DEF LEPPARD guitarist Phil Collen, who is famous for playing gigs shirtless, told Inside Hook in a new interview that there is a simple reason for his penchant for showing off his rock-hard abs as often as possible. "I get hot on stage, but also I do look good," he said, laughing. "Maybe it's shallow, but that's okay. I'm a performer, musician and artist. And performing is this whole thing. On stage, I want to look like a rock star."
At 63 years old, Collen is a prime example of the "no-excuse" rule when it comes to being active, fit and healthy.
As a rock and roll guitarist in an internationally successful rock band, Collen didn't start out as a health and fitness enthusiast. After years of playing hard, partying hard, and leading a self-described "very unhealthy lifestyle," Phil decided to make a change. In his early thirties, Collen decided to quit drinking and partying. His live-saving conversion came just before his DEF LEPPARD bandmate and "terror twin" of the party scene, Steve Clark, died of a prescription drug and alcohol overdose in early 1991. Inspired to lead a healthier lifestyle, the sober Collen no longer needed to "recover" each day from the previous night's debauchery, and instead found himself with numerous free hours in his day. Collen began exercising, running to start, and later taking up the martial art of Muay Thai kick boxing.
Collen stopped eating meat in the early 1980s and went vegan in 2011. He told the Los Angeles Times: "I always thought it was a bit weird eating dead bodies even though my parents said it was all right. But I saw 'The Texas Chain Saw Massacre', and that did it. In the movie, they're doing the same thing to people that they do to animals, and so I gradually got off eating meat.... The health thing came way later. Veganism came  years ago, and it was more of a health decision."
Collen told Inside Hook about his diet: "I got a phone app to count calories. Thankfully, I could eat as many veggies and as much fruit as I wanted. I didn't get cravings and I still had occasional cheat days."