Rick Allen said one of the first letters of support he opened after losing his arm came from Phil Collins.
The Def Leppard drummer was coming to terms with the car crash that almost left him without both arms, as he began dealing with the stack of goodwill notes he had received.
“Phil Collins’ happened to be one of the first letters that I opened, a letter of encouragement while I was actually still in hospital in 1985,” Allen said in a recent episode of Rock Talk With Mitch Lafon. “So if you get to see him, please send him my love and regards.”
He recalled Collins’ “incredible words of encouragement,” noting that “there were hundreds of thousands of letters, but his stood out because he obviously knew what it would be like – or he had an inkling of what it would be like – to be a drummer and to be involved in something so horrific … so it just meant that much more.” You can watch the interview below.
Allen said the idea of therapy had not come up when he left the hospital after a month. “At 21 years old, that wasn’t what I signed up for,” he explained. “I was still full of beans and ready to go.” He credited his Def Leppard bandmates for giving him time to decide about his future, “which took the pressure off.”
“And that was really the crux of what I was dealing with,” he added. “Did I just want to disappear and sort of blend into the scenery? Or did I want to go on? Love of family, love of people all over the planet … I really just discovered the power of the human spirit. And that’s what really catapulted me into where I am now.”