Classic Rock News

Classic Rock News

Sir Paul and Sir Ringo join Parton on a cover of the Beatles hit "Let It Be." Also featured on the track is Peter Frampton and