Posted: 2:10 pm Thursday, July 13th, 2017
By Pete Rizzo
Who knows what Def Leppard’s classic album “Pyromania” may have sounded like with Pete Willis still in the band? Hindsight being 20/20, it doesn’t matter much now because his replacement helped make it a seminal success.
Willis’ drinking was so out of control midway through recording “Pyromania” that it was affecting his ability to play. So Joe Elliott gave Willis what he once called the ‘Spanish Archer’ – “EL-BOW”. The truth is they had their sights on his replacement months prior. His name, Phil Collen. And boy did he deliver! In fact, it was his solo in “Photograph” that legend has it got him the job with the Leps:
His solo in “Photograph” remains one of my favorite performances of his. Another favorite is his channeling the ghost of Steve Clark in “White Lightning”:
And who knew that Phil had pipes too?! Another performance of his that I love is Def Leppard’s cover of the Faces classic ‘Stay With Me’ where he brings out his inner Rod Stewart with relish.
How about you? Which Phil Collen performance is your favorite?
About the Author
Hi, I'm Pete Rizzo, early morning elixir for your weekends. I love music and I love talking about it. I grew up listening to bands like Rush (best band on the planet!), Van Halen (Diamond Dave all the way), AC/DC (Bon rules!) and Genesis (the Gabriel years). But my true love is progressive rock and heavy metal. The louder, crunchier, more bombastic and self-indulgent, the better! When I’m not on the air, I’m either training in martial arts, deciding which tattoo I should get next, reading a good book (I still enjoy turning actual pages), or my wife and I are planning our next big travel excursion. I’m on every Saturday and Sunday morning. You can also follow me on on Twitter @PeteRizzoWBAB. I’d love to hear from you.