Het is vandaag 35 jaar geleden dat drummer Rick Allen van de hardrockgroep Def Leppard een arm is verloren in een auto-ongeval (foto Weatherman90 via de Engelse Wikipedia). De groep besluit toch met de eenarmige drummer door te gaan.

Richard John Cyril Allen was born on 1 November 1963 in DronfieldDerbyshire, and started playing drums at the age of nine. When Allen was 14, his mother replied on his behalf to an advertisement placed by a band called “Def Leppard” looking for a drummer to replace Tony Kenning (“Leppard loses skins” was the advertisement’s headline). He later joined the band on 1 November 1978, which was his 15th birthday. In 1979, he dropped out of school (other band members left their jobs around the same time) to concentrate on a career in music. In September 1979, they opened for Sammy Hagar at London’s Hammersmith Odeon. Subsequently, Def Leppard played shows as a support act for AC/DC during October and November 1979. Allen celebrated his 16th birthday with a performance at the Hammersmith Odeon. On 14 March 1980, the band released their first album, On Through the Night.

On the afternoon of 31 December 1984, Allen was involved in a car accident with his then-girlfriend Miriam Barendsen on the A57 road in the countryside a few miles west of Sheffield. While trying to pass another car at a high speed, he lost control of his Corvette C4, which hit a dry stone wall and entered a field. He was thrown from the car because his safety belt had been improperly fastened, causing his left arm to be severed. His girlfriend suffered head, neck and spine injuries from severe whiplash. Doctors initially reattached Allen’s arm, but because of an infection, it had to be re-amputated. He overcame the amputation and continued to play with the band, which subsequently went on to its most commercially successful phase.

Allen was married to a woman named Stacy from 1991 to 2000; they had a daughter in 1997. In 1995, Allen was arrested for spousal abuse. He pleaded guilty to the charge and was sentenced on 6 August 1996 to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, sought counselling, and served 30 days community service on a graffiti-removal work crew.

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