On this day in music history: December 31, 198…

On this day in music history: December 31, 1984 – Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen loses his left arm in an automobile accident near Sheffield, UK. While on a break from recording “Hysteria”, the follow up to the bands’ multi-platinum album “Pyromania”, Allen is driving in his Corvette Stingray with girlfriend Miriam Barendsen. The two are on the way to a party at Allen’s family home in Sheffield, when a driver in an Alfa Romeo passes them on the road and then prevents them from passing on either side. Allen becomes enraged and attempts to pass the car again, when he doesn’t see a sharp turn on the road ahead. He loses control of the car which becomes airborne, flying over a stone wall and into a field. Allen is thrown from the vehicle, during which his left arm is severed by his improperly fastened seat belt. Barendsen, still in the car (which lands upside down), only receives minor injuries, her life being saved by having worn her seat belt. Allen is rushed to a hospital where his arm is reattached. Unfortunately, infection sets in shortly after, forcing doctors to amputate the arm. After a period of rehabilitation and recovery, Rick Allen teaches himself how to play drums again, using a specially designed electronic drum kit with foot pedals allowing him to trigger drum sounds with his left foot. Allen rejoins his band mates and resumes recording the album in progress.