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Left-Handed Rock Stars

Here’s an interesting fact as we honor the greatest southpaws in the history of music with this gallery of Left-Handed Rock Stars: Although 10 to 15 percent of the world’s population is said to be left-handed, a greater proportion are often found among musicians.

Of course, in ancient Latin, the word “sinister” was coined to refer to people who were left-handed, and folklore in many cultures suggested that lefties had the mark of Satan. So, maybe that original perception of lefties is why so many of these supposed ne’er-do-wells wound up gravitating to what was originally called the “devil’s music” by its detractors. At the very least, that could provide some explanation for Tony Iommi‘s guitar tone.

As you click through, you’ll read about how these the 12 musicians coped with learning how to play when left-handed instruments were difficult to come by. Some had to re-string their instruments or set up their drum kits differently to accommodate their orientation, while others simply turned their guitars around and learned how to play upside-down.

There are some left turns in store, too. Because some of the entries are drummers, and others even taught themselves how to play right-handed, you’ll find a few surprises to go along with more famous figures like Paul McCartney and Jimi Hendrix.

But before we end up out in left field, let’s start handing out some left-handed compliments to our favorite left-handed rock stars.

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