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def leppard / Phil Collen's First Def Leppard Show

on this day - 9th February 1983

On this day in Def Leppard history Phil Collen made his live debut with the band at a 'Pyromania' tour warm-up show in London, England.
The first show of a tour that would take the band from an opening act to headlining stadiums.

Def Leppard 1983.

"I'd like you to meet our new guitarist Phil Collen."

Def Leppard 1983.

This section looks at the 'Pyromania' tour warm-up show in London where Phil Collen made his live debut with Def Leppard. A venue he had previously played with Girl and Lucy.

"He's somebody that we all get on with."

Def Leppard played their first show with guitarist Phil Collen in London, England on this day in 1983.

The show which served as a warm-up for the main Pyromania world tour took place in London at the legendary Marquee Club. A venue played twice by the band in January 1980.

Phil had joined the band in July 1982 during the making of the Pyromania album.

He had also taken part in the filming of the first two promo videos from the album in December 1982 (Photograph/Rock Of Ages).

Quotes from a 1983 interview are shown below with the band giving their opinions about then 'new' member Phil and the show story from the 'Animal Instinct' biography book.

Phil had played his last show with Girl at the Zig Zag club in mid 1982. A show attended by Joe and Steve. The Marquee Club had been played by Phil as far back as 1976 with his band Lucy.

This show featured the debuts of four new Pyromania songs - 'Rock! Rock! (Till You Drop)', 'Photograph', 'Billy's Got A Gun' and 'Rock Of Ages'. The first time anyone had heard these songs outside of 'Photograph' which was the current single. ROA featured Sav playing a Moog keyboard on stage for the first time. Brian Roberston of Motorhead and ex-Thin Lizzy guested with them on the encore of 'Travellin' Band' which would become a tradition during the tour.

This show could well have been the debut of 'Bringin' On the Heartbreak' and 'Switch 625' being played live. Switch had been used only as intro music on the PA during the 1981 tour and apart from playing BOTH in Liverpool at the High 'n' Dry video shoot, there is no record of it being played live in 1981 when the band were mostly playing short 35-40 minute opening sets at every show outside of their UK headline tour in July. This version featured Joe on guitar (as shown below from later on the main tour).

The year long world started properly in Belfast a few days later after a second warm-up show in Dublin. The first UK/European leg took place throughout February/March 1983 before moving on to North America until late September.

A second run of European/UK shows took the tour up to late December 1983.

They visited Japan, Australia and finally Thailand for the very first time in January/February 1984.

At the time the Pyromania tour was the longest the band had ever done with over 180 shows played in 12 months.

Listen to the full 15 song concert via the YouTube playlist featuring a full audio version recorded by a fan. If you've been visiting the site for a while you might recognise the picture used on the videos...taken from the old 1983 Tour main page of this site.

Def Leppard 1983.

Def Leppard 1983. Def Leppard 1983

Show Story - 1987 Animal Instinct Biography Quotes

"A public rehearsal of sorts was scheduled for February 9 at the Marquee in London. The idea, Joe says, was to let Phil Collen warm up with Leppard on a hometown stage, one that he'd played on several times before. Besides, Joe adds, "you can play the Marquee,screw up and not many people would see it anyway"."

"At the Marquee, Def Leppard raced through a set that, with a few additions and subtractions here and there, would become standard concert procedure for the coming year - a generous helping of the new album ('Photograph', 'Billy's Got A Gun', 'Rock Of Ages', 'Stagefright') spiked with gonzo charges through 'Rock Brigade' and 'Wasted' from the first album and 'Let It Go' and 'Another Hit And Run' from 'High 'n' Dry'. For encore purposes, Leppard had also jazzed up Creedence Clearwater Revival's 1970 hit 'Travellin' Band', giving the CCR number a high-octane workout."

"The Marquee show, in the meantime, was a good warm up for Phil "not too nervewracking or overpowering" according to Joe. "It was very hot and sweaty, but that was okay because that's what the music was all about anyway, hot and sweaty things"."

Notably the live album intro was played before 'Rock! Rock!' which was not done again until the final outdoor leg of the Adrenalize tour in 1993. It was replaced on the main Pyromania tour by the album intro being played over the PA. It was most likely played live again at the second warm-up show in Dublin, Ireland.

Def Leppard 1983.

