Phil Collen On Vince Neil's Vocal Struggles: 'There's A Lot At Stake'

Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen is giving Mötley Crüe frontman Vince Neil a pass after Neil lost his voice and left the stage early at his first live show in almost two years.

Neil got back on the proverbial horse late in May, joining Sammy Hagar & The Circle for a rendition of Led Zeppelin's "Rock and Roll." Days later, Neil was onstage in Iowa with his solo band, performing a set of Crüe classics for an eager audience.

After struggling for several songs, Neil took his final bow during "Girls, Girls, Girls," telling the audience "I'm sorry, you guys. It's been a long time playin'. My f---in' voice is gone... We love you, and we'll hopefully see you next time, man. Take care."

Mötley Crüe was slated to co-headline the 'Stadium Tour' with Def Leppard a summer ago. The dates were recently postponed to next summer.

Asked about Neil's struggles on The Jeremy White Podcast, the perpetually fit Collen expressed confidence that his tour mate would be road-worthy by next summer.

“I heard about [Neil's Iowa show]," Collen said. "Hey, look, he’s got a year [to get ready for ‘The Stadium Tour’]. There’s a lot at stake when you go out [on tour], and you wanna be your best. Hopefully we’ll be working out together and all that stuff. That’s the other thing — we do have a camaraderie, especially with Mötley Crüe. With Nikki [Sixx], we were talking just before the tour [was announced], like, ‘We’re gonna work out together. We’re gonna do all this stuff.’"

Collen added that Def Leppard and Crüe will be rooting for one another each night when they're back on the road together.

"With Vince, he's got a year to go," Collen said. "Hopefully everything is cool by then. I hope so. Fingers crossed."

A few weeks after tickets initially went on sale for 'The Stadium Tour,' Live Nation reported it had already sold over 1 million tickets and grossed more than $130 million.

Questions about Neil's voice and general level of fitness have abounded since rumors of a Crüe reunion began circulating. In January of 2020, Sixx claimed the band was focused on fitness and that Neil, in particular, was "killing it" in the gym, getting ready for opening night of the tour. The following month, the singer went viral after he appeared to be drunk in a $400 happy birthday message sent to a fan via the Cameo app.

Before Mötley Crüe's reunion was announced in late-2019, rumors circulated that the band's nine-figure reunion contract was contingent on the singer losing as much as 40 pounds before hitting the road. Neil call the rumor "false" and said he hadn't been in tour with his band mates since the premiere of The Dirt.

Photo: Getty Images

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