Def Leppard bring in Trixter guitarist Steve Brown while Phil Collen off tour on family emergency
With Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen having to reportedly step away from the Def Leppard – Journey North American Tour 2018 due to a “family emergency”, the UK group has called on an old friend to continue its tour. Trixter guitarist Steve Brown joined Def Leppard at their tour stop at the Hersheypark Stadium in Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA yesterday (May 25, 2018) evening (see video footage below).
Back in 2014 and 2015, Brown replaced guitarist Vivian Campbell in Def Leppard for a number of tour stops while the latter was suffering from Hodgkin’s lymphoma snd receiving treatments.
Sleaze Roxx writer Ruben Mosqueda interviewed Brown back in February 2017 and asked him how he got the Def Leppard gig. Brown replied: “…. Those guys are like family to me. Most people don’t know this but I go back with Def Leppard to about 1988 when they were touring behind ‘Hysteria.’ Phil Collen is a like a brother to me. When Vivian [Campbell] was diagnosed with cancer in 2013, Phil said to the Leppard guys, “I have the guy that can step in while Viv is undergoing treatment. Let’s call Steve.” I was also friends with Joe [Elliott] and I think it helped that he was a fan of one of my other band 50 Ft Ringo. I think he knew I had the voice to do it. I truly believe that I got the gig not because of my ability as a guitarist but more because of my vocal ability. So I got the call in early 2013. I learned the entire set and fine tuned my parts and began playing some gigs with them in 2014.”
In terms of which Def Leppard songs were the most difficult to learn, Brown advised: “I will say this; the Def Leppard catalog is not the easiest thing to learn. There’s some very intricate guitar parts, very unique guitar parts. Steve Clark wrote things in shapes and boxes that I haven’t played before. So it was challenging for sure. I have said this to friends of mine that are guitarists, “Man, the Leppard gig isn’t as easy as you think it is.” It was a challenge to dig in and learn the Mutt Lange/Def Leppard collection. They are not your typical ‘cookie cutter’ rock and roll band. They have an unique way of writing songs.”
Def Leppard with Steve Brown performing “Bringing” On The Heartbreak” and “Switch 625” at Hersheypark Stadium in Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA on May 25, 2018:
Def Leppard doing Bringin’ On The Heartbreak and Switch 625 live in Hershey on 5-25-18.