Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen is widely known for drumming with only one arm due to a car accident he was involved in back in 1984. However, Allen said he was close to losing both of his arms during the accident.
In a new interview with Joe Rock, Allen said, “Not too many people know this, but I broke my right arm really badly [in the 1984 accident], and during the healing process, the hospital, they said, ‘There’s a chance that you may lose your right arm as well.'”
He continued, “So when I was able to get through that horrible period in time and get all the infection out of there and then actually fix the bone and the arm, you can imagine I was so grateful.”
Allen’s accident took place on December 31, 1984 near Sheffield, England. He was driving a Corvette C4 at the time and tried to pass another car while speeding, which resulted in him losing control of the car. His left arm was severed from his body in the crash. Doctors had attempted to reattach the limb, but the arm ended up getting infected and had to be amputated.
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 and Def Leppard would triumphantly return to performing on August 16, 1986 at Donington as part of the Monsters of Rock festival.