Sunday, May 27, 2018

Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen leaves North American tour

Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen has left the band’s co-headlining tour of North America with Journey.

“Our brother and bandmate Phil has unexpectedly returned home for a family emergency,” said the band in a statement. “With Phil’s blessing our friend, Steve Brown, will be joining us on stage until Phil is able to return. On with the show!”

Trixter guitarist Steve Brown made his 2018 debut with the group during a May 25 show at the Hersheypark Stadium in Hershey, PA, where fans were given a heads up about the lineup change shortly before showtime.

"Good evening, Hershey. I am Joe Elliott. Welcome to what should be a great night,” said the Def Leppard frontman. "I have an announcement to make. And I'd like you to spread the word as people come in. But, very sadly, Phil Collen cannot be with us this evening. He has a family emergency back in California.

“So we are very blessed that our very good friend Steve Brown, who, some of you may remember, stood in for Vivian about four years ago when Vivian couldn't make a couple of shows, has learned the bits very, very rapidly and, with Phil's blessing, will join us on stage tonight…and for the immediate future.

"So just be prepared, okay? We're here for ya, and we're glad that you're here for us. Thank you. See you in 30 minutes."

As Elliott mentioned, Brown stepped in to assist the band in 2014 while guitarist Vivian Campbell was undergoing treatment for cancer.

Collen’s absence comes just days after Def Leppard and Journey launched their tour in Hartford, CT on May 21; the trek will wrap up in Los Angeles in early October.

See also:

VIDEO: Def Leppard and Journey launch North American tour in Hartford
Def Leppard to launch beer brand on North American tour with Journey
VIDEO: Def Leppard stream vintage 1983 concert performance
Def Leppard announces Australian tour
Search Def Leppard at hennemusic