Rick Allen (drummer)
|Birth name||Richard John Cyril Allen|
|Also known as||The Thunder God|
|Born||1 November 1963|
Dronfield, Derbyshire, England
|Associated acts||Def Leppard|
Richard John Cyril Allen (born 1 November 1963) is an English drummer who has played for the hard rock band Def Leppard since 1978. He overcame the amputation of his left arm in 1984 and continued to play with the band, which subsequently went on to its most commercially successful phase. He is known as "The Thunder God" by fans. He is ranked No. 7 on the UK website Gigwise in The Greatest Drummers of All Time list.
Rick Allen was born on 1 November 1963 in Dronfield, Derbyshire to Geoffrey Allen and Kathleen Moore, and started playing drums at the age of nine. He performed in the bands Grad, Smokey Blue, Rampant, and the Johnny Kalendar Band. When Allen was 14, his mother replied on his behalf to an advertisement placed by a band called Def Leppard looking for a drummer to replace Tony Kenning ("Leppard loses skins" was the advertisement's headline). He later joined the band on 1 November 1978, which was his 15th birthday. In 1979, he dropped out of school to concentrate on a career in music. Allen celebrated his 16th birthday with a performance at the Hammersmith Odeon, when Def Leppard opened for AC/DC.
Crash and recovery
On the afternoon of 31 December 1984, Allen was involved in a car crash, with his then-girlfriend Miriam Barendsen, on the A57 road in the countryside a few miles west of Sheffield. While trying to pass a red Alfa Romeo at a high speed, he lost control of his Corvette C4, which hit a dry stone wall and entered a field. He was thrown from the car because his safety belt had been improperly fastened, causing his left arm to be severed. Reportedly, a woman who lived nearby responded to the scene to assist the victims. When asked by Allen "do you know who I am?", the woman said she didn't recognize Allen and wasn't familiar with Def Leppard. The woman packed his severed arm in ice to provide to first responders. His girlfriend suffered head, neck, and spine injuries from severe whiplash. Doctors initially reattached Allen's arm but, because of an infection, it had to be amputated. His right shoulder was also severely broken in the crash. Despite losing his arm, Allen soon decided to continue playing drums with Def Leppard, and adopted a specially-designed electronic drum kit. The band took a hiatus from onstage performances until August 16, 1986, when Allen was able to return to live drumming at the Monsters of Rock festival at Castle Donington. He has since re-adopted partially-acoustic drum kits depending on the setting.
Allen has used custom-manufactured cable routing by Whirlwind. He uses four electronic pedals for his left foot to play the pieces he used to play with his left arm, which from left to right trigger sounds of a closing hi-hat, bass drum, snare drum, and a tom drum.
In 2009, Yamaha announced the addition of Rick Allen to their artist roster. Allen plays Yamaha Oak Custom drums with a matching subkick. Allen also uses Remo drumheads (usually he has coated Ambassadors on his drums and a clear Powerstroke 3 on his bass drum), Zildjian cymbals (mostly K customs, Z Customs and A customs), and a LP rock cowbell.  He previously used Paiste 2002, RUDE and Sound Creation cymbals.
Allen and his wife Lauren Monroe are the co-founders of the Raven Drum Foundation, a charity. Allen also formed the One Hand Drum Company to provide funding for the Raven Drum Foundation. The company primarily sells merchandise featuring "Stick Rick", an illustrated character representing Allen.
Allen was married to Stacy Lauren Gilbert from 1991 to 2000. In 1995, Allen was arrested for spousal abuse and was sentenced to a work crew and ordered to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. He married Lauren Cuggino Monroe in 2003; Monroe is also a musician and Allen has contributed to some of her albums.
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- August 2016, Rick Allen19. "Def Leppard: the story behind Rick Allen's triumphant comeback". Classic Rock Magazine. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
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- Yamaha Welcomes Legendary Rick Allen to its Drum Roster | Yamaha Artists. Yamaha.com (16 October 2009). Retrieved on 15 September 2011.
- Whirlwind / Def Leppard Archived 19 November 2005 at the Wayback Machine
- "Def Leppard Drummer Rick Allen Welcomes PMC's "Roadie for a Day" Grand Prize Winner". PlayDrums.com. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
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- "Raven Drum Foundation: Celebrity Supporters". Look to the Stars. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
- O'Connor, Mike (14 January 2020). "Rick Allen – The One-Armed Drummer from Def Leppard (His Modified Drum Set, The Accident)". Electronic Drum Advisor. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
- "Def Leppard drummer charged in attack". UPI. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
- "Def Leppard News - Rick Allen Produces Wife Lauren Monroe's New Single Give". Def Leppard Tour History. Retrieved 28 May 2020.