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Def Leppard Tour History Fan Archive.
Phil Collen Recalls The First Live Concert He Ever Played In London

Friday, 8th July 2016

Def Leppard 2016.
Screenshot by dltourhistory

Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen was recently interviewed by Cincinnati radio and recalled his first ever live show.

Phil talked about the current 2016 tour, producing Tesla, recording the Hysteria album, favourite concerts attended, his guilty pleasures and the first concert he ever performed.

Phil recalls his first ever live show at a nurses home in Mile End Hospital in East London. Which took place somewhere between December 1974 to December 1975 - he was 17 at the time.

The Sting show Phil refers to on his first solo tour in 1985 was probably one of seven warm-up shows played at Théâtre Mogador in Paris during May 1985. Both Phil and Steve Clark were living in the city at the time and Def Leppard were also recording parts of 'Hysteria' there.

The Deep Purple show he mentions took place on 30th September 1972.

David Bowie's show at Earls Court in London took place on 12th May 1973.

Listen to the full 6 minute interview below.

Visit the Album News section. For more news on new music (based on band member quotes) dating back to January 2011.

96 Rock - Phil Collen Interview Quotes

The 2016 US Tour

"We're loving touring. Yeah absolutely. It's so much fun. It's just great going out with Tesla and REO. Love those guys. All good fun."

Producing Tesla

"And plus I'm producing the new Tesla album while we're on tour. You know we're doing some of it backstage and all of that. So super busy. Great though."

"Yeah but it's fun so it doesn't really count as work. Well it is. It's a lot of hard work but it is fun. It's yeah, a joy."

Recording The Hysteria Album/Did They Realise It Was Special?

"It did. That's why it took so long you know we started it. Mutt Lange had to go and produce The Cars album. You know the album with drive and all that stuff. He had commitments to that so we attempted it you know with other people and it really didn't work out. We knew there was something really special that we'd started with Mutt and when he came back on board then it was pretty obvious. And we were kind of. When we'd finished it and taken so long and so much had gone into it but we knew that there was something really special there. It was just a matter of time before people would realise that. It came out and kind of tanked when it first came out. It didn't really set the world on fire."

Three Favourite Concerts He's Attended

"Right the first one would have to be the first show I ever saw at 14. Which was Deep Purple on the Machine Head tour in London, England. At the Brixton Sundown which is now called The Academy. So that was the first one."

"David Bowie at Earls Court was great. I saw him - it was the Aladdin Sane tour. So that was pretty crazy. I mean there's so many you know. I've seen Zeppelin. I've seen Prince a bunch of times. And I think one of them is probably right up there."

"There is one. There's an amazing show I saw. I saw Sting on his first tour and he lost his voice completely. And couldn't - he had laryngitis - and actually what was amazing they done just different versions. He was going Roxanne (deep voice). And it sounded like Tom Waits. It was amazing. I was so impressed by the fact that he changed all the melodies on the fly. You got these amazing kind of different versions of Sting and Police songs. You know the band was obviously fantastic but I was very impressed with that. So that was kind of up there. So you know there's four right there."

His First Live Show

"It was Mile End in the East End of London. It's in the East End of London. It's kind of where the Kray twins are from and I'm from that part of London. I'm from East London. And the first time I ever played on a stage was at the Mile End Nurses - it was kind of, not a club, it was nurses, young nurses where they all kind of lived and stuff. And had their centre in Mile End. So that was really interesting. It was all girls and they were all young nurses and I was petrified because I was 17. I didn't look up once but yeah that was the first time I ever played on a stage."

Is it still there?

"Probably not. I'm sure there's a hospital there that's still there. But I don't know about that. I think I'd have been scared anyway. It was alike oh my god I'm on stage playing guitar. Wanted to do this for a while. I'd only been playing for a year at this point by the way as well. So that's why you're scared in case you mess up and people recognise it. Of course they don't. I mess up every night and you know kind of own it which is kind of they way to go."

Current Tour/Audiences

"Like I was saying. The band, it's the best I've ever heard them. And for some bizarre reasons the audiences are actually crazier this leg we've just been doing for some reason. So we love that."

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