Phil Collen Shares How Joe Elliott Convinced Him To Stay In Def Leppard

Def Leppard’s long-running guitarist Phil Collen recently spoke about the time he had Joe Elliott convince him to stay in the band after their bandmate Steve Clark died in 1991. The rocker stated that he didn’t want to continue in the group after the devastating loss.

When Def Leppard was first formed in 1977, the lead guitar role was Pete Willis’. However, the band fired him in 1982, and Phil Collen replaced him. In 1985 the band faced a tragedy where their drummer Rick Allen lost his arm after a horrible car accident. He inspired the world by continuing his passion and drumming with only one arm.

The band faced another tragedy in 1991 when their guitarist Steve Clark passed away from alcohol poisoning. The unfortunate event put the band in a situation where each member had second thoughts about continuing as Def Leppard. While some were more decisive at staying, Phil Collen needed persuasion from Joe Elliott to feel comfortable to continue.

He recently stated that they had written songs with Steve, and it would be weird to continue without him, so he didn’t want to. However, Elliott convinced him that writing songs with the late guitarist meant something like having an album as a tribute. Hence, he decided to stay and has been in the band for four decades.

Here is what Collen said about that period:

“It was a really weird time. Steve had just died. We’d written some of the songs with Steve. So it was a bit weird. You know, I remember that at the time, I didn’t want to carry on doing it. Joe talked me into it. He said, ‘Yeah, but we wrote all of these songs with Steve. It means something. It’s going to be an album that’s a tribute to Steve.’ That was it.”

The band then released ‘Adrenalize’ as a tribute to Steve Clark, and the album contained ten tracks where six of which were written by him. It harbored the band’s all-time hit songs like ‘Let’s Get Rocked,’ ‘Make Love Like a Man,’ ‘Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad,’ and ‘Stand Up (Kick Love into Motion).’

You can listen to ‘Adrenalize’ below.