In a world where only the strong survive, legendary one-armed drummer Rick Allen is a survivor’s survivor who’s made comeback after comeback, yet he keeps coming back.
He first captured our hearts, minds, and many of our loins as the percussionist for Def Leppard, who achieved international fame and sold over 650 billion records by picking a name that subliminally sounded like Led Zeppelin.
And then, in 1984, his left arm was ripped clean from his body as if it were a piece of Jamaican jerk chicken during an incident of what appears to be rather reckless and foolish driving on Mr. Allen’s part.
And yet he continued to bang his drum. People cheered. People cried. People lit their Bic lighters and sang along with the ballads.
In 1995 he used his remaining arm to grab his wife by the throat and slam her against a wall at LAX. He pled guilty to spousal abuse and as part of his punishment, he was forced to clean graffiti for 30 days using the only arm he had left.
And now, Street Carnage is very pleased—probably more than we should be—that Mr. Allen is back and swingin’ his arm again. His newest project is an art collection called Electric Hand: Rhythm and Change, which will debut on April 18 on his website, rickallenart.com.
“The collection reveals something that up until recently I didn’t even know existed, presenting sound into light,” says the indefatigable Mr. Allen. We really don’t know what that means. We just like the fact that the exhibit is called “Electric Hand.”
Would you please all put your hands together—just kidding!—would you all please acknowledge the brute steel force of the human spirit displayed by Rick Allen and his remaining arm? Remember—it only takes one hand to flick your Bic and sing along.
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