Rick Allen, the iconic drummer for the 80s hair metal band Def Leppard, recently opened up about being attacked outside the Four Seasons hotel in Fort Lauderdale, FL this past March.
Sitting down with Good Morning America, Allen detailed the frightening circumstance he found himself in earlier this year just after one of his band’s concerts.
“I heard a couple of steps and then I just saw this [flash] and the next thing I knew [I was] on the ground. I landed on my backside… hit my head on the pavement,” he said, adding that he was totally “blindsided” by the attack.
Just four years after Def Leppard’s 1980 debut album, On Through The Night, Allen was involved in a horrific car crash that resulted in him losing his left arm. Passionate about his music, though, he pushed forward and continued to perform with the band, releasing iconic hit songs like “Pour Some Sugar On Me” and “Hysteria”.
But his distinctly visible disability has made him more vulnerable and harder to defend himself against such attacks as the one he suffered a few months ago.
While lying on the ground, Allen said he raised his arm towards the aggressor and said, “I am no threat to you.”
“I don’t think he knew who I was,” he admitted, “but he must have seen that I wasn’t a threat because, you know, I’ve only got one arm.”
It was at this point that a bystanding woman tried to intervene and was also allegedly attacked. The suspect was later identified as 19-year-old Max Hartley who has since pleaded not guilty.
Allen’s wife of twenty years, Lauren Monroe, was across the country at the time and said,” My heart just completely sank into me,” when she heard about the attack.
Having been a huge support for Allen since they’ve been together, Allen expressed his immense gratitude towards his family and faith for being able to pick him up when he’s down.
“I immediately just went to that place of just feeling grateful for the fact that I have an amazing wife and an incredible family,” he confessed, “and I just started thanking a higher power for the fact that I’m still here.”
Knowing trauma firsthand, Allen and his wife created the Raven Drum Foundation in 2001 which seeks to help trauma survivors – particularly veterans and first responders – by “integrating advocacy, storytelling, music and arts programs and events” to “support and inspire mental health, resiliency, and unity,” according to their website.
Allen concluded that he is using the remainder of his time alive to spread happiness while acknowledging that he won’t be performing forever.
“I know that I’m not going to be playing music in a band forever. But while I am, I plan on making as many people happy as I possibly can,” he declared. “And this is my time. This is my opportunity.”
Disabled Def Leppard Drummer, Rick Allen, Speaks Out About Being Assaulted After Show; “I Am No Threat to You”