Def Leppard's Rick Allen and 10 More Miraculous Rock Recoveries

4. Sean Kingston
Sean Kingston probably hasn't been back in the water since May 2010, when the "Fire Burning" singer nearly lost his life in a jetski accident. Kingston and a female passenger collided with the side of a bridge in Miami, with the singer suffering a torn aorta(!), broken jaw, fractured wrist and water in his lungs. He was in the intensive care unit for more than 10 days.

The 21-year-old pulled through, though, eventually making a full recovery. In something of a silver lining, the rehabilitation helped him lose 70 pounds. He also probably got rid of the jetski, which are always a terrible investment.

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3. Frank Zappa
The Mothers thought Frank Zappa was dead after a psychotic fan pushed the guitar freak. Luckily, Zappa was only terribly injured. During a typically lengthy encore at London's Rainbow Theatre in December 1971, an audience member bum-rushed the stage and shoved Zappa off. He plummeted into the orchestra pit, splattering on the concrete below and suffering multiple bone fractures, head trauma and injuries to his back, leg and neck.

The singer even managed to survive a crushed larynx. (Those kung fu movies lied to us.) His voice dropped a third after he recovered, but he returned to the studio -- and the stage.

2. James Hetfield
Metallica likes explosions onstage. That's a given. The pyrotechnic blasts were never bigger than on the band's co-headlining tour with Guns N' Roses in 1992. Singer James Hetfield found out just how big they were when he accidentally wandered into one during the song "Fade to Black" at Montreal's Olympic Stadium.

Suddenly, it was Hetfield who was blackened. His trusty ESP guitar may have saved his life. It shielded him from part of the blast, which engulfed his left side. His hair caught fire instantly, and he suffered second- and third-degree burns to his hand, arm, eyebrows and face. Guns N' Roses wasn't prepared to follow that act, and the crowd rioted after Axl and co. turned in an abbreviated performance.

With the help of what we can assume was a great deal of alcohol, Hetfield was back onstage singing 17 days later.

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Regarding Rick Allen's car crash. He WAS wearing his seatlbelt. The problem was, from what Ive read, he either didnt fasten it completely or the latch was faulty.

MadMac topcommenter

I love that Mustaine claimed he lost the use of his arm after a motorcycle accident--those oh-so-kewl rockers and their Harley scooters--come to find out he just slept funny.

Kimberly Branson
Kimberly Branson

Some honorable mentions: country singer Barbara Mandrell and her children surviving a head-on collision in 1984; Richard Thompson and Ashley Hutchings recovering from serious injuries sustained in a spring 1969 van crash that killed Thompson's costume designer girlfriend Jeanyne Franklin and Martin Lamble, drummer of Thompson and Hutchings' band band Fairport Convention; Nancy Nevins reuniting with her band Sweetwater more than two decades after she and her friend were broadsided by a drunk driver December 8, 1969, critically injuring her and causing her voice to drop by half of what it once was; and producer emeritus Quincy Jones, who enters the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame thirty-plus years after he was found with a double-brain aneurysm that would have ended his great life and career had it not been removed in time.


@DSchiller That what the man says, but I'm not sure I buy it. Then again, he was there and I wasn't.


@MadMac Could be that he was shy about admitting his 14th or 15th trip to rehab. It's not like he was a young kid paying for some mistakes by that point -- he was already officially old when he screwed up his arm. 

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