Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Rock Stars You May Not Know Actually Have Missing Body Parts

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Losing a body part creates all sorts of obstacles when it comes to earning a living or achieving

artistic greatness.

But the rock stars on this list have all overcome missing and damaged body parts to achieve

musical glory.

Almost anybody can pick up a guitar and learn to play it.

However, a handful of guitarists go on to form bands and make enduring art that brings

them fame and fortune.

But only a precious few of those musicians go on to inspire a thriving subculture, a

la Jerry Garcia, the merry leader of the Grateful Dead, the original jam band and object of

near-worship by its army of Deadheads.

Garcia and company trucked along on a seemingly endless tour for 30 years, from 1965 until

Garcia's death from a host of medical problems.

And to think he became one of the world's most acclaimed and well-known guitarists with

only nine fingers.

When they were both kids, Garcia's older brother, Tiff, cut off Jerry's finger with an ax.

Of course, it was accidental - kind of.

Tiff related on the Garcia tribute DVD Move Me Brightly,

"He was putting little pieces of twigs on the sawhorse, or whatever, and I was chopping

them in half, making kindling.

[...] He'd put his finger there and take it away.

That happened a dozen times.

Finally, I just nailed him.

So they had to remove it."

"It was my fault because I did it, but I wasn't thinking about the consequences.

I was just playing the game he wanted me to play."

In the early 1970s, Ozzy Osbourne and Black Sabbath pioneered heavy metal, combining a

loud, dark, and grungy sound with wailing lyrics about war, death, mental illness, and

other things contemporaries like Three Dog Night didn't care to cover.

It's fitting then that one of the chief architects of metal, Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi,

paid the bills before his music career took off by working in a sheet metal factory in

the English industrial city of Birmingham.

Iommi worked as a welder, but one day, he was moved to a different part of the factory

and put to work on a large, guillotine-looking press.

As Iommi explained to Loudwire,

"I don't know what happened, I must have pushed my hand in.

Bang!

It came down.

It just took the ends off.

[...] As I pulled my hand back, it sort of pulled them off.

It was left with two stalks, the bone was sticking out the top of the finger.”

Doctors cut off the bones and told Iommi that without a full hand of fingers, his guitar-playing

days were probably over - a fate he couldn't accept.

So instead, he created prosthetic tips out of everything from melted plastic to cloth,

finally deciding that cut-up bits of a leather jacket gave him the leverage to grip down

on guitar strings.

In 1997, the humorous rap-rock group the Bloodhound Gang released the single "Why's Everybody

Always Pickin' on Me?"

It included a shouted refrain that went, "The drummer from Def Leppard's only got one arm!"

So what's that about?

Well, they're pickin' on Rick Allen, who really was left with one upper appendage after a

New Year's Eve 1984 car accident.

"It's just surreal.

When I think back on that moment, it's almost like it didn't happen to me.

It seems like it was some sort of made-up story."

While driving on the A57 motorway outside Def Leppard's hometown of Sheffield, England,

Allen's Corvette Stingray slipped out of his control.

It struck a brick wall at a high speed, and the impact came at such tremendous force that

it unbuckled Allen's seatbelt.

As the car expelled Allen via the sunroof, his arm got caught on the seatbelt ... and

detached from the rest of his body.

Amazingly, Allen spent only a month in the hospital and resumed his duties behind the

kit for Def Leppard in August 1986.

He obviously couldn't play the drums the way he used to, so ever since, he's been assisted

by a pedal-powered, electronic drumming system.

Buried under black-and-white face makeup that presented him to the world as "the Starchild,"

KISS singer and guitarist Paul Stanley played some of the loudest music in the world to

arenas packed full of adoring fans in the '70s and beyond.

KISS concerts probably shattered more than a few eardrums, but long before he rocked

and rolled all night and partied every day, Stanley began life with major hearing problems.

Stanley told CNN that he was born with a Level 3 Microtia, a congenital deformity of the

outer ear cartilage.

The condition left the young Stanley virtually deaf on his right side, and it also gave him

an underdeveloped mound of flesh where his outer ear would've been.

As an adult, Stanley corrected both issues.

Along with receiving implanted hearing aids, a surgeon removed cartilage from the singer's

rib cage and made an artificial ear out of it, which was then grafted to Stanley's head.

Hip-hop artist Fetty Wap - real name: Willie Maxwell II - broke out in a big way in 2015

with his chart-topping, double-platinum self-titled debut album, along with three smash hit singles:

"Trap Queen," "679," and "My Way."

Fetty Wap rocks a unique appearance, which includes multiple tattoos on his face and

neck, along with a left eye that doesn't look like most other people's.

The reason: That eye socket is virtually empty.

The rapper told TMZ,

"I was born with glaucoma and I lost the eye at six months.

I got reconstructive surgery when I was 12, and I just stopped wearing the prosthesis

because I didn't want to look like everybody else."

Meshuggah is among the loudest, heaviest, and most metal bands that ever metaled.

The Swedish outfit has been a going concern for more than 30 years now, combining unique

rhythms and jazz elements with some good, old-fashioned thrash to create a distinctive,

rumbling sound all its own.

A lot of that auditory assault comes courtesy of founding member Fredrik Thordendal, named

by Guitar World as one of the best heavy metal guitarists of all time.

But in the early '90s, well after the band had established an international following,

Thordendal suffered a setback.

While working on a carpentry project, he sliced off the tip of the middle finger on his left

hand.

Doctors sewed it back on, leaving the damaged finger and index finger the same length.

More importantly, he was able to play again, and this story is way more metal than anything

Meshuggah ever recorded.

Okay, well - almost.

"Les Paul" isn't just the name of an extremely famous solid body electric guitar favored

by countless rock stars past and present.

It's also the name of a man - the man who helped design that sweet ax for Gibson back

in the early 1950s.

Up to that point, Les Paul had been a successful jazz and pop guitarist and recording wizard.

He even hit #1 in 1945 with "It's Been a Long, Long Time," a collaboration with Bing Crosby.

His career was on the rise until it was cruelly interrupted by a 1948 automobile accident.

His elbow was completely shattered, and surgeons couldn't properly rebuild it.

Facing a future without playing guitar - his means of financial support and artistic fulfillment

- Paul talked the doctors into fusing what was left of his elbow at a 90 degree angle,

the guitar-holding position.

After he recovered, Paul married singer Mary Ford, and the duo racked up a slew of hits

and starred in an NBC radio show together.

Jim Croce absolutely ruled the music charts in the early 1970s.

A folky pop singer in the vein of James Taylor or Neil Young, his rollicking story songs

captivated audiences.

His 1972 and 1973 albums You Don't Mess Around with Jim and Life and Times were smash hits

and generated successful tunes like "Time in a Bottle" and "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown."

That upward trajectory came to a tragic halt in September 1973, when the 30-year-old singer-songwriter

died in a plane crash.

Before Croce's life and career was cut short, he achieved success despite a major physical

setback.

According to a 1973 feature in Guitar Player, Croce played gigs at night and worked various

jobs during the day.

During one of those, he accidentally smashed his right index finger in a mishap involving

a sledgehammer.

Unable to use that very important finger in his guitar-playing any longer, he developed

a distinctive picking style that involved his other three fingers, as well as his thumb.

In the summer of 1969, the hard rock band Mountain secured both its legacy and its Baby

Boomer generational cred forever when it played a set at the Woodstock Festival.

The group's biggest hit, the riff-and-cowbell heavy "Mississippi Queen," reached #21 on

the Billboard Hot 100 and endured as a classic rock radio staple and beer commercial background

music.

Founder, guitarist, and singer Leslie West kept playing music in various bands and as

a solo act, even after a personally devastating partial leg amputation in 2011.

West spoke to Billboard in the aftermath of the surgery, which saw doctors remove the

lower half of his right leg due to the ravages of diabetes.

He told the outlet he was understandably shocked when he realized what had happened, saying,

"I cried a couple f----n' times.

I look down - 'Where is it?!'"

West now gets around with the aid of wheelchairs, and considers himself lucky.

After all, he doesn't need a leg to play the guitar.

He told Billboard,

"It's a good thing it wasn't one of my arms.

Then I'd really be f----d."

The late Dr. John, real name Malcolm John Rebennack, took the unique sound of New Orleans,

put a pop-rock spin on it, and brought it to the mainstream in the '60s and '70s.

With a little bit of blues, a little bit of jazz, and a little bit of funk, the raspy-voiced

Big Easy icon is perhaps most known for his 1973 top ten hit "Right Place Wrong Time,"

notable for Dr. John's blazing keyboard work.

He came relatively late to key-based instruments, after he'd established a career as a live

and session musician, but he kind of had no choice.

In a 1960 show in Jackson, Mississippi, Dr. John was playing his first main instrument,

the guitar, with a band.

A fight broke out, somebody pulled out a gun, the gun went off, and the bullet struck Dr.

John in the ring finger of his left hand.

It's amazing the force didn't blow the thing clean off, but Dr. John couldn't move it for

so long that his guitar work suffered.

And so, he switched to piano and keyboards and did pretty well for himself in the long

run.

Of all the rap-rock bands that stormed the album charts and the TRL studios in the late

'90s and early 2000s, Korn sat at the top of the tattooed heap.

Hardcore Korn fans couldn't get enough of the gravelly vocals of Jonathan Davis, the

low-end grooves of bassist Reginald "Fieldy" Arvizu, and the intricate guitar work of James

"Munky" Shaffer.

According to Leah Furman's book Korn: Life in the Pit, a teenage Shaffer actually started

playing the guitar in the first place as a form of physical therapy.

But why did he need therapy, you ask?

Well, one night, 14-year-old Munky tried to sneak out of his house to attend a keg party.

As he attempted to ride away, the bike chain came loose and started making a loud, repetitive

noise.

Seeking to silence the bike so as to not get caught by his parents, he grabbed hard at

the chain.

And that's when the chain and teeth of the sprocket on the moving bicycle trapped young

Munky's left index finger, mangling it horribly.

While he initially had no feeling in the partially-severed finger, doctors were able to save it and thought

sensation would return faster if the teen played an instrument as therapy.

"'You need to rehabilitate your finger somehow.

You know, like, take up an instrument?'

I was like 'How about guitar?'

I thought - right away thought about that guitar being in the closet, so well that's

perfect."

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The Description of Rock Stars You May Not Know Actually Have Missing Body Parts