Rick Allen is the drummer for Def Leppard. He lost his left arm in a car crash, but he continued to be the drummer for Def Leppard with a special drum kit that Def Leppard made for him. During his next album with them they had their biggest success ever with an album called Hysteria.
Rick Allen joined Def Leppard when he was only fifteen years old. His mother found an ad in the newspaper that Def Leppard had gotten rid of their first drummer and was looking for a new one. Def Leppard opened for Sammy Hagar during their first tour and made their first album called On Through the Night with Rick Allen on drums. They had a concert to celebrate Rick Allen’s sixteenth birthday.
While Rick Allen was driving to a party at his parents’ house in 1984 another driver egged him on into doing a race. Rick Allen raced with the other driver, missed a turn and went over a stone wall into a field. The car flipped over, Rick Allen was thrown out of his seat and his left arm was ripped off by the seatbelt, which had not been fastened properly. He was taken to the hospital and his arm was reattached but it became infected and had to be taken off again.
Rick Allen was depressed because he did not think he could continue with Def Leppard but Joe Elliot, the lead vocalist for Def Leppard, visited Rick Allen in the hospital to cheer him up. They then went on to make a specialized drum kit for Rick Allen that allowed him to stay with the group. Their next album was Hysteria, which had a slow start but ended up selling twenty million copies worldwide.
Rick Allen used electric drums for a while after he lost his arm. After electronic drums went out of style at the end of the 1980s, Rick Allen moved to a more acoustic sounding drum kit. He is ranked seventh out of the one hundred best drummers of all time by Gigwise. In 2009 Def Leppard headlined the download festival and Joe Elliot dedicated the festival to Rick Allen. Rick Allen received a five minute long standing ovation from the crowd. Rick Allen has the nickname of Thunder God and Rick Allen’s drumsticks are also called Thunder God.
Rick Allen and his wife are in charge of a charity organization called the Raven Drum Foundation, which helps victims of crisis. According to Rick Allen they had tremendous success with the organization. They also help wounded war veterans. Rick Allen formed another company called the One Hand Drum Company, which helps to raise money for his Raven Drum Foundation for charity. He sells pictures of a one armed drummer with his autograph and the slogan, “LIfe is great. Be a rock star!”
Side projects Rick Allen has done are help write the sound track for the 1998 Disney movie called Brink. He has played a couple of concerts with the Mark Mason project in 2000. Allen has helped to write and make the music for albums made by his wife named Lauren. He helped Krishna Das make an album called All For One.
Rick Allen has made mistakes like everybody else. In 1995 he was arrested for attacking his first wife, but there is no denying that a one armed drummer continuing on with one of the biggest 1980 metal bands is still an inspirational story for all of us and particularly people with a disability that could maybe work through their problems and still accomplish their greatest ambitions like the way Rick Allen did.