DEF LEPPARD's PHIL COLLEN: 'I'm A Picture Of Health At 51'

Ed Power of recently conducted an interview with DEF LEPPARD guitarist Phil Collen. A few excerpts from the chat follow below. So, let me get this straight. You're a hard rock guitarist — and a vegetarian. Isn't there a law against that?

Collen: I've felt weird about eating meat since I was a kid. I'm a picture of health at 51. I hardly eat any kind of food. I'm a vegan. You don't need meat to survive. It's a pleasure thing. Speaking of forbidden pleasures, you had a reputation for hitting the bottle pretty hard back in DEF LEPPARD's glory days. What convinced you to pack it in?

Collen: I was just getting so, so fucked up. I was having blackouts and I didn't like being completely out of control. Whereas your band mate, Steve Clark, kept drinking and passed away at age 31. It was the booze that that did for him in the end, wasn't it?

Collen: Steve carried on and obviously it killed him. It was a very similar thing. The difference was that I thought, "Oh shit, I shouldn't be doing this. It's not for me." In the eyes of many, DEF LEPPARD came pretty close to being a real-life SPINAL TAP. Did it seem that way from the inside?

Collen: Yeah, absolutely. You can't escape the SPINAL TAP. There were definitely moments like that. You've got to bear in mind we were kids. Rick Allen [DEF LEPPARD drummer] was 19 when we were doing "Pyromania". You've had your differences with your record label recently. It's been reported you were mightily miffed about the marketing of your recent albums.

Collen: You remember the days when Prince wrote "Slave" across his face? For us, it's a control issue. You want to own your own music. Also, you pay a publishing company to protect you — and then everybody's downloading your stuff and they don't do anything about it.

Read the entire interview from


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