How Eddie Van Halen shaped the sound of Def Leppard's Hysteria with a single piece of advice

Phil Collen and Eddie Van Halen
(Image credit: Gary Wolstenholme/Redferns / Chris McKay/Getty Images for Live Nation via Getty)

Such was the influence of Eddie Van Halen – and such was his experience in tinkering with his own instruments – that if the late electric guitar legend gave you advice on how to modify your own instrument, you’d listen. No questions asked.

Phil Collen has had such an experience. In a recent conversation with MusicRadar, he recalled a brief encounter he had with Van Halen before Def Leppard had formed, and said the wise guitar master bestowed upon him some crucial advice that would heavily shape the band’s 1987 album, Hysteria.

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Matt Owen
Senior Staff Writer,

Matt is a Senior Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.