DEF LEPPARD drummer Rick Allen, who has been expressing himself in recent years through his artwork, spoke to the BIG 100 radio station about his "Legends" series of paintings which includes Jimi Hendrix and John Lennon.
Allen, who started painting at an early age before he ever picked up the drums, said (see video below): "The last [painting] I did was Neil Peart [of RUSH]. I was really devastated when he went… I didn't know him well, but he was always such a gentleman. I just really looked up to him, and he's inspired so many, so many players on the drums. So that was the last piece that I did."
Regarding how he creates his "Legends" paintings, Allen said: "I'll do originals, and then we'll do mixed media based off of those. But the originals, they're really everyone that's inspired me over the years and probably the reason why I do what I do and I play drums with DEF LEPPARD."
Allen became the drummer for DEF LEPPARD at age 15. At the height of worldwide fame in 1984, he had a car accident that changed his life. Rick lost an arm, but turned personal tragedy into spiritual transformation and continued his musical career. While he was already a hero to millions of young people, he soon added millions of new admirers. Since then, Rick has been reaching out and giving support to others all over the globe by sharing his personal experiences and his love of drumming. Over the past 17 years, Rick has reached out to teenage cancer patients, children with special needs, at risk youth in crisis, families of domestic violence and veterans who have served in Vietnam, Desert Storm, Iraq and Afghanistan. He was awarded the Humanitarian Award by Maria Shriver's Best Buddies in 2002 and in 2012, was also awarded the prestigious Wounded Warrior Project's Carry It Forward Award. Rick continues his work helping wounded warriors through Project Resiliency's Warrior Resiliency Program sponsored by his charity foundation the Raven Drum Foundation.
An integral part of Rick's creative life went public in 2012. After years of personal photographic work, Allen ventured into the fine art world with a blockbuster debut collection of abstract artwork built from rhythm. Allen has become a pioneer in the new medium, utilizing drumsticks and rhythm to dictate abstract visuals on canvas.