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Rick Allen remains one of rock’s most inspirational stories, and it turns out, it took a little inspiration to get him to start drumming again following the car accident that resulted in him losing his left arm.

The Def Leppard drummer, who celebrates his birthday on November 1, said in a recent interview with Modern Drummer, “I remember coming around in the hospital and then realizing what had happened to me after the accident, and honestly, I wanted to disappear. I didn’t wanna do this anymore.”

He continued, “And then I started getting these letters from all over the world… I got encouragement from everywhere — from my family, from the guys [in the band], from people all over the world. And I don’t know what happened, but I discovered the power of the human spirit and just said, ‘You know what? I can do this.’ It was really a collective thing. It was all this encouragement I was getting from other people, and then it just manifested in wanting to succeed. And that’s exactly where it came from.”

Allen said of his bandmates, “They left the decision to me, whether I wanted to go on or not, and they gave me time to grow and develop, really, a whole new style [of playing.] And that’s all I needed — I just needed the time. I needed the time to build my confidence and realize that I could do it. Nobody ever said, ‘Well, you have to make a decision now.’ I think that was the most important thing — just that time that they gave me just to find myself.”

 

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Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock news blogger who's well versed in etiquette and extraordinarily nice.