Tuesday, 4th May 2021
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DEF LEPPARD's PHIL COLLEN On SIRIUSXM Guitar Greats (Playlist/Transcript)

Def Leppard 2021. Def Leppard 2021

Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen appeared as a guest DJ on SiriusXM this week and the full playlist and transcript are available.

Phil was one of many guest DJs to host shows talking about their favourite guitarists on Channel 105 which was renamed as SiriusXM Guitar Greats.

The channel broadcast the specials from 22nd April to 3rd May and other DJs included Alice In Chains' Jerry Cantrell and Heart's Nancy Wilson.

Phil's show was first broadcast on 28th April and included many stories about his favourite guitar players.

These included Brian May and Eddie Van Halen.

View the full playlist and transcript below.

Visit the Tour News section. For more news on future tour plans.

Visit the Album News section for more news on new music (based on band member quotes).

SiriusXM's Guitar Greats 2021 - Phil Collen Guest DJ Playlist

  • 01 - Jimi Hendrix - Fire
  • 02 - Deep Purple - Highway Star
  • 03 - David Bowie - Moonage Daydream
  • 04 - Van Halen - Eruption/You Really Got Me
  • 05 - Al Di Meola/Paco De Lucía/John McLaughlin - Mediterranean Sundance/Rio Grande (Live)
  • 06 - Jeff Beck - The Pump
  • 07 - Queen - Killer Queen
  • 08 - Gary Moore - The Sky Is Crying
  • 09 - UFO - Lights Out
  • 10 - Led Zeppelin - Communication Breakdown
  • 11 - Sex Pistols - God Save The Queen
  • 12 - Pink Floyd - Time
  • 13 - Maria Mildaur - Midnight At The Oasis

SiriusXM's Guitar Greats 2021 - Phil Collen Guest DJ Transcript

Show Intro

"SiriusXM's Guitar Greats guest DK takeover by Phil Collen. 29 year co-lead guitarist of Def Leppard. He'll share insights on and spin his favourite guitarists."

Jimi Hendrix

"Welcome to SiriusXM's Guitar Greats. I'm Phil Collen your guest DJ sharing songs from my favourite guitarists. Jimi Hendrix. Right so Jimi Hendrix is my favourite all time guitar player. He just melded a bunch of styles. And I think he's the creator of what we call electric guitar. He's was the first person to you know take it from big band. It was acoustic before that. It was blues, it was funk and all of a sudden it it was extreme rock. And we'd never had that before. And the way he would play it was almost like he was being channelled. It was kind of like you know some of these artists you see 'em drawing with like both hands and their feet and everything. It's just coming from somewhere else."

"Hendrix was like that and you know it was jazz, it was blues, it was funk, it was rock, it was pop, it was psychedelic. Grown men would cry and I'm talking people like Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck when they actually first saw him play you know. Eric Clapton was scared to get on stage with him. And it was something that you imagined in your head but he actually would pull it off. That's why Jimi's my favourite guitar player. And this song is Fire."

Ritchie Blackmore (Deep Purple)

"I'm Phil Collen from Def Leppard. Your guest DJ on SiriusXM's Guitar Greats. Thanks for joining me."

"Ritchie Blackmore of Deep Purple. The first show I ever went to as a kid. I was fourteen years old and my cousin Dave took me to the Brixton Academy. It was then called the Brixton Sundown. And this concert blew my mind and Ritchie Blackmore specifically. We was front row. He was just playing this stuff that no other guitar player was playing that style at that time. And it had such an effect I actually went home to my Mum and Dad and pestered them for two years actually until I got my first electric guitar. And it was that moment really just seeing Blackmore and just how he played."

"And then you my style I listen back to a lot of these players and go Oh I play like that. This is where it come from. Very specifically. So there's a lot I got from Ritchie Blackmore. But just the firepower and everything it was just like crazy. And that's really what started it off."

Mick Ronson

"Mick Ronson. This is one of my favourite solos actually. It just went off. I loved David Bowie at the time I was, again I was a kid. I was just getting into music. Creating you're own identity and all of this stuff. And just seeing Bowie and just hearing the songs and everything. And the context I think. Mick Ronson just done this beautiful heavily feel solo. Really so much soul and sustain notes and vibrato. And for those who don't know what vibrato is. It's where you hold a note and you kind of - if you sing and you went Ohhhhhh. That'd be like vibrato. So you do it on a guitar and the more you feel it you hear some players and they don't really have much feel. But Mick Ronson was like had this thing. He had this sound and it was - it just really spoke to me. And again I got to see David Bowie and that band perform. Just a huge point in my growing up you know. This is Moonage Daydream."

