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Phil Collen on His Bombastic “Photograph” Solo

phil collen def leppard photograph

To hear Phil Collen tell it, he joined Def Leppard almost by accident. He had loaned the band one of his amps, and when they asked him to play some leads on their upcoming record Pyromania, Collen thought he was just doing his friends a solid. The rest is history.

He and Shifty talk through Collen’s formative years on guitar, where he soaked up the scorching playing of classic guitar heroes: Jimmy Page, Ritchie Blackmore, Mick Ronson, Michael Schenker, and Gary Moore all played a hand in Collen’s high-flying fretwork.

Collen’s solo on “Photograph” is a perfect example of the sort of “ear candy” that producer Mutt Lange encouraged the band to chase in the studio—and yes, he did record individual notes to build a single guitar chord on Pyromania. But there weren’t many tricks to Collen’s sound on the solo. His Ibanez Destroyer and a 50-watt Marshall were all he needed to get the job done for the slick, Blackmore-inspired solo. Tune in to see how he worked that two-piece setup to record one of the most influential guitar solos of the ’80s.

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Producer: Jason Shadrick

Executive Producers: Brady Sadler and Jake Brennan for Double Elvis

Engineering Support by Matt Tahaney and Matt Beaudion

Video Editors: Dan Destefano and Addison Sauvan

Special thanks to Chris Peterson, Greg Nacron, and the entire crew.