December 31, 1984: Def Leppard Drummer Rick Allen Loses Arm to Car Crash
Dimitrios Kambouris, Getty Images
It's a scene from a drummer's worst nightmare: 28 years ago, Rick Allen of Def Leppard lost the entirety of his left arm after crashing his Corvette while street racing.
The 21-year-old was speeding on the way to a party in his family home in Sheffield, England when another driver who he claimed had been provoking him attempted to pass him. Allen became reckless in his attempt to retaliate, failing to see an upcoming turn and lost control of his car. He was thrown out of the flipped-over vehicle and his arm was severed due to a poorly fastened seatbelt.
Despite living through this horrific cautionary tale, Allen got a happy ending. The drummer was able to enlist the help of engineers to create a drum set that would accommodate his needs. He continues to use his remaining arm -- and the help of his feet -- to rock on today.