The big saying in life is ‘don’t meet your heroes.’ Someone must have never informed Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen of this quote as during a recent interview on the BBC’s ‘The Rock Show’, the rock and roll legend discussed meeting one of his icons and in Collen’s own words, ‘rock god’ for the very first time – The Rolling Stones’ frontman, Mick Jagger. This all came to be when Def Leppard was recording their wildly successful 1987 album, Hysteria. Credit to Ultimate-Guitar for the following quote.
We were recording our ‘Hysteria’ album in the mid-’80s in Holland. Jeff Beck was playing guitar for Mick Jagger on his new solo album. I was sneaking around, trying to listen through the door and if you’ve ever seen a studio door, you can’t even hear there, they are like a bank vault. All of a sudden the door opened up, it was Mick Jagger. He is like ‘Hey man, yeah, yeah man, come on in. I went in and sat on the couch, there is Jeff Beck playing guitar, it was amazing, and Mick Jagger was singing in front of me.
Collen continued by stating the following: “It was like surreal, he was doing a live vocal to one of the songs in the control room. It was such an amazing moment for me and you’re always scared to meet your idols in case they disappoint, but he didn’t. For lots of reasons, you know, that’s my Rock God.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Collen continued to praise Jagger by discussing how The Rolling Stones frontman, who recently discussed comparisons to this A-list British star, started a major musical trend when it came to British acts singing in American accents. Collen would continue and state:
“A lot of English bands sing with American accents, we kinda learned that from American pop culture, but I think that Mick Jagger was the gateway or the bridge that kind of influenced everyone who sings Rock music. Mick Jagger and the Stones kind of hit on that very early on and made it their own Rolling Stones thing. The songwriting, you know. Songs like ‘Sympathy For The Devil’, when you first hear are haunting. I was influenced by that, and still am.”