Look for Phil Collen backstage (or onstage for that matter) on the current Def Leppard world tour and chances are you’ll see his beautiful wife, Helen, tending to business nearby.
Married last summer after a one-year engagement, the two are inseparable, on the road and off. It’s not what one usually encounters on a rock and tour like this, a full-time husband-wife team involving one of the world’s biggest performers, but they’d have it no other way.
Helen works for VIP Nation, the company in charge of so many backstage VIP fan events. She’d toured with many bands and artists over the years, but it was on Def Leppard tour a couple of years ago when something special happened.
As Helen recounted, “I started as the official ILAA tour rep for the Sparkle Lounge tour which started its US leg in Camden, N.J. on June 23rd, ’09. During our first day on the job, Phil walked into the production office and appeared really happy to see me. I was surprised he even remembered me from our brief encounter the year before on the road.
The next day on the 24th in Cleveland, the crew and band had the day off so we all went bowling and to the movies. Phil met me and some other crew members, including his son Rory who was on the lighting crew, at the bowling alley. We all walked to the movies in a mall connected to the hotel. It was there that we instantly connected.”
The story continues.
“June 25th, Phil approached me and asked if he could have seven minutes’ of my time. We walked back to his tour bus where he proceeded to tell me every aspect of his current and former life including all instances involving his wives, children, girlfriends, former and current, everything. He left no stone unturned. After all was said and done he asked if I was offended by anything he had just told me. I looked him straight in the eyes and said no. In fact I told him his story was a small one compared to the many I had known through my own experiences with friends and family. That level of honesty between us set the tide for what was to become the most precious and rarest form of human appreciation two people could possibly muster for each other. Friendship quickly turned to fondness. Fondness to love.”
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