I am a total sucker for ‘from tragedy to triumph’ stories and the one involving Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen is up there as one of my favorites. 30 years ago this month, Allen was anointed a nickname that stands to this day, and with good reason.
Here’s Rick discussing the genesis behind his innovate drum kit, which he conceptualized mere days after his horrific accident back in 1984.
His hard work and sheer will culminated in Def Leppard’s appearance at the Monsters of Rock festival in August of 1986. They were scheduled for nine shows, with drummer Jeff Rich set to back Rick up. But before the third show, Rich’s flight was delayed, leaving Allen to fly solo.
Though Rich managed to make the gig midway through, Joe Elliott said he didn’t even notice Rick was bashing away on his own. Though the image is grainy, I can’t help but get sucked in.
From that instant on, Rick Allen became known as the ‘Thunder of God’. Another applicable nickname could very well have been a ‘Monster of Rock’.