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Rick Allen and the Wounded Warrior Project

17th Jun 2015

Def Leppard may be best known for its songs like, “Pour Some Sugar on Me,” or “Hysteria,” but this hard rock band has one thing that relatively few other bands can claim: a drummer who personally knows the value of drumming as therapy.

As the result of a street racing accident in 1984, Def Leppard drummer, Rick Allen, underwent the amputation of his left arm, a devastating injury that would have left most drummers without a means to pursue the passion for rhythm. With the help of Pearl Drums, a special drum set was developed for Allen, enabling him to play the snare with a foot pedal while still drumming away on the toms and cymbals. Since then, Allen has incorporated electronic drums into his performances, using samples of his acoustic drumming throughout the music, easily accessible through the pads of the hybrid drum sets he uses. These drum sets also include Zildjian cymbals, in addition to a custom-designed floor rig used to produce the sounds of his favorite drums and hi-hat sounds.

Despite the odds, Allen has been noted as one of the greatest drummers in rock and roll, and has attributed much of his own healing to the drums he plays. While often discussed among the fans of hand drums, the therapeutic benefits of drumming are not limited solely to drum circles and music therapists. Allen formed a partnership in 2009 with the Wounded Warrior Project, bringing not only inspiration to veterans, but a healing experience through the power of drums and rhythm.

Throughout his career, Allen has stood for the strength of spirit within a person. As a professional drummer, Allen’s talent is untouchable. When that talent is paired with a desire to help heal others, there can be no doubt that the healing benefits of drumming come directly from the heart of the drummers themselves.