When it comes to sports, Def Leppard's game tends to be soccer. "We all grew up playing," notes guitarist Phil Collen. "That was our main game."
But headlining this week's NHL Face-Off Rocks show in Detroit fits in the multi-platinum quintet's frame of reference, too.
"It's really fast-paced," says Collen, 50, who lives in southern California and has attended some Anaheim Ducks games. "I particularly like the violent part of it. That's kind of cool, you know?
"And, y'know, over the years we've played a lot of hockey arenas, and a lot of time we get swag. I can remember actually getting Detroit Red Wings stuff back when we played Joe Louis Arena in '83. So we were honored when we were asked to do this thing."
Def Leppard is also hoping that the NHL hook-off plays dividends for the group's music, too. The league is particularly enamored with "C'mon C'mon," an upbeat track from the group's latest album, "Songs From the Sparkle Lounge."
"It's very similar to the Gary Glitter song, "Rock and Roll Pt. 2," they use at every hockey game you've ever been to," Collen explains. "So when someone brought this idea to us, we thought, 'This is cool, we have this song already prepared. We're kinda good to go...' "
Two days before the NHL show, meanwhile, Def Leppard will be in Nashville to tape an episode of CMT's "Crossroads" show with country star Taylor Swift. The group then resumes it's "Glitter Lounge" tour, with stops scheduled in India, Australia, New Zealand and Japan before calling it a year.
Def Leppard performs as part of NHL Face-Off Rocks 2008 at 7 p.m. Thursday (Oct. 9) at the Fox Theatre, 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit. The evening also includes a broadcast of the Detroit Red Wings' game at Joe Louis Arena, including the raising of the 2008 Stanley Cup championship banner. Tickets are $45 and $35. Call (313-471-6611 or visit www.olympiaentertainment.com.
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