Rick Allen joined Sheffield band Def Leppard in 1978 when he was 15-years-old, and since then, he has toured the world, sold more than 100 million records, and in 2019 was inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame.
Several years after joining the band, In 1984, Allen lost his left arm in a car accident after crashing his Corvette Stingray on the A57 near Sheffield. The incident changed his life forever and left him with post-traumatic stress disorder, but his resilience ultimately helped him continue playing for the band.
After the birth of his youngest daughter 11 years ago, Allen reignited his lifelong love of painting, which he claims is “therapeutic”.
He was at the Wentworth Gallery in Atlanta this week for the installation of his solo art exhibition, titled “Wings Of Hope.”
Speaking to WABE publication, he said: “I did a piece a long time ago called ‘Wings of Hope.’ I just felt like it was very fitting. We’re in this terrible situation with this worldwide pandemic, and I feel ‘Wings of Hope’ is something that we all need at the moment. We all need something to look forward to. Hopefully, with that in mind, we can somehow put this behind us in the not-too-distant future.”
“In amongst ‘Wings of Hope,’ I’ve been doing the ‘Legends’ series, which is paintings of people that really inspired me through the years – musicians, singers, drummers, you name it,” said Allen, “But unfortunately, people that aren’t with us anymore, people that are passed. But the fact still remains, these incredible, incredible artists inspired me probably to the point where I wouldn’t necessarily be doing what I’m doing today if it wasn’t for the likes of Jimi Hendrix or John Lennon.”
Sheffield’s Def Leppard established themselves as part of the new wave of British heavy metal movement of the early 1980s and are best known for releasing chart-topping singles such as “Photograph,” “Pour Some Sugar on Me,” and “Hysteria.”
The band consists of Joe Elliott (lead vocals), Rick Savage (bass), Rick Allen (drums, backing vocals), Phil Collen (guitars, backing vocals), and Vivian Campbell (guitars, backing vocals)