Def Leppard’s Phil Collen Was Not Formally Asked to Join the Band
Recounting how his arrival happened, the guitarist recalled, "Pete Willis wasn't doing great. And um, Joe says to me, 'Do you wanna come down, play some solo, some lead guitar on the new album?' I'm like, 'Yeah.' I knew the guys, so I was just helping a buddy out."
He continues, "But what was really interesting, my first gig with the band was the Marquee Club in London, which is about the same size as this, actually when Pyromania exploded, it was definitely a pinch yourself moment. We still had that mindset, that mentality. We were just playing here, but it was like all over MTV. We're playing, you know, arenas selling them out. And we actually never stopped from that moment on."
But he reiterates, "I wasn't asked to join the band. We were just out and on tour."
Singer Joe Elliott says that invite did eventually come, though much later than you might think. "I think we asked him 10 years ago, 'Okay, do you wanna join the band?' Thank God he said, 'Yes.'"
That's worked out well for Collen, as the band is part of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They also remain a hot ticket on the road, currently paired up with Motley Crue for "The World Tour" following last year's "Stadium Tour" of the U.S. Get tickets here.