The dude lost his arm and still held it down in Def Leppard. That makes him a rock legend in my book. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Welcome to another edition of Today in Boston ROCK, where I, Adam 12, spotlight Very Important Days In Rock History. December 31st is one.
December 31, 1942: Andrew James Somers is born in Poulton-le-Fylde in the U.K. You know him as Andy Summers, guitarist extraordinaire for the Police. In a trio, there’s no place to hide, and Andy’s guitar work has always been front-and-center, like in this version of “Truth Hits Everybody” from the Orpheum in 1979.
December 31, 1951: Thomas William Hamilton is born in Colorado Springs, CO. At the age of 19, he was gigging with guitarist Joe Perry in Sunapee, NH and the two met vocalist Steven Tyler. You know the rest. And since Tom celebrates his birthday on New Year’s Eve, let’s flash back to one of those legendary Aerosmith NYE shows at the Garden.
December 31, 1984: Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen loses his left arm in a New Year’s Eve car crash. We all know the story of his eventual recovery and how he’s gone on to become a legend behind the kit, so let’s instead revisit this news story where Allen recounts that fateful day.
I can’t revisit Rick Allen’s crash without thinking of the Bloodhound Gang’s 1997 single “Why’s Everybody Always Picking On Me?” because Jimmy Pop raps: “THE DRUMMER FROM DEF LEPPARD’S ONLY GOT ONE ARM!”