Def Leppard is no stranger to formidable concert packages, having toured in recent years with Journey and Styx, among others. And guitarist Phil Collen says this year’s bill with Cheap Trick and Poison will also keep the British band “on our toes.”
“We won’t be able to sit around and be indulgent or whatever,” says Collen, 51. “They’re good bands, especially live. We go on after both of them and better have our (act) together.
“They both bring real fun elements. It’ll be an exciting, rock ‘n’ roll party time, and we’ll have to continue that vibe. But we’re all different enough, from different eras or whatever, and musically we’re quite different, actually. There’s things they each bring that will be inspiring to us, and hopefully, vice versa.”
The tour has also allowed Def Leppard to patch up a feud with Poison that ostensibly started when Def Leppard frontman Joe Elliott was quoted as saying his tourmates have “no substance in their music.” Poison’s Rikki Rockett responded by challenging Elliott to a fist fight, but the group’s Bret Michaels says, “I don’t want to fight with Def Leppard. I like their music. I’ve been trying to get this (tour) together for awhile because I think it’s a great show.”
Elliott, meanwhile, contends there “weren’t any differences to patch-up” and felt his comment was misunderstood.
“Somebody said, ‘How do I feel about being compared to bands like Mötley Crüe and Poison?’ and I said that as far as I was concerned, we were a better band,” Elliott, 49, explains. “I would expect (Michaels) to say the same thing about his group, or Nikki Sixx to say the same thing about Mötley Crüe.
“I’m entitled to say we’re better than the bloody Beatles if I wanted to, you know? What am I supposed to do — say, ‘I’m terribly sorry, we’re not good enough’? I was trying to put the point across that I don’t like the idea of comparisons. I don’t think we should have to be comparing ourselves to other bands, that’s all. It just got blown out of proportion ... but we’re all fine with each other. Really.”
Def Leppard, Poison and Cheap Trick perform at 7 p.m. Friday (July 24) at the DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township. Tickets are $59.50 and $79.50 pavilion, $33 lawn. Call (248) 377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com. A Bret Michaels After-Show Party takes place at 10 p.m. Frday at The Crofoot Ballroom, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac. Dirty Americans, Curbstone Beauty and other bands will perform. Tickets are $15 general admission, $35 VIP. Call (248) 858-9333 or visit www.thecrofoot.com.
Send your thoughts and comments to