FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen says he was blindsided during an attack on him outside a South Florida hotel following a concert earlier this year.
“I heard a couple of steps and then I just saw this (flash) and the next thing I knew was I was on the ground,” Allen, 59, told ABC’s ” Good Morning America ” in an interview broadcast Monday. “I landed on my backside — hit my head on the pavement.”
Def Leppard was in Fort Lauderdale to perform at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino when he was attacked March 13 while taking a smoke break outside a hotel.
Police arrested Max Hartley, a 19-year-old from Avon, Ohio, who has pleaded not guilty to two counts of battery and four counts of criminal mischief, according to court records. Police said they have not determined a motive.
“I don’t think he knew who I was, but he must have seen that I wasn’t a threat because, you know, I’ve only got one arm,” said Allen, who lost his left arm in a car accident in 1984.
According to the police report, Hartley was hiding behind a pillar outside the hotel and then ran at Allen, knocking him to the ground. He also attacked a woman who tried to help Allen, but she wasn’t seriously injured.
Hartley then ran to another hotel and started breaking car windows until he was stopped by witnesses and police arrived, police said.
Hartley’s lawyer, Kevin Gardiner, said in an email that he can’t comment on a pending case.
Allen’s head struck the ground during the attack, and he and his wife, Lauren Monroe, told “Good Morning America” that they’ve been focusing on his recovery.
“My heart just completely sank into me. I know the journey of trauma. Everything stopped in our house and focused on him,” Monroe said.
The couple created the Raven Drum Foundation to help survivors of trauma, especially veterans and first responders, in 2001.
Allen and his bandmates performed Friday at a small venue in their hometown of Sheffield, England, on Friday before kicking off their European tour.
“I know that I’m not going to be playing music in a band forever,” said Allen. “But while I am, I plan on making as many people happy as I possibly can. And this is my time. This is my opportunity.”
Rick Allen (drummer)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Rick Allen was born on 1 November 1963 in Dronfield, Derbyshire to Kathleen Moore and Geoffrey Allen, and started playing drums at the age of nine.
He performed in the bands Grad, Smokey Blue, Rampant, and the Johnny Kalendar Band. When Allen was 14, his mother replied on his behalf to an advertisement placed by a band called Def Leppard looking for a drummer to replace Tony Kenning (“Leppard loses skins” was the advertisement’s headline). He later joined the band on 1 November 1978, which was his 15th birthday. In
1979, he dropped out of school to concentrate on a career in music. Allen celebrated his 16th birthday with a performance at the Hammersmith Odeon, when Def Leppard opened for AC/DC.
On the afternoon of 31 December 1984, Allen was involved in a car crash, with his then-girlfriend Miriam Barendsen, on the A57 road in the countryside a few miles west of Sheffield.
A car in front deliberately slowed for Allen to catch up, then sped up as he tried to pass, this went on for a few miles until in frustration, Allen accelerated to finally pass but lost control of the left-hand drive Corvette C4, which hit a dry stone wall and entered a field; his left arm was entangled in the seat-belt and severed, remaining in the car while Allen was flung out. Doctors initially re-attached the arm, but it was later amputated due to an infection.
Initially Allen felt ‘defeated’ but buoyed by ‘family, friends and hundreds of thousands of letters from all over the planet’ he decided to continue playing drums with Def Leppard, and adopted a specially designed electronic drum kit.
The band took a hiatus from onstage performances until 5 Aug 1986, (Rick Allen’s first live performance since losing his left arm) doing a small run of public rehearsal shows in Ireland in advance of their 16 August 1986 Monsters of Rock festival performance at Castle Donington. He has since re-adopted partially acoustic drum kits depending on the setting.