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Many guitar players overcame adversity in their lives.  

Django Reinhardt almost lost his left hand in a fire.
  He had open sores on his hands 'til the day he died. 

“Django Reinhardt was really a guitar player.  He had everything.  He could play runs like a horn player a piano player
or a guitar player…  When they told me he only had two good fingers I really flipped.”           -Carlos Santana

He could only use two fingers.   He had to invent a new way to play the guitar.  He was the best guitar player of his time.
He influenced most of the rock guitar players you know.      Django playing.

Django ReinhardtDjango hand

His last album is "horrifyingly good.  He must have been playing all the time."        -Jimmy Page

"He overcame a crippling disability and people say he played better because he was driven."       -Vernon  Reid

Ryan "Gooch" Nelson became a quadriplegic after a truck accident.
  After years of therapy he learned how to play a guitar again.  He was diagnosed with cancer in 2009 and he survived that too.  He was signed by Joe Nicolo and Blacbird Records and he just released his first solo album "Gooch and the Motion."

Gooch NelsonHere's Ryan Nelson's band video.

Here's the trailer for his upcoming movie.

And here's a link to his website.

Tony Iommi lost the end of his finger.  This is his fake fingertip extension. 

Tony Iommi fingertip

Les Paul almost lost his left arm in a car crash.  The doctors reconstructed it an angle that would let him play guitar.  His biggest hits came later.    Les Paul at 90.
Larry Carlton was shot in the neck while standing on his porch in LA.  It took him a year to play guitar again.

"When you have to stare at reality, you get to make a choice: is this going to be a real negative event or is it going to be a positive thing? I choose to make it a positive thing."       -Larry  Carlton

{You could have been a singer}     "I could have been nothing.  So I'm working on it."       -Larry  Carlton

Carl Perkins almost lost his hand in an industrial fan after a car crash sidelined his career.  Then he accidentally blew his foot off with a shotgun.  He didn't stop touring.    Carl with Clapton, Harrison and Ringo 

The ABC's of success

Avoid negative sources, people, places, things and habits
Believe in yourself.
Consider things from every angle.
Don't give up
Enjoy life today
Family and friends are hidden treasures. 
Give more then you planned to.
Hang on to your dreams.
Ignore those who try to discourage you.
Just do it.
Keep trying, it will get easier.
Love yourself first and most.
Make it happen.
Never lie, cheat or steal. 
Open your eyes
Practice makes perfect.
Quitters never win, winners never quit.
Read, study and learn
Stop procrastinating.
Take control of your destiny.
Understand yourself so you can understand others.
Visualize it.
Want it more then anything.
Xcellerate your efforts.
You are unique among God's creations, nothing can replace you.
Zero in on your target and go for it.

most can't the least

If he can do that...

Les Paul was a genius, but he had a secret trick.  He applied himself.  
It's easy to be a genius and do nothing. 

"I built my own recording studio when I was 12.  My dad had a lathe, so we could make a lot of the parts.  It worked on a gravity feed principle, You'd wind up a weight with a crank and when it hit's bottom that’s the end.  You'd better be done playing and singing cause that’s all you get."

I needed a way to electrify the guitar sound, so I used "a phonograph needle.  I jabbed the needle into the guitar and it came out the speaker.  I was also doing stereo back in the twenties.  I put one radio on one side of the stage" for vocals, "and one on the other" for guitar. 

I built a studio in my garage with Cadillac flywheels.  "You'd record on one, play that back, then play and sing on the other...  And you'd better not make a mistake, if you do it's back to number one."  

I learned how at the library.  "I used to spend hours in the library, still do.... I kept studying electricity, and figured out how to make a magnet, how to wind a coil, and what induction and capacitors are.  It was fun."        -Les Paul                

I know a person with an IQ of 196.  They don't act very smart.   I heard a story about a guy with an IQ of 30 who graduated college with honors.  He knew a secret as well.  Desire.

"I'm so dumb really, it takes me years to figure things out."       -George Harrison

Mr. Harrison was the guitar player for The Beatles.  He was in the biggest band in the world.  You don't have to be smart.

Making things happen

"I saved enough money up to buy an amp, but we didn't have electricity.”         -Chet  Atkins

"I had to wait until I was 15 before I got a guitar, because my old man wanted me to appreciate it when I got it."       -Mark Knopfler

"None of us had equipment at that stage, but we didn't think that mattered.  Once we bought our instruments it was just a question of learning how to play them."                      -The Edge 

Go big or go home

In '36 "I thought it's time to move, time to take this and go into the big time.  So we packed a car and flipped a coin.  Heads, New York; tails, LA.  It was heads.  The guys said, 'what are we going to do when we get there?'  I say 'Don't worry (band leader) Paul Whiteman is a good friend of mine.  Now, I've never met the man and here we are, driving like 3 fools.”  We get there and “Jim says 'Call up your dear buddy.'  I call his number and the secretary says" he "doesn't seem to remember you.  I hung up" and "the guys say 'What'd he say?  I tell them that he says to come right over."  We went to the building and took the elevator upstairs.  I tell the secretary that "I called a few minutes ago, that I'm Les Paul and that I've got my trio here.  Whiteman gets up and slams the door.  The guys are not too happy with me.  We're standing in the hallway when Fred Waring starts to go into" the office.  I say 'Hey, "We'd like to play something for you.'  He says 'I've got 62" guys now "and I can't feed them.  So I says 'You've got nothing to lose, can we play until the elevator gets here.  We whipped out our guitars and started playing and the faster the elevator came the faster we played.  He cracked up and said 'put that stuff in the elevator.'  We went to work that day."           -Les Paul


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