Famous Missing Digits (missing fingers)!!!

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Mcrelly, Oct 14, 2003.

  1. Mcrelly


    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
    Name some popular or well known musicians who are missing digits (fingers).

    The other day I was watching the "Classic Albums" video for Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon, Great video by the way, and I thought I noticed that roger waters was missing his index finger on his right hand??? or was I seeing or not seeing things???

    Jerry Garcia is another musician I was thinking of...
  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Django Reinhardt is the obvious example - although Jimmy Page famously broke several fingers on his left hand but carried on playing with Led Zeppelin by adapting his technique! :eek:

    How about lost limbs or whole hands? So Ravel wrote his "Piano Concerto for the left Hand" for the piano virtuoso Paul Wittgenstein, who lost his right arm in the First World War! :(
  3. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Tony Iommi lost his left-hand fingertips in his youth and wears plastic fingercaps when he plays.

    Django not really lost fingers, his hand was so badly burnt that some fingers got crooked and immobile because of the scar tissue.
  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well - he lost the use of them - like in the Jimmy Page example I gave. I just remember Jimmy Page talking about how Django inspired him to carry on playing, even when he only had 2 or 3 fingers usable!
  5. yoshi


    Jul 12, 2002
    England, London
    Ron Jarzombek (spastic ink and otehrs) 'wasted' his hand and was out of playing for sometime (according to numerous reference on his site - can anyone clear up how his hand was wasted out of interest?).

    Tony Iommi is the one I was going to put forward though :)
  6. the only one i can think of is Rick Allen of Def Leopard. lost his whole arm in a car accident about 8(?) years after joining the band, AND continued to play with them!

    how's THAT for commitment!

  7. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    IIRC, Phil Keaggy is missing about half of his middle finger on his picking hand.
  8. Les Paul has his right arm shattered in an auto accident. The surgeons told him that he would not be able to bend the arm at the elbow ever again....so he had it set in the guitar playing position permanantly.

    I am not famous, but I did lose an argument with a fork lift and have a finger on my right had that is not 100%.

    What would a band with members who all had missing or unusable digits be called? Bad Finger, of course! :D
  9. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I found a bio of Django on the net which describes what happened :

    "On November 2nd, 1928 an event took place that would forever change Django's life. At one o'clock in the morning the 18 year old Django returned from a night of playing music at a new club "La Java" to the caravan that was now the home of himself and his new wife. The caravan was filled with celluloid flowers his wife had made to sell at the market on the following day. Django upon hearing what he thought was a mouse among the flowers bent down with a candle to look. The wick from the candle fell into the highly flammable celluloid flowers and the caravan was almost instantly transformed into a raging inferno. Django wrapped himself in a blanket to shield him from the flames. Somehow he and his wife made it across the blazing room to safety outside, but his left hand, and his right side from knee to waist were badly burned.

    Initially doctors wanted to amputate his leg but Django refused. He was moved to a nursing home where the care was so good his leg was saved. Django was bedridden for eighteen months. During this time he was given a guitar, and with great determination Django created a whole new fingering system built around the two fingers on his left hand that had full mobility. His fourth and fifth digits of the left hand were permanently curled towards the palm due to the tendons shrinking from the heat of the fire. He could use them on the first two strings of the guitar for chords and octaves but complete extension of these fingers was impossible. His soloing was all done with the index and middle fingers! Film clips of Django show his technique to be graceful and precise, almost defying belief. "

  10. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    New Country hottie/singer/guitarist Lari White(pinky on left hand).
    If you look closely & quickly, you can see it at the very end of Castaway(she's giving Tom Hanks some directions).
  11. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    There was an episode of M*A*S*H that touched on this(a soldier/concert pianist had lost sone dexterity due to some shrapnel/surgery).
    The piece played for the one-hand sounded, IMO, great.
    Very powerful & dynamic.
  12. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    You remember correctly. He fingerpicks all the time with that hand, too. Incredible guitar player, just unbelievable.
  13. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Ronnie Lott.

    (Not a musician).
  14. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Yep. Phil is one of the all time greats. And a lot of people have never heard of him.
  15. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    I remember reading years back that one of the guitarists from Korn (Head?) has a similar finger injury that Tony Iommi has.
  16. flatwounds


    Apr 22, 2003
    Sydney, Oz
    Billy Joe Shaver is missing a few on his right hand if I remember correctly - not that he does much more than strum (not that there is anything wrong with that). He has got to be one of the greatest songwriters out there.'Live forever' is simply magic. Makes me want to cry almost.
  17. AltIII


    Sep 3, 2002
    Which why I would never join the armed forces, I'd hate to have to become a "one armed force"
  18. *I* think you're seeing things, I've seen quite a few videos of Pink Floyd, and I've not noticed anything like that, despite watching him as close as I can (former Floyd head here!). It might just have been bad technique, which he is sometimes guilty of, partly from weairing his bass so low (which started out purely as a looks thing!)

  19. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    My understanding is that he lost them in a metal working accident in one of his first jobs when he was young, and he made his replacement fingertips in the same shop.

    That is wild!

  20. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    This may be obscure for some of you but the bluegrass group "Mountain Heart" has a banjo player that has a deformed left hand. Looks as if he only has his index finger and part of a thumb. You would never know it by his playing.