Def Leppard vocalist Joe Elliot talked about the band’s drummer Rick Allen, who lost his arm in and still continued to play his instrument. Joe told All Things Considered (via Blabbermouth):
“We were never going to fire him because of an accident. That’s just not the British way of doing things…
“It wasn’t a business. It was a cliquey little club that was ours and ours alone, and when one of us gets kind of lost by the wayside, it’s a hard thing to bring somebody else in.
“Even back in the early days, when Tony decided – God bless him – he’d rather go to the movies with his girlfriend than rehearse, we had to get another drummer, because the four of us didn’t want to stop just because he did.
“It was incredibly difficult to get rid Pete Willis, and it was hard to make a choice to replace Steve [Clark], because we all saw a unit in that respect. Obviously, we’re not quite as solid as a band like U2 because they’ve never had to deal with that kind of thing.
“When you think about they had the same four guys that started about nine months after we did, it’s quite an astonishing achievement that they are still as big and as popular as they are. With us, when Steve was struggling with his drinking, we rallied around him.
“With Pete, when he was struggling with his, we rallied around him as long as we possibly could until he got impossible, which is why we got Phil in. When Rick lost his arm, there was no way we were going to say, ‘Okay, you’re done, so we’re just going to put an advert out for someone else.’
“I’d be lying if we didn’t think as human beings that, gone through what he’d just gone through, he probably wouldn’t play the drums again. We all thought that for maybe two or three days until he came out of the coma he was in. Once he was upright, he actually said, ‘I think I figured a way around it.’
“I remember me and Phil kind of looking at each other and [thinking], ‘Yeah, that’s the drugs talking.’ We went back to work on the album, because he’d already played a load of drums on what was the first draft of ‘Hysteria’, so we had lots of work to be getting on with overdubs and stuff like that where he didn’t need to be there.
“We did all that and let him get on with it, and he was there in the background just chiseling away in his mind about move everything he did with that one limb into his leg. Then he had to put into practice, and he locked himself away with an electronic drum kit. We never went anywhere near him.
“It would have been wrong to hover over his shoulder, watching him re-learn how to play, so we left him alone until he decided he wanted us to hear it. After about four or five months, I remember he came into the control room in the studio in Holland and said, ‘I want you to come and listen to something.’
“We all went in there not knowing what to expect, and it was quite simple, but he just started playing the beginning of ‘When the Levee Breaks’ by Led Zeppelin, and it was astonishing.
“It was, like, ‘My God – if you shut your eyes, it sounds like a drummer.’ That was the beginning. He didn’t play his first gig until the summer of ’86, so he had a good 18 months to get his head wrapped around it all”.