Phil Collen Leaves Def Leppard Tour
Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen has left the band's tour with Journey less than a week after it began. For last night's show in Hershey, Pa., Steve Brown of Trixter was spotted in Collen's place.
Although Def Leppard has yet not issued a public statement on social media, Blabbermouth is reporting that Collen's absence is due to a family emergency. Ultimate Classic Rock has reached out to Def Leppard's publicist for details, but we have not received a response as of press time.
Brown filled in for Vivian Campbell for a few dates in 2014 and 2015 when Campbell was undergoing treatment for Hodgkin's lymphoma. Trixter toured with Def Leppard in 1992, two years after they had broken through with their self-titled debut, which went gold in the U.S.
"Those guys are like family to me," he told Sleaze Roxx in 2017. "Most people don’t know this but I go back with Def Leppard to about 1988 when they were touring behind Hysteria. Phil Collen is a like a brother to me. When Vivian was diagnosed with cancer in 2013, Phil said to the Leppard guys, 'I have the guy that can step in while Viv is undergoing treatment. Let’s call Steve.' ... So I got the call in early 2013. I learned the entire set and fine-tuned my parts and began playing some gigs with them in 2014."
Brown added that the "Def Leppard catalog is not the easiest thing to learn. There’s some very intricate guitar parts, very unique guitar parts. Steve Clark wrote things in shapes and boxes that I haven’t played before. ... It was a challenge to dig in and learn the Mutt Lange/Def Leppard collection. They are not your typical ‘cookie cutter’ rock and roll band. They have an unique way of writing songs."