It’s been over three decades since Rick Allen survived that traumatic car crash. Despite the high risk of never playing drums again, the drummer can still showcase his drumming skills as a member of Def Leppard. In a recent interview with The SDR Show, Rick Allen revealed whether the band considered auditioning another drummer following the tragic accident.
In the aftermath of the car crash, which cost Rick Allen his left arm, the band started to think about ways to allow him to play drums again. Allen was also pretty eager to continue with Def Leppard, but he had doubts about how. Then, a custom electronic drum kit came to the rescue — and Rick started using his legs instead of his left arm. During that period, Def Leppard never sought a replacement for the drummer and supported him through those challenging times.
“It was never even a question,” said Rick Allen, revealing the band never even considered replacing him. “We brought in a guy named Jeff Rich; he was playing with the band called Status Quo at the time. That was really a safety net, him playing acoustic drums and me playing electronic drums because electronic drums at that point were a bit of an unknown quantity. So, we just wanted to cover all basses, but after a few shows, I realized that I could do it myself.”
“I played more deliberately and more simply,” Allen continued when asked about when he realized his drumming skills were as good. “But there was a confidence that I started to experience with one arm that I remember experiencing with two. So, it was there.”
So, Jeff Rich was the only person joining Def Leppard at the time when Rick Allen was getting used to using his custom drum kit and playing the songs he used to play with both arms. However, Rich was only temporary, and he played at the mini warm-up tour of Ireland to support Allen. According to the drummer, he later realized he could handle the drumming duties alone and started playing as he used to before.