Philip Kenneth Collen (born December 8, 1957 in Hackney, East London, England) is the lead guitarist for English rock band Def Leppard. He joined the band in 1982 following the firing of Pete Willis. Not to be confused with Phil Collins from the band Genesis ollen was born in Hackney, East London, England. Because of this region, he speaks with a Cockney accent. At the age of 16, Phil got his first guitar (a red Gibson SG), taught himself how to play, and left school to pursue a career in music.