Def Leppard's Rick Allen helps self and others

Rick Allen knows about drumming. Since he was 15, he's been the drummer for the heavy-metal band Def Leppard.

And he knows about crisis. In 1984, when he was 21, he lost his left arm in a car wreck. Two years later, he returned as Def Leppard's drummer, manipulating electronic pedals with his left foot to play what he used to with his left arm. Now 45, he will drum with the band Friday at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.

Offstage, Allen has put the two together — musicianship and hardship — in a nonprofit organization, founded with his wife, Lauren Monroe, that combines drumming with alternative therapies to bring relief to people in crisis.

Started in 2001, their Raven Drum Foundation has evolved into a group that focuses on helping veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. Many have lost limbs in bombings and require years of rehabilitation and a lifetime of adaptation.

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