16 April 2010
Thunder God and Raven Drum Foundation
Def Leppard has had its share of triumphs and tragedies. However, they have managed to keep their music alive with a resilience to be admired.
One of those life-changing moments happened to Rick Allen (drummer) on December 31, 1984.On his way to a New Year’s Eve party, Allen lost control of his car and he was thrown from his vehicle and had his left arm severed. Thankfully another driver, a nurse, found Allen and his passenger and took them to a nearby hospital for treatment.
Attempts to save the arm were unsuccessful. Never a quitter, Rick Allen soon worked with engineers to create a special drum-kit to help him return to doing what he loved best, playing drums, with one arm. In 1986, Rick Allen made a triumphant return to the music world at the famous Monsters of Rock Festival at Castle Donington. Million-selling albums and successful tours later, Allen remains an important presence in the band and plays with as much power as ever.
He has ventured into other avenues and passions. One of those is was to co-found with his wife, Lauren Monroe, Raven Drum Foundation (http://www.ravendrumfoundation.org), a nonprofit organization in 2001. Their mission is to help people with the healing powers of drumming. With so many people afflicted by pain and injury through traumatic circumstances, this organization has proven to be an invaluable resource. Their popular "drum circle" workshops have been held at military bases, hospitals, detention centers and other community locations, with a special focus given to war veterans.
The entire band has embraced the foundation, and they have generously donated a portion of their concert tickets to military veterans. Allen has participated in special "meet and greets" with military veterans during the current Def Leppard Tour. The Raven Drum Foundation believes in the benefits of drumming and its therapeutic advantages.
Monroe is no stranger to the healing arts. She has been a teacher of energy healing and massage for many years. In addition, Monroe has worked with incarcerated teens, hospice care and crisis healing centers. Monroe, a vocalist, songwriter and musician, had the special gifts that provided her with the essential tools to be a brilliant asset to this outstanding foundation.
Their drumming workshops have been used to help relieve stress, help encourage a healthy immune system, control constant pain and reduce tension. Drumming has provided participants a welcome release for whatever trauma or negative feeling they may be experiencing.
some info on Ricks Kit set up...current setup is an acoustic kick and snare, with a snare sample that I can fire with my left foot as well.
From left to right it's snare trigger, hi-hat, kick drum, snare drum, and tom-tom on the floor--all on pedals. And then the top tier is pretty much a carbon copy of that: I've got pads that correspond, sound-wise, to what I've got on the floor pedals. The cymbals are all real.