Rick Allen, the drummer for Def Leppard, has responded publicly for the first time since he was violently attacked and sustained a head injury outside a Florida hotel last week.
Allen was attacked outside the Four Seasons hotel in Fort Lauderdale on 13 March, a day after the band played a show at another Florida venue as part of Def Leppard’s 40th anniversary tour.
Police have since arrested a 19-year-old, Max Hartley, on four counts of the felony of criminal mischief, one count of misdemeanour battery and one count of aggravated battery.
In a message posted to both Twitter and Instagram, Allen has since responded to the incident, which saw the 59-year-old get knocked to the ground and strike his head on the pavement.
In his message, he’s thanked fans and called on them to overcome the situation with a level of empathy. He wrote:
“Thank you everyone for your overwhelming support. Your love and prayers are truly helping. My wife Lauren [Monroe] was thankfully not with me at the time of the incident. We are together now, and working on recovering in a safe space.
“We ask you to join us in our effort to move from confusion and shock to compassion and empathy. We understand this act of violence can be triggering for so many people.
“To all of the fans, veterans, and first responders in our global community, we are thinking of you all. Together with love, we can all get through these difficult times.”
Nicknamed ‘The Thunder God’, Allen is well-known for having lost his arm in a car accident on 31 December, 1984.
Yet in one of the most inspiring stories in rock, he went on to play with a custom-made drumkit, making him part of not only the band’s most commercially successful period – including for 1987’s hugely popular Hysteria record – but continuing to play to this day.