Def Leppard 1983. Def Leppard 1983

Joe Elliott - 9th February 1983 Onstage Quotes

Before Photograph

"Thank you very much. How ya doing London, alright?. It's good to be back at The Marquee. Three years ago I think it was. OK this is our new single. this is called Photograph."

Before Lady Strange

"Cheers. Thanks a lot. OK we're gonna carry on with another song from the High 'n' Dry album. This one is called Lady Strange."

Before Billy's Got A Gun

"Thank you very much indeed. We're gonna play you a brand new song now from the forthcoming album Pyromania. Which I think is out on the 18th of February. This one's about a mixed up little boy. This one's called Billy's Got A Gun." - (Listen at the end for the first time Joe did the 'Bang Bang' vocal sung through Phil's Ibanez Destroyer guitar mics)

Before High 'n' Dry

"Thank you very much, Billy's Got A Gun. Alright, take it away Steve. I think you might know this one."

Before Rock Of Ages

"Thank you. Thank you very much. Right then we're gonna play you another new song from the Pyromania album. This one features Sheffield's answer to Rick Wakeman on keyboards. Mr. Rick Savage. This one's for everybody in here. This one's called Rock of Ages. Come on let's see some hands, yeah!."

Def Leppard 1983.

Before Overture

"I tell you on the 4th March they've got their work cut out for them, right. OK this is an old chestnut, three years old this one. You can sing this one too if you know the words." - (reference to second London show)

Before Let It Go/Phil Collen Intro

"Thank you. Thank you very much. I think actually I've a - I've been pretty rude up to now. I'd like you to meet our new guitarist Phil Collen." - (Joe mic cuts out slightly during Let It Go)

Before Wasted

"Thank you very much. Steve Clark on lead guitar."

Before Travellin' Band

"You read a couple of weeks ago it said we had a special surprise tonight. Welcome Mr. Brian Robertson on stage with us. We're gonna do a bit of a revival for you right now. Creedence Clearwater Revival. This is an old song from way back in the 60s or 70s. It's a song called Travellin' Band. You ready?. Are you ready?. ."

End Of Show

"Thank you very much we'll see you on the 4th March at Hammersmith alright."

Def Leppard 1983.

Def Leppard 1983. Def Leppard 1983

Phil Collen February 1983 - Interview Quotes

"I'm really pleased about joining Leppard as I've so much in common with them and jammed with them several times in the past."

"It's also a logical progression for me to move from one two guitar band to another."

Media Story

Leppard one-off

Def Leppard are to play a one off gig at London's Marquee prior to their forthcoming UK tour. It'll be on February 9 and a number of 'name' artists are rumoured to be making an appearance, also a 'special surprise' for Leppard themselves is promised.

London, England 1983 - Media Review Quotes

"Those who feared that new recruit Phil Collen, formerly of mascara-glad glamsters Girl, would be a pretty boy fill-in for the shandied-up ex-guitarist Pete Willis were in for a pleasant surprise. Got up in natty looking string vest, Collen let rip with gritty lead runs and stinging solos, quickly winning the crowd over and forming an effective partnership with the grinning Steve 'Steamin' Clark."

"New material from 'Pyromania' came over well, the highlights being 'Rock Of Ages' - an absolute stormer of a number featuring agreeably absurd lyrics and a suitably abrasive delivery from Joe Elliott - and the somewhat more ponderous 'Billy's Got A Gun' which boasts UFO-esque lyrical imagery and a gritty lead-break from the much maligned Phil Collen, whose gutsy style proves that he's more than just a pretty boy as many had feared."

Def Leppard 1983 Interview Quotes

Steve Clark

"We expect better things for the future now that Phil's in the group because he's going to contribute a lot more. Playing with him on stage every night is a pleasure."

Rick Savage

"He's somebody that we all get on with."

Joe Elliott

"We're so pleased with the addition of Phil Collen. Phil's been just great to work with...able to contribute a lot to Pyromania and he's been a joy on tour. His addition has made us stronger than ever."

Rick Savage July 1983 - Interview Quote

"Phil is more jazz/rock oriented than Pete ever was. He’s what we call a speed freak; occasionally he tries to see how many notes he can put in a five-second solo. And with him being more jazz/rock oriented he does have a stronger background of chords and what have you. He and Steve complement each other really well because they have contrasting styles."

Listen to the full show recording on this YouTube playlist.

London, England Fan Videos 1983.

A view looking towards the old venue entrance.

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