More than a photograph: Def Leppard drummer talks art, Rock Hall Induction

It just might have been the Thunder God who parted the gray and gloomy skies across the Delaware Valley Sunday.

A weekend originally slated for heavy snowfall was instead reduced to rain showers, with the sun coming out just before Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen's art showcase.

The exhibit was held at the King of Prussia Mall's Wentworth Gallery.

"It's not as bad as I thought it was gonna be, so I'm going ahead with everything," Allen said in a Sunday morning interview by phone.

Allen earned his moniker from beloved fans after returning to his perch, high up on a heavy metal drum riser, with a specialized electronic kit after losing his left arm in a New Year's Eve crash in 1984. Allen had driven his Corvette Stingray through a stone wall in England, causing the car to flip several times.

Allen's reported first observation at the time of the crash? His arm was gone, and he's the drummer in one of the biggest bands in the world.

"You can imagine when it happened it was horrible," he said.

Somehow, he found a deep, burning desire to bounce back, and his band would get even bigger.

"I didn't think I was gonna be able to go on, but I got so much support from my family, from the rest of the guys in the band, and there were people reaching out from all over the world, and I found the power of the human spirit and I was unstoppable at that point," Allen said.

What followed was the massively successful 1987 album "Hysteria," which gave forth to seven major singles, including radio staple "Pour Some Sugar on Me."

Life has been even sweeter since then, including Allen's prolific career as an artist and art collector.

The 55-year-old artist displayed some of his works on Good Day Philadelphia this past Friday.

"I actually started when I was young," Allen said. "Then I got into music, and then I started painting with my youngest daughter."

"To me, it's a gift. And I like the fact that I can connect with people in a different way you know? When people meet me back stage at a Def Leppard show it's normally really brief," he said. "We only get to spend a few minutes, and this is a really nice way for me to connect with Def Leppard fans in a different way, so I'm really happy."

Allen's heavy metal rocket ride is about to take him to music's most coveted orbit: an upcoming induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Def Leppard is a member of the Class of 2019.

"We had discussions towards the end of the last tour, and we were just really happy that so many people came out and voted for Def Leppard," he said. "I'm hoping that had influence on the Hall of Fame in terms of why we're getting in there."

Allen will be on hand for his "Legends and Dreams" collection at the Wentworth Gallery from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. Sunday.

More information on Allen's visual works can be found here.