DEF LEPPARD guitarist Phil Collen says that he was "misquoted" in a recent interview in which he gave his opinion regarding GUNS N' ROSES' reunion shows featuring Axl Rose, Slash, and Duff McKagan.
This past February, Collen was asked about GN'R's long-awaited comeback gigs, and spoke for his band when he told The Daily Telegraph: "We obviously think it’s really fucking lame. I love GUNS N' ROSES; I think they're really cool. I'd love to see Slash and Axl and Duff play together; that's great. But I think it's fucking lame considering we've been hardcore. Our integrity's still intact; we've never split up. We've gone through if someone had a little sniffle or something, we soldier on."
Collen, who performs nightly without a shirt, added: "Someone dies, someone loses an arm, someone gets cancer, we soldier on. [With GUNS N' ROSES], if someone has a little barney backstage, they can't deal with each other. I know it's difficult, but I do think it's pretty lame when you compare anyone else to us."
During an appearance on the April 4 edition of the "Toontrack" podcast, Collen clarified his comments, explaining (hear audio below): "I actually just got into trouble recently, 'cause I got misquoted talking about GUNS N' ROSES, of who I think are amazing. I love GUNS N' ROSES. I think they're an amazing band. I would love to go and see them. And someone said, 'Oh, you said they're lame.' No. I said it's lame that they broke up in the first place. I don't even think it's lame that they're reforming. I think it's… you know, the world needs a GUNS N' ROSES and it's, like, well, about time."
He continued: "I thought it was lame that they broke up when I think they could have enjoyed a little bit… I know they were having all sorts of problems, so it's easy for me to say. But we had worse problems. You know, we had someone die, someone lose an arm, Vivian [Campbell, guitar] got cancer, and we just soldiered on."
Collen added: "I think that there's something about traveling and there's something about wisdom and getting more experience — not necessarily being older — but with all that stuff… Later on, you intellectualize stuff, and you can do stuff that you couldn't have done when you [were] a little more emotional or hard-headed. And I think that's really what it comes down to."
DEF LEPPARD singer Joe Elliott recently said that he would love to see a full reunion of GUNS N' ROSES' classic lineup, with both Steven Adler and Matt Sorum sitting behind the drum kit during the band's live shows. He said: "I think the only way it would really work [is] they'd have to go with two drummers; they would have to take Steven and Matt. Obviously, Steven, having never played on the '[Use Your] Illusion' stuff, they would trade drummers out. I mean, it may be a little cabaret."
He added: "I'd love to see all seven of them involved, if you know what I mean — which would be Axl, Slash, Duff McKagan, Izzy Stradlin, Gilby Clarke, Matt Sorum and Steven Adler. I would like to see that lineup. None of this Bumble thing, Buckethead, none of that crowd. Even [Richard] Fortus, who's a very good friend of mine; I love him to death. But if the original seven, if you like — the five plus their, kind of… the early replacements, which would be Matt Sorum and Gilby. If they were the guys that played on those records and they weren't gonna be playing anything off 'Chinese Democracy', that would be the thing for me — to bring them in and out as needed. For me, I would buy that ticket; I would love to buy that ticket."
Only Rose, guitarist Slash and bassist Duff McKagan from GN'R's "Appetite For Destruction"-era lineup took part in the band's April 1 gig at the Troubadour in West Hollywood, California. They were joined by keyboardist Dizzy Reed, guitarist Richard Fortus and drummer Frank Ferrer. Also appearing with them was second keyboardist Melissa Reese.
GUNS N' ROSES' reunion tour will officially kick off on Friday, April 8 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The band is also scheduled to headline the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival later this month.