Def Leppard’s Phil Collen Picks Mick Jagger As His Rock God

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Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen recently joined BBC Radio 2 and revealed that his rock god is the Rolling Stones frontman, Mick Jagger.

Mick Jagger has been rocking the stages with the Rolling Stones throughout a music career spanning over six decades. Although he achieved global fame as the frontman of the Stones, the 78-year-old musician is also a successful solo artist who has released four solo records.

One of the most popular and influential leads in rock music history, Jagger has become a cultural figure with his never-ending energy, unique stage shows, and contributions to popular music in general. So, it’s not a surprise that Jagger is the idol of many artists, including Phil Collen.

Speaking to BBC 2, Phil Collen picked Mick Jagger as his rock god. He then revealed his reasons for choosing Jagger. Collen stated that British bands sing with American accents, and it’s because of Jagger, as he was the gateway that influenced many artists in the rock music scene.

Collen then revealed how Stones’ ‘Sympathy For The Devil’ impacted him and recalled when Def Leppard recorded ‘Hysteria’ in the studio while Jeff Beck played guitar for Mick Jagger’s solo album. According to Collen, he tried to listen to them through the door, but Jagger saw him and invited him inside. Describing this moment as surreal, the guitarist said he has many reasons to pick Jagger as his rock god.

During the conversation, Phil Collen said the following:

“The artist I’d like to choose as my rock god is Mick Jagger. Have you ever noticed a lot of English bands sing with American accents? We learned that from American pop culture, but I think Mick Jagger was the gateway or the bridge that influenced everyone who sings rock music. Mick Jagger and the Stones hit on that very early on and made it their own Rolling Stones thing.

Songs like ‘Sympathy For The Devil,’ when you first hear it, it is haunting. I was totally influenced by that, and still am, and I have a funny story about Mick Jagger. We were recording our ‘Hysteria’ album in the mid-80s in Holland. Jeff Beck played guitar for Mick Jagger on his new solo album.”

He then continued:

“I was sneaking around, trying to listen through the door. If you’ve ever seen the studio door, they’re like a bank vault. Suddenly, the door opened up, and it was Mick Jagger. He was like, ‘Hey, man, come on in!’ I went in and sat on the couch, and there was Jeff Beck playing guitar. It was amazing, and there was Mick Jagger, and he was singing in front of me.

It was surreal. He was doing a live vocal to one of the songs in the control room. It was such an amazing moment for me. You’re always scared to meet your idols in case they disappoint, but he didn’t. For lots of reasons, that’s my rock god.

You can listen to the interview below.