Rick Allen's Car Accident

Rick Allen After accidentRick Allen After accident

On December 31, 1984,

On the way to a New Year's eve party at his family's home in Sheffield, UK, 21-year-old Allen was Driving his Chevrolet Corvette when an Alfa Romeo passed him. The driver had been egging Rick on and not allowing him to pass. In his rage to pass this driver, he did not see the turn up ahead and lost control of his car, which sailed over a stone wall, and into a field, causing him to be thrown from the car resulting in the severing of his left arm due to the seatbelt not being properly fastened. His girlfriend was left hanging upside down in the car. Luckily, a passerby was a nurse and helped Rick who had been wandering around in the field muttering: "I'm a famous rock drummer!"

Allen was then taken to a hospital, and when Joe Elliott got a call saying that Rick lost his arm in a car crash, he was so stunned he drove 180 miles to be with him. Elliott found an emotionless Allen opening and closing his eyes nonstop, which left Elliott himself in shock. Doctors had reattached his left arm, but due to infection it was removed again. Rick Allen left the hospital three and a half weeks after he was taken in, even though the situation he was in was expected to last for six months.

The idea to start playing without his left arm came to him in the hospital when he listened to music with drum beats. Allen believed that he could still play some of the stuff, and that in addition he would rather use his left foot, (typically for hi-hat pedals in common drumsets), to play the snare drum. Former Status Quo drummer Jeff Rich was a source of help and encouragement during Allen's convalescence, and following many hours of discussion they decided to develop an electronic kit Allen could play using only one arm. (The Ludwig acoustic drum kit he used on High 'n' Dry and Pyromania was later given away by Def Leppard's onetime management.)

Rick Allen ( Def Leppard Drummer)
Rick Allen

Working closely with Allen's camp, the electronic drum manufacturer Simmons created such a kit, and Allen made his post-accident debut in 1986 with a well-received set at the "Monsters of Rock" festival at Castle Donington. In August 1987, the band released their fourth album, Hysteria, which after a relatively slow start in the U.S. ultimately became another huge success, selling over 15,000,000 copies.


Anonymous said...

rick is my no. 2 behind JOHN BONHAMN most drummers would quit if they lost an arm he notonly keptplayin but was back in the studio in six weeks

Anonymous said...

Come on his the best drummer because he rocks better in one arm than most drummers with two arms, hes number one..

Anonymous said...


james said...

dude this guy is number one i mean look at him he has one arm and still rocks the place.

LaszloB said...

He really does fit on this site:
He will actually rock till the end.