Among metal fans Poison, which famously feuded with Guns N' Roses, is a band that has inspired a lot of vitirol. Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen admits that when the band's upcoming tour with one of hair metal's biggest groups was announced, some of the Leppard faithful were not happy. "It's kind of interesting because initially you'd get really kind of hateful emails, 'Why are you going out with those guys?'" Collen says.

However, Collen says that the band was psyched on the idea. "Whenever you go out on tour there's always like a short list of who's around and the Poison thing has been suggested a few times and we've never really got around to doing it. And it just kicked in and everyone got really excited about it." And fans have caught onto the idea as well. "But the more it went on the more people got really excited about it."

Also on the bill is Cheap Trick, who as Collen says, "Everybody loves." For Collen, touring with Poison and Cheap Trick continues a recent Leppard tradition of going out with unlikely partners. "Poison are different enough to us to actually warrant a whole different audience coming to it and I think that happens a lot these days," he says. "We went out with Styx last year, with Journey the year before that, and although we're all rock bands, everyone brings in something different."

And of course, Collen is aware of the focus Poison frontman Bret Michaels brings with him. "Obviously the whole TV thing ['Rock of Love'] that Bret's been doing has spiked some interest as well I'm sure," he says. Did Collen watch the show in preparation for the summer jaunt together? "I've watched it. It's a bit weird that everyone is fascinated by reality TV, but I think in this case it's less about Bret and more about the self-destruction of these people around him, so it's interesting," he says.

After watching the show, will there ever be a Leppard reality series? "No, I don't think so," he says. "We saw the VH1 thing, 'Behind the Music.' We've already been there I guess."

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