Dec 31, 1984: Def Leppard’s Rick Allen Loses Arm in Car Accident

Share This:

Def Leppard's Rick AllenHis band was riding high and mighty on the breakthrough of its third studio album, Pyromania – which went on to sell 10 million copies in the U.S. – when Rick Allen passed another car at a high speed on a country road outside Sheffield, England and lost control of his Corvette resulting in a significant accident. His car hit a stone wall and then flipped over a number of times. Allen was thrown from the vehicle due to an improperly attached seat belt that also severed his left arm from his torso.

A midwife who arrived on the scene soon after the accident packed Allen’s arm in ice. Alas, it was not able to be successfully reattached.

That should have been the end of his career as a classic rock drummer. But there are few people like Rick Allen, and even more so very few bands like Def Leppard, who were prepared to do what it took to help their drummer return to the fold as a productive member. This is a tale ultimately of perseverance.

Realizing his right foot could trigger many left arm tasks, Allen eventually had a custom electronic drum kit designed and built. Twenty months after the accident he took the stage again with Def Leppard at the Monsters of Rock Festival to a rare sort of applause. The album the band was working on when the accident happened, Hysteria, was even more successful than Pyromania, selling 20 million copies worldwide.

The “Thunder God” was born November 1, 1963, in Derbyshire, England. He joined his bandmates on March 29, 2019, in Brooklyn, NY, for Def Leppard’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Def Leppard have a massive stadium tour with Journey in 2024. Tickets are available here and here.

Best Classic Bands Staff

No Comments so far

Jump into a conversation

No Comments Yet!

You can be the one to start a conversation.

Your data will be safe!Your e-mail address will not be published. Also other data will not be shared with third person.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.