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Living with Disease and Disability Music

Rick Allen: One armed drummer

  • May 9, 2012
  • 2 min read
Rick Allen: One armed drummer

It is pretty difficult to imagine a drummer without a hand and that too a metal/hard rock drummer. Rick Allen is one inspirational musician living with disability who can challenge your imagination. Richard John Cryil Allen (born on Novemember 1, 1963) is the drummer for one of the greatest hard rock band “Def Leppard” since the age of 15.

“It was the seatbelt that actually came across my chest and severed my arm.” – Rick Allen

6 years after joining the band, a dreadful car accident on the New year’s eve of 1984, took away his left arm. Doctors initially reattached the arm but were forced to remove later as the infection set in. Amazingly, 2 years later the band released their 4th album “Hysteria” with Rick still on drums. His courage and determination refused to let this tragedy ruin his career and eventually led to the custom-built drum kit that he still plays today. Now, Rick’s left foot does the job that his left arm used to by utilizing a series of pedals.

The thought of being no more able to play the drums initially set in as hopelessness which he later turned to a motivation because he didn’t accept to be called “Ex-drummer” of Def Leppard. His disability doesn’t hinder his ability to play drums. He runs several side projects and charity works and it was with a single arm he earned him the respect of “Thunder God”.

Rick should not only be an inspiration to thousands of drummers of this generation but also to the people living with disability. Disability is no barrier for the things you love to do.

About Author

Sulabh Shrestha

Intern doctor and Medical Blogger Sulabh Shrestha