Eddie Van Halen

"You're with Phil Collen on SiriusXM's Guitar Greats. I'm your guest DJ picking songs from some of my favourite guitarists. Eddie Van Halen Eruption. Again I remember the first time I heard this. What is that?. And it - again it was a bit like Jimi Hendrix. He'd taken a lot of different styles and a lot of different techniques and brought it together in the style of rock music. And it changed how people played guitar. Same with Jimi Hendrix. There's been really two pivotal guitar players. You know Hendrix more so because it created the context and the concept of electric rock guitar."

"Eddie Van Halen just took it a stage further. You know the lead playing especially. It was like he was flying. He was like, it was singing. It was all the things that Jazz musicians would do and Jazz musicians would wanna do. But this guy's doing it in the rock format and it was just beautiful. It was just like again tons of feel. Great technique just all coming together and in this kind of brand new thing. It sounded classical. Some of the notes were kind of jazzy and stuff. And it was, it had the feel of a great blues player playing you know kind of on steroids. It was crazy. So yeah that blew me away. And that had a profound effect on me and you know I got to meet Eddie a few years after that when I was in my band Girl."

"I said I've got this Fender Stratocaster that my Mum got me for my 21st birthday and I'm not quite getting this sound. He said dude you gotta cut that pick up out and you gotta put a humbucker in there. So I did and that was the guitar that you hear on the whole Hysteria album. That's the same Fender Strat. It was a nice story and it was nice getting it from Eddie Van Halen who I just loved his playing and respected him so much you know."

Al Di Meola

"Al Di Meola. This is Mediterranean Sundance. Al Di Meola, John McLaughlin and Paco De Lucía together. They had this album called Friday Night In San Francisco. And they're three virtuoso guitar players. But I remember when I saw Al Di Meola on TV. On The Old Grey Whistle Test. And I was like 20 years old. And again he was playing a style that he'd taken it so far in a different direction. It was Jazz players, when they pick every note. But this kid had perfect technique and just what he was playing. He was introducing like these other scales that alter on you know people like Steve Vai Ynqwie Malmsteen, Joe Satriani. All of these players would start using this but Di Meola done it in a really beautiful fashion. The band was Chick Corea's Return To Forever and that was different in itself because it was a fusion of Jazz and rock. They called it Jazz rock fusion at the time. This was insane playing and it was an interesting thing because a lot of people they said 'Man I saw that last night and it made we wanna give up'. And it had the opposite effect with me. It actually, it made me wanna go and practice and play and it inspired me. And it had just a wonderful wonderful effect on me."

"So Al Di Meola. I got to meet him recently. Actually last year during the pandemic, just on a phone call. And we spoke for about, almost an hour. And I was like, you know, total fan boy. But he was awesome. It's great, you know, I've got to meet some of my idols over the years and they've all been so gracious and it's allowed me to absolutely flow and ask all these real fan boy questions. And they're like, they're totally cool with it. It's great."

Jeff Beck

"These are some of my favourite guitarists. I'm Phil Collen from Def Leppard. Your guest DJ on SiriusXM's Guitar Greats."

"Jeff Beck. Jeff Beck very much like Hendrix, Clapton, Townshend a lot of these British guitar players at the time. Jimi Hendrix actually made it in England first. In the States they just didn't understand him. He come to England and he was welcomed and celebrated and all of that stuff and inspired people immediately. Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Clapton they were doing other things. Pioneering things. Jeff Beck is his own style. I've never heard anyone play like that and still. Again, you know, I was fortunate enough to get on stage and jam with him in Japan. That was really neat. That was just a wonderful thing. And yeah Jeff Beck's still to this day has just improved, improved, improved and he's own. Totally drives in his own lane. No one comes close to him you know with what they do. So that's amazing and justr great feel and melodies and everything. This songs called The Pump."

Brian May

"Right next up is Brian May from Queen. Brian May I still think is the most underrated guitar player. I think he does so much and has done so much for the guitar and just music and songs and everything. But he's the ultimate team player. You know some of the stuff on A Night Of The Opera he creates like a Jazz. Like a Dixieland band but it's all guitars. It's like trumpet. I mean it's just insane. When you listen to this thing you go what, that's all guitar?. But he would do it within the context of the song."

"And the great thing about Queen there was a high intellect with the song writing, with whatever they had going on. They were really smart guys. That's the other thing. And they were able to bypass some of the other weird kind of things that bands fall into. I'm sure they had. We all know it's very well documented the Freddie stuff and everything. But on top of that or beneath that they had thing high intellect and they were allowed to experiment with stuff in a different way. They done it with the songs you know. It was the perfect blend of say Zeppelin and The Beatles. That's what kind of Queen done. And Brian's guitar he was doing all these overdubs. And just really crazy type playing. Again great feel. Great sound. And you know he made his own guitar. He had a little Vox thing. This pedal that - a distortion pedal that would create this sound."

"Which he actually gave to me. He actually gave me this pedal that he used for. I wanna say this song actually. And I used it on the Hysteria album on the song Run Riot. And sadly someone stole it. So I was like so bummed. He'd actually made this thing. So yeah Brian May, Queen love them. Again we based Def Leppard on the blueprint of Queen meeting AC/DC. Somewhere in between there you know with the vocals and everything. And the power of AC/DC and the melodies and all this wonderful stuff from Brian's playing. It was just - so there you go. Just onwards and upwards. This song's called Killer Queen."

Gary Moore

"I'm Phil Collen from Def Leppard. Your guest DJ on SiriusXM's Guitar Greats. Thanks for joining me. The next one is Gary Moore. Gary Moore was just. He played in Thin Lizzy. I was a huge fan you know he was from Ireland. And he combined feel with hard rock playing. You know a lot of players, Jazz players or Jazz based players miss some of the rock feel. And Gary kind of embraced that. He had just great feel. Ridiculous technique. And he would, on this song, it's a blues thing. He actually towards the end of his life he would be playing a more of a blues style. So he would have all this technique. All this guitar super power at his fingertips but he would actually you know do a blues version of it."

"So again you know it sounds like I'm name dropping, but I was honoured to jam with him. He toured with us on the Pyromania tour. And he was one of my favourite guitar players then. And I went into his dressing room and he had Peter Green's legendary classic Les Paul. This '59 Les Paul. I said is that Peter Green's and he said yeah that's the one. He said play it. And we sat down and jammed for an hour. And I actually got blisters of my fingers and he was using heavier strings than I was. And that started my journey and I just had a blast. Just sitting there watching one of my favourite guitar players just jamming with him. And just seeing how he done certain things that I'd kind of learnt in the past. But that was pretty cool. But again you know all of these guys I'm mentioning they combined. They're not just one type of guitar player. They kind of take it and do something else with it. All of these guys bring so many different flavours to their playing and their artistry. No wonder it's inspiring. This is The Sky Is Crying."

Michael Schenker

"Michael Schenker from UFO. You know my first tour ever was with, supporting UFO. Paul Chapman was the guitar player then, Tonka. Michael's vibrato and style is something that I picked up because sometimes I hear it in some of my playing and I go wow I got that directly from Michael Schenker. He still gives me goosebumps when I listen to him play. Another one he got better and better and better and you know later on he toured. He opened up for Def Leppard as well. ActuallyI got to play with him once on stage. We went up and jammed with the Scorpions you know. His brother obviously Rudolf. But yeah his playing's just, it flies. I use that - they soar. It's kind of got this melodic thing and you used to get that with like Jazz players. You know piano players. They would just improvise and go somewhere else. But a lot of these things it kind of speaks to you. It certainly does to me and so you know hearing it in someone lime Schenker when he just goes off and starts flying somewhere with his playing it's like. It just really really has a great effect you know."

Jimmy Page

"You're with Phil Collen on SiriusXM's Guitar Greats. I'm your guest DJ picking songs from some of my favourite guitarists. Jimmy Page Led Zeppelin. Again Jimmy Page is from that four or five British guitar players. Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Pete Townshend that started pioneering the electric guitar. And they obviously they saw Jimmy and went well that's what we heard in our head but this guy's doing it. Jimmy Page took it a different direction. He made the band sound - evolve into something else. I mean it was blues based. And the Stones were blues based and it was a different thing. Keith Richards obviously Mick Jagger, it was a different format."

"Led Zeppelin created hard rock music and they went really deep you know. He would bring in. Jimmy would bring in like different, You know folk, Indian music. Just different styles and kind of incorporate it within the band. And then he would just use that as a platform and he'd play solos over it and everything. Communication Breakdown it's got a lick in it that I learnt when I was a kid. And if you listen to my solo in Photograph. I lift one of Jimmy's licks from Communication Breakdown. It's actually a direct kind of nod of the hat to Jimmy right there. Again you know he was one of my teachers. So before I ever met him he was teaching me and had no idea. And that's really cool. So yeah Zeppelin very deep and meaningful and you know what they did as a band it was unique and very inspiring."

Steve Jones

"So here we have Steve Jones from the Sex Pistols. This is God Save The Queen. This is my ringtone. You know I play in a band and I play occasionally with Paul Cook. The drummer from the Sex Pistols. We record together and we're always doing things. But when I first heard this song I was like that's how a guitar should sound. Pete Townshend played guitar like a real man. It was like powerful. it was like you could actually feel it. And Steve Jones took it a stage further. It was like just on fire. It was angry. And that's how I wanted to hear a guitar. It was exactly that and I still get off when I hear it."

"I'd mentioned to Jonesy. I've seen everyone play. I've seen, you name any guitar player from whoever to whoever. The best sound I've ever heard and it was actually Steve Jones. At The Whiskey or somewhere. One of them clubs in LA. He had his guitar it was a knock off Les Paul. And he borrowed a Marshall amp from Billy Duffy from The Cult. And it was like this is the best guitar sound I've ever heard at a concert. So it's obviously it's the way he plays. But he has this absolute thing. It's a, there's a power to it. There's a power to the thing and that's. So whenever I've been trying to get guitar sounds that would always get referenced."

"And even when we were doing stuff with, even with Mutt Lange you know we would talk about the Cookey drum sound. And yeah it's got to be that thing. You know Cookey plays the drum sticks upside down so it's harder and he hits it harder and louder. And Steve Jones done the same with the guitar. So we would always reference that. And it's still a reference .for me. It's just got such overwhelming you know smack you in the mouth hard rock electric guitar power."

Dave Gilmour

"These are some of my favourite guitarists. I'm Phil Collen from Def Leppard. Your guest DJ on SiriusXM's Guitar Greats. Dave Gilmour Pink Floyd. This song Time off of Dark Side Of The Moon I just. This particular solo. It was really cool and again within that kind of hippy dippy 70s context of whatever Pink Floyd were doing you'd hear this Strat coming in. Just beautiful kind of you know power and everything. I just done a solo the other day on a recording and that and I kind of referenced this. You kind of hear these things and go oh that's where I got it from."

"But I remember you know walking down the street in Toronto and someone had this blaring out of the car. And it was just going to the next traffic lights. It was just coming up to the solo and I just kind of ran up there so I could hear the solo coming out the car. #Cause it still gives me goosebumps."

"This is SiriusXM's Guitar Greats. I hope you enjoyed some of my favourite guitarists. Hear it again whenever you want with the SiriusXM app."

Collection Volume 3 Box Set

"We're releasing our box set of the part 3. It's got a plethora of music and stuff that they'd done in the past and all of that stuff. You know B-Sides. So all of this stuff comes together now on this album and it's realy cool. It's you know perfect for fans and the fact that it wasn't all done at the same time it was just over, over a career a lot of these songs. So that's what ultimately cool about this one. So yeah nop it's Volume Three limited edition box set. Yeah here we go."

Amos Garrett

"The last one I've got here. This is one of my favourite solos. Has been for years. It's Amos Garrett who was playing guitar on Maria Mildaur's Midnight At The Oasis. And I for the life of me for years I had idea how he was playing on this. 'Cause it was, again it was a combination of Jazz kind of just a great feel. Like a nice blues feel that was really understated. But it had this country pedal steel kind of thing sin there. But it's actually him bending the strings together. I'd never seen anyone do that. I'd never heard anyone do that only him. And that just killed me and actually last summer I learnt the solo. And I was like this is even cooler than I thought it was."

Show Outro

"Thanks for listening to Phil Collen. Guest DJ on SitiuxXM's Guitar Greats. Hear it again whenever you want with the SiriusXM app."

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