Home Entertainment Def Leppard : The story behind drummer one arm

Def Leppard : The story behind drummer one arm

was the band’s second , joining Def in 1978.

When was 14, his mother replied to an advert to replace the band’s former , Tony Kenning, and by November 1, 1978, he had joined the band.

was just 15-years-old at the time, and in 1979, he dropped out of school to concentrate on a career in music full time, which saw him performing on stage, opening for AC/DC on his 16th birthday.

However, these glory days were set to change when a terrible accident saw his life completely change.

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On December 31, 1984, and his then-girlfriend Miriam Barendsen were driving on the A57 just outside Sheffield, from which the band hails.

According to Ultimate Classic Rock, misjudged a curve which saw the car crash through a stone wall and flip car several times.

’s seatbelt was not fully fastened, therefore he was ejected from the vehicle.

He told the BBC: “I think my arm was left in the car,” though someone who lived nearby packed his arm in ice, in the hope of reattaching it.

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“At first even walking was a trial, but I locked myself away in a room at my parents’ house in Dronfield and just played and played.

“There were times when I thought I just couldn’t do it and wanted to curl up into a ball and give up. But I persevered.

continued to practise on a specially designed electric kit, often in a separate studio to his bandmates, who at no point sought a full-time replacement for him.

Jeff Rich, another , acted as a stand-in for , playing alongside him at gigs and in rehearsals.

According to , Rich missed a flight to join them for a gig in Ireland, so played alone, showing his bandmates what he could do.

From then on, he performed as their only , making a triumphant return at Monsters of Rock, a festival in 1986.

While has openly spoken about the darker side of his recovering, which included self-medicating and PTSD, he also hopes to try and help those who are suffering in similar ways to him.

Speaking to ABC News in 2012, he added: “I didn’t know what my life would be like after that terrible day. It was the darkest time in my life…

“My desire is to encourage a support system for warriors, de-stigmatize PTSD, share their stories and offers alternative ways to pave the road to resiliency and health.”

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