Rick Allen Says Joe Elliott And Phil Collen Took The Pressure Off Him After The Accident

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Rick Allen recently recalled the difficult times he had to go through when he lost his arm in an accident at the age of 21. He stated that his Def Leppard bandmates Joe Elliot and Phil Collen took the pressure off him by giving him time to decide.

The Def Leppard drummer had an unfortunate car accident in 1984 that changed his life. His arm was severed, and the doctors tied to save it but eventually amputated it due to an infection. Allen was in a three-week coma, and these decisions were being made for him, and once he was awake, nothing was the same.

As a drummer, losing an arm was difficult, and he had a decision to make; to either somehow continue drumming with one arm or give up altogether. As soon as he left the hospital, he wanted to try and play the drums with one hand, which would help him decide. To his surprise, he figured out that he could do it.

However, before his final decision, the Def Leppard members gave him all the time he needed. In his recent interview, Allen recalled how this took the pressure off him, and he eventually made the right choice to continue after questioning everything.

Here are Allen’s words:

“Well, the way it went was: I got out of hospital within a month, and I spent a couple of weeks at home. There was never any talk of any kind of therapy or anything like that. At 21 years old, that wasn’t what I signed up for. I was still full of beans and ready to go. And I think the thing that the guys did for me, which took the pressure off, was: they gave me time to decide whether I wanted to move forward or not.

And that was really the crux of what I was dealing with. Did I just want to disappear and sort of blend into the scenery? Or did I want to go on? Love of family, love of people all over the planet, I really just discovered the power of the human spirit. And that’s what really catapulted me into where I am now.”

He went on to say:

“Having been in a coma for a couple of three weeks, and during that time, they put my arm back on and then took it off, all during that same time period, and me not know a thing about it. So when I came round and started to get an idea of what had actually happened to me. I remember at a certain point, I was like, ‘I don’t want to do this.’

I felt way too self-conscious. I felt completely defeated. And then, I guess I woke up in a way that allowed me to see past the situation I found myself in. And then once I started actually playing drums again, I got it, and I realized that I could actually do this, and [producer] Mutt Lange recognized that.”

You can watch the full interview below.