Miami Herald: Def Leppard drummer shows off artwork

Reprinted from Miami Herald

By Madeleine Marr

The Def Leppard drummer has teamed with Wentworth Gallery to present his collection of artwork called “Angels and Icons” throughout the United States.

Allen will appear Saturday at the Las Olas location from noon to 3 p.m. and then travel to Boca Raton from 6 to 9 p.m.

The Englishman — whose legendary band is known for such classics as Hysteria, Photograph and Pour Some Sugar on Me — uses mostly acrylics for his mixed media pieces including images of flags, telephone boxes, hearts and angels.

“My art is sort of a reflection of my life experiences,” says Allen. “And it’s been a way to open up and express myself in a different way.”

When he paints, the 52-year-old musician says he feels the same sort of creative juices flowing as when he’s playing drums.

“I call it ‘the zone’ — the place where you go and there’s no real thought. What feels like 10 minutes can be two hours.”

Allen, who lost his left arm in a car accident more than 30 years ago, will donate a portion of the proceeds from each sale to Project Resiliency, supporting wounded veterans.

“I understand the struggles they go through, and I understand the strength of the human spirit,” says Allen, who is married with a 5-year-old daughter. “I’ve met up with some of these warriors and realized we were speaking the same language.”

Of his ability to thrive with one arm, Allen says: “Sure, I have obstacles, but don’t we all? I always say I’m a work in progress.”

Speaking of work: Later this month, on Jan. 29, Def Leppard takes the stage at the BB&T Center in Sunrise. The guys will play stuff off their new self-titled album, as well as the classics we know and love.

“The older songs — when you get them in front of an audience they take on their own personality. You get this wonderful feedback of years and years of this music being in people’s DNA. I never take it for granted. It’s a massive blessing.”