DEF LEPPARD's PHIL COLLEN Doesn't Have Any Plans To Retire: 'Not When I Feel Like This'
June 19, 2023
In a new interview with Graspop Metal Meeting, DEF LEPPARD guitarist Phil Collen, who turned 65 last December, was asked if he has ever contemplated retirement from touring. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Not when I feel like this. That's the thing. If it was a struggle… It's not for me. I work out every day. I'm a vegan. I haven't drunk for 36 years. So all of those things really help. And you look at, like, Mick Jagger — he has a physio, he has a treadmill in his room. And we have our trainer out with us. We have our chef out with us. So if you keep doing that and you're serious about it… We do vocal warmups. We really sing [live]; it's actually us really doing it. But we actually practice and we train and do this stuff all the time. So as long as we can do all of that and still get better, then, yeah, great."
A little over three years ago, Collen's DEF LEPPARD bandmate Vivian Campbell made similar comments in an interview with Scott Rusk of the 98.9 KKZX radio station in Spokane, Washington, saying he will never retire. "When I'm dead, when I stop breathing, that's when I'll stop working," he said. "I have no plans to retire; I have no interest in it."
He continued: "To me, playing is is all I've ever wanted to do and I've been fortunate this is all I've ever done. I see no reason to stop working. I don't know what I would do. I think, in my case, if I stopped playing guitar, I'd be just waiting to die. Even when I was doing my cancer treatments, even at the worst of it, when was doing chemo and stem cell and stuff — well, not when I was stem cell, 'cause I couldn't leave the hospital…. I've been on tour when I've been doing hardcore chemo, and I didn't have any hair on my head, I didn't even have eyebrows, but I think it was a big part of helping me deal with it — the fact that I continued to be able to do my work. And on that subject, I'd just like to say I'm very grateful to my band mates in DEF LEPPARD that they took a chance on me and afforded me that opportunity, to work when I was in that state. But I think it helped me through it."
Campbell added: "We realize that there's a lot of hard work, and we know, 'cause we've put in the hard work over the years. But when you're out there on stage, and especially, like I say, when we see our audience growing — we're in our late 50s and a couple of us are in our 60s now — and to go out there and to see people young enough to be your children just really, really, really enjoying the show and the energy that that gives, it's wonderful. We realize how blessed we are to be able to do this."
Campbell — who before joining DEF LEPPARD in 1992 was well known for his work with DIO and WHITESNAKE — went public with his Hodgkin's lymphoma diagnosis in June 2013.
DEF LEPPARD and MÖTLEY CRÜE will team up with Alice Cooper for a U.S. mini-tour this summer. The trek will kick off on August 5 in Syracuse, New York and include stops in the Midwest before concluding in El Paso, Texas on August 18. Before that, LEPPARD and CRÜE are touring Europe, having launched the trek on May 22 in Sheffield.
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