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Def Leppard Guitarist Phil Collen: Tom Cruise’s ‘Rock of Ages’ Performance ‘Incredible’

Phil Collen of Def Leppard
Paul Kane, Getty Images

Def Leppard are back in the spotlight this summer, due in part to the upcoming film ‘Rock of Ages.’ The movie, an adaptation of the stage production, borrows its name from the Def Leppard classic song, but licensing issues kept the song itself out of the Broadway show. It’ll be included in the movie, though, and guitarist Phil Collen says the band has given their full stamp of approval.

Collen tells Noisecreep, “Oh yeah! I mean, we had wanted it in the Broadway show, but because of legal things, it didn’t happen. But we got to redeem it with the new movie. I just saw it and absolutely love it.”

Collen says that he’s also a fan of Tom Cruise‘s portrayal of rock star Stacee Jaxx in the film, especially when he takes on Def Leppard’s ‘Pour Some Sugar on Me.’

“He does [it] and it’s amazing!” Collen said. “I was really impressed with it, as well as his version of the Guns N’ Roses song ‘Paradise City.’ He brings great attention to our song, and we have a new version of [it] coming out as well. We played it as close as we could to the original and it sounds very cool.”

One of the bonuses that came with their contribution to the film was actually getting to meet Cruise.

“We saw him film the ‘Pour Some Sugar’ segment and it was brilliant. He learned how to sing for the movie and he said he was nervous that we were all there,” Collen said. “But he was so gracious and told us that he wanted to give the song all the respect it deserved. He did lead vocals, backing vocals — he was just incredible.”

‘Rock of Ages’ opens in theaters June 15, while the soundtrack drops this Tuesday (June 5). Def Leppard, Poison and Lita Ford will team up on a tour coinciding with the film’s release, and Def Leppard will continue afterward with dates into the fall. Check out the full itinerary on the band’s website.

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