Def Leppard still love what they're doing 40 years later
Phil Collen knows something about long-term relationships.
He has been playing guitar with phenomenally popular British hard-rock group Def Leppard for 34 years now, and he says that relationship is going just fine.
“We’re together more than we’re not,” Collen said in a recent phone interview from his home in Laguna Hills in Orange County, just south of Los Angeles.
“It’s really weird, because I’ve actually been with these guys longer than I have been with my blood relatives,” he said. “I’ve spent more time with (lead singer) Joe (Elliott) than I have with my mom and dad. We’ve been sitting in studios and tour buses and planes. We’re together all the time. You leave home when you’re 20 or whatever. So yeah, it’s a long time.”
Def Leppard kicked off their three-month North American tour recently, with a number of dates that also include the bands Poison and Tesla.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the founding of Def Leppard, which was one of the marquee bands of a movement that was at the time dubbed the new wave of British metal — a group of bands that also included Iron Maiden and Motörhead. Their career really took off in the ’80s, with the Robert John (Mutt) Lange-produced albums High ‘n’ Dry (1981) and especially Pyromania, the 1983 album that sold 10 million copies in the U.S., powered in large part by the hit single Photograph, and Hysteria from 1987, which has sold 12 million copies in the U.S. and 25 million worldwide.