Having one hand doesn’t discourage someone from doing something they genuinely enjoy. Rick Allen proved that to the world through his music.
Rick is famously known as the one-handed drummer of the band Def Leppard. His passion for music motivates musicians o perform their best. He’s surely one of the best drummers in the hard rock industry.
Rick Allen Biography
Rick Allen, or Richard John Cyril Allen, was born in Dronfield, Derbyshire, on November 1, 1963. He was born to Geoffrey Allen and Kathleen Moore couple. His parents supported him in pursuing music as they had already allowed him to play drums at 9.
At such a young age, Rick joined several bands, such as Smokey Blue, Rampant, Grad, and the Johnny Kalendar Band. When Rick was 14, his mother tried to apply him to Def Leppard because the band was searching for a replacement for Tony Kenning, the band’s drummer, at that time.
Rick was accepted and joined the group on November 1, 1978, the same date as his birthday.
Rick Allen Music Career and Car Accident
Allen started his music career at 15. He immediately trained himself to become a great drum player for Def Leppard. As a result, he was called “The Thunder God” and received many musical awards and recognition from the group and the music industry.
On December 31, 1984, Rick experienced a life-changing event due to a car accident with his then-girlfriend Miriam Barendsen. As a result, he lost his left arm because of the needed amputation due to the infection.
However, that accident didn’t make him leave the drumming world. He kept playing drums and tried to re-adapt himself to playing the drums. With determination, Rick found a new way of playing – with his foot and only one arm.
On August 1986, Rick Allen was able to perform at the Monsters of Rock festival at Castle Donington. It was his return moment in live drumming.
He was also able to record the group’s biggest hits album, Hysteria (1987), with one-handed drumming.
Project from Rick Allen
Raven Drum Foundation
Allen, with her wife Lauren Monroe, formed a charity organization named Raven Drum Foundation in 2001.
Although both work in the music area, Lauren is focused on the healing aspect of music. Thus, they made this non-profit group channel their goals into helping people.
The goal of the Raven Drum Foundation is to serve, educate, and empower first responders, Veterans, and trauma survivors in our intensive campaign to prevent suicide by providing innovative wellness-support programs.
They use drumming as a therapeutic tool for participants who can use rhythm, mindfulness meditation, and energy medicine methods as an avenue for connection. In addition, they also provide Complementary Alternative Medicine (CAM) programs for traumatic recovery.
One-Hand Drum Company
Besides Raven Drum Foundation, Allen also has projects named One Hand Drum Company. It’s still related to the organization, but this project is more profit-oriented, such as selling merchandise like “Stick Rick” and posting articles.
The project’s profit will later be allocated to the Raven Foundation to help with the funding of the organization.
Most Frequently Ask Questions
How did the drummer from Def Leppard lose an arm?
On the A57 road in Sheffield, he lost control of his Corvette C4 while attempting to overtake another vehicle at a high rate of speed. It struck a dry stone wall and entered a field before coming to rest; his left arm was severed.
How does Rick Allen play drums with one arm?
He used a custom-made electronic drum kit. The most significant change in his playing is switching his left arm to his left foot in controlling a series of pedals that replace certain traditional drum set elements.
Rick Allen was genuinely an admirable drum player for his fellow musicians. The unfortunate incidents didn’t make him lose his dreams of pursuing a music career. On contrary, it makes him one of the most exceptional musicians in the rock world.
Apart from that, Rick’s dedication to people in need can also be seen in the projects he has undertaken to date.