December 31st 1984

Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen, on his way to a New Year’s Eve party at his family’s home, crashed his Corvette Stingray on the A57 outside Sheffield, England, losing his left arm in the accident.

The crash occurred when Allen was speeding on a country road near Sheffield, and Jaguar passed him. The driver had been egging Allen on and would not allow him to pass. In his rage to pass this driver, he did not see a turn up ahead and lost control of his car.

He misjudged a curve, crashed through a stone wall and flipped his car several times. Wearing an improperly fastened seat belt, the musician was ejected from the vehicle, although as he told the BBC, “I think my arm was left in the car.” A medical professional who fortunately lived nearby packed Allen’s arm in ice, but attempts to re-attach it to his body failed due to infection.

Over the course of about a year and a half, Allen would develop a new drum set to help him continue drumming with just one arm. He returned to performing on August 16th, 1986 at Donington as part of the Monsters of Rock festival.

Since the accident, he has started the Raven Drum Foundation dedicated to serving veterans and others in crisis. He also founded the One Hand Drum Company, whose proceeds benefit the Raven Drum Foundation.

https://rickallen.com

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