As hair metal heroes go there are few bigger and better than former Girl man turned Def Leppard stalwart Phil Collen.

The Londoner may have taken a break from Leppard’s trademark licks for a while to focus on punk/rock/dub project Man Raze but he knows his meat and drink.

And as we continue to focus on a golden era for pop rock we check out the tunes and gigs which inspired old king Collen.

Hair Metal Gold: In the 80s I really liked Ghost In The Machine by the Police, Prince’s Purple Rain and Rebel Yell by Billy Idol.

My Classsic Cuts: I like Rocket. It’s what the Sparkle Lounge album was based on. It’s a rock track but it’s experimental with the African-influenced drum beat. It’s what we’re good at.

The Big Gig: I’ve seen some great AC/DC shows, I saw Mott The Hoople with Queen as the opening act and I saw Bowie on the Aladdin tour. But the first, and possibly the best, gig I went to was Deep Purple on the Machine Head tour. Brilliant.

Leppard Live And Dangerous: We like to think that at leas 85% of our shows are top notch – even if someone is having a shit night the rest of us try to pull him through. But I suppose the first Donington show will always be memorable and the reaction we got back there this year was amazing too.