Def Leppard Guitarist Reveals How Mick Jagger Treated Him When They First Met, Explains Why He Felt ‘Scared’

Should you ever meet your idols? There’s no definitive answer to this question as feelings on the matter are mixed. What if you end up not liking them? What if they had a bad day and just end up treating you badly? Well, that’s why Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen is always scared when meeting his heroes.

In a recent appearance on The Rock Show, Collen recalled meeting The Rolling Stones’ frontman Mick Jagger back in the 1980s, reports Rock And Roll Garage. Def Leppard were doing their game-changing record “Hysteria” and Jagger happened to be right next to them, recording his second solo album “Primitive Cool,” also featuring guitar master Jeff Beck. Recalling how they met, Collen offered:

“We were recording our ‘Hysteria’ album in the mid-’80s in Holland. Jeff Beck was playing guitar for Mick Jagger on his new solo album. I was sneaking around, trying to listen through the door and if you ever seen a studio door, you can’t even hear there, they are like a bank vault. All of a sudden, the door opened up. It‘s Mick Jagger. He is like ‘Hey man, yeah, yeah man, come on in. I went in and sat on the couch, there is Jeff Beck playing guitar, it was amazing, and there’s Mick Jagger actually singing in front of me.

“It was like surreal. He was actually doing a live vocal to one of the songs in the control room. It was such an amazing moment for me and you’re always scared to meet your idols in case they disappoint, but he really didn’t. For lots of reasons, you know, that’s my Rock God.”

Elsewhere in the chat, Collen also named Jagger as his personal “rock god.” One of the Jagger’s interesting aspects that he pointed out was that he was one of the British musicians to start singing with an American accent back in the day. Collen said:

“A lot of English bands sing with American accents, we kinda learned that from American pop culture, but I think that Mick Jagger was the gateway or the bridge that kind of influenced everyone who sings Rock music. Mick Jagger and the Stones kind of hit on that very early on and made it their own Rolling Stones thing. The songwriting, you know. Songs like ‘Sympathy For The Devil’, when you first hear is haunting. I was totally influenced by that, still am.

Photo: Kevin Nixon (Phil Collen in Australia), Raph_PH (Mick Jagger Desert Trip 2016-39)

  • David Slavkovic

    David always planned for music to be nothing more than a hobby. However, after a short career as an agricultural engineer he ended up news editor at KillerGuitarRigs, senior editor at, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor and brands like Sam Ash.

    View all posts