Rick Allen Reflects On Joe Elliott And Phil Collen’s Support After His Tragic Accident

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Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen recently joined a conversation with Appetite for Distortion. The rocker revealed that his bandmates Joe Elliott and Phil Collen always showed their support by giving him time to comprehend the situation after his tragic accident.

Unfortunately, the drummer was involved in a car accident in 1984 that profoundly affected the rest of his life. He lost control of his car at high speed and was thrown from it. His arm was severed due to the incident, and they immediately took the musician to the hospital. Although his doctors reattached his arm, they eventually had to amputate it again due to a severe infection.

Losing his arm left him with a difficult decision on whether to continue his career in drumming. After a period of thinking it through and recovering, he decided to keep on playing drums despite all the challenges he might have. An electronic drum kit was specially designed for him to play using only one arm. Since then, the musician has been successfully making music with his special drum kit.

Rick Allen revealed during the recent chat that he did want to give up drumming after the accident, but the people around him and the fans all over the world were very supportive of him. Then, he also addressed his bandmates’ endless support and understanding during this time and stressed that it would have been hard for him if they didn’t give him enough time to decide whether he wanted to continue performing.

During this time, Allen discovered his power as a human being and realized that he could still do it. When he also stopped comparing himself to how he used to be or to others, he noticed how unique his playing was, giving him a new perspective on the whole process.

Rick Allen speaking on his bandmates’ support after his tragic accident:

“At first, I really didn’t want to do this. I wanted to disappear. After my accident, it was really difficult to be around people. I felt very self-conscious. I think my parents, and then family. Just people and letters from all over the world, it was really encouraging. And I think the best thing that the guys did in the band was giving me time to really decide if I wanted to continue doing this.

And once I discovered the power of the human spirit, I think that just kind of catapulted me into a different realm. It was like, ‘Oh, I can do this.’ And then it was really a conscious decision to want to continue in my physical state and expose myself to; I don’t know, judgment, ridicule. Like, you know, the guy up on stage that’s different. But I think once you can get over that, then you’re really on the path.

I think one of the things that were important for me was, I stopped comparing myself to how I used to be. And I stopped comparing myself to others and tried to really embrace how unique it was to play like this. And then it gave me a whole new sort of outlook on how people would receive this. And really, just any of the noise or anybody that wanted to be negative, it was like, you know, just noise  And I didn’t pay attention to that.”

You can watch the rest of the conversation below.