Rick Allen lost his left arm in a street-racing accident when he was 21.
Bailey Rideout lost the ability to use most of his left arm after suffering a stroke when he was five.
The accident didn't stop Allen from becoming a rock star alongside the other members of Def Leppard — Rideout has no intention of letting his disability stop him either.
After meeting his idol through Make-A-Wish Canada, Rideout, a 14-year-old Hanmer resident, is even more determined to learn to play drums.
Since the fourth grade, Rideout had been fascinated with Allen and Def Leppard. The youngster had told a friend he wanted to play drums, but his friend said it was impossible with only one arm.
A disappointed Rideout told his dad about the conversation, and it wasn't long after that the aspiring musician had found someone to look up to. Since then, he has been a big fan of Allen's work with Def Leppard.
In the middle of July, Rideout and his family had the chance to meet Allen before watching the band play in Montreal. The Make-A-Wish foundation supplied his family with air fair, a limo ride and backstage passes to the show.
Smiling from ear to ear, Rideout said it was “a good experience.” While he was a little bit shy at first, Rideout said Allen was friendly and easy to talk to.
“I asked him if it was hard for him to learn to play drums after his accident,” Rideout recalled. “He said no.” Allen uses his right arm and foot pedals to play — something that Rideout would like to eventually learn to do.
Lynne Rideout, Bailey's mom, said the concert was a great experience for the whole family.
“They played all the good ones,” she said. “Bailey was rockin' it.”
The aspiring musician especially liked hearing his favourite song, Let's Get Rocked.
Posted by Arron Pickard