessed the stench that so offended the world-famous rock stars' noses was probably linked to the locker room smell of a decades old hockey barn.

But in an email to Mayor Fred Eisenberger and council from John Hertel, the director of communications for the city, says staff have determined it was actually trash.

"The odour that was described in the video was coming directly from the garbage compactor/collection area shared by several businesses located in the underground parking garage/loading bay off Bay Street," he explained based on information provided by Andrew Nash from Spectra, which oversees the centre.

It was a "very hot day," according to Hertel and the loading bay where the garbage gathers is where bands also park their tour buses and trucks to drop off gear before a show.

"Spectra's staff addressed the issue immediately when the band and their management identified it first thing in the morning as they arrived into the loading area and after they had created their 'behind the scenes' video diary for their YouTube channel," he explained.

City says no complaints since

Staff continued to "monitor the situation and sanitize" the garbage collection area throughout the day and into the evening, Hertel said, adding the band and management "fully understood" and "appreciated the continuous efforts of staff" to dispel the smell once the situation was explained.

Now it sounds like the city is taking steps to ensure a similar stink isn't kicked up again.

"The band went on to enjoy a great sell-out show and did not convey any additional negative experiences with the venue to Spectra's staff," wrote Hertel. "Soon after this event, Spectra met with the local businesses who share this space to work together to ensure improved cleanliness and air quality in this area. For the remainder of 2019, they welcomed many exciting events to our City with no further issue and look forward to many more events to come in 2020."

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