Phil Collen, lead guitarist for the iconic rock band DEF LEPPARD, has announced plans for a charitable auction of "Wings", a custom Jackson PC1 guitar that Collen has played throughout this summer's "Rock Of Ages" tour. The auction, taking place exclusively on eBay, will begin on September 5 and end September 14, the last date of the tour. The winner will be announced in November which is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month and all proceeds from the auction will benefit the Gerson Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the Gerson Therapy, an alternative treatment for cancer and other degenerative diseases.
In early 2012, Jake Willoughby, a guitar and music store owner, asked Collen if he would assist in helping to raise money towards the fight against cancer, with Jake's mother having just passed away from pancreatic cancer after a courageous 13-month fight. By tragic coincidence, Phil's own father, Kenneth, succumbed to the same disease in 2004. Jake donated a Collen signature guitar, the Jackson PC1, from his music store. In the spirit of hope, it was named "Wings". Mike Learn, a noted artist whose graphics are well known in the guitar world, donated the graphic custom paint job on the guitar. Ironically, Mike lost two family members to the same disease.
Phil began researching companies that were not only looking to prevent cancer, but also reverse its devastating effects. He initially had heard about the Gerson Institute located in San Diego, California from Jeni Cook, a raw foods chef and the wife of SEX PISTOLS and MANRAZE drummer Paul Cook. As Phil watched "The Gerson Miracle" DVD, he was incredibly moved by their cause, wishing he would have known about them before his father passed.
This year marks a number of anniversaries for Collen, namely the 30th anniversary of his joining DEF LEPPARD as lead guitarist making his debut on the 10-times-platinum (in the USA) album "Pyromania". In addition, this year marks the 25th anniversary for the 13-times-platinum (USA) album "Hysteria", as well as the 20th anniversary of its 5-times-platinum (USA) follow-up, "Adrenalize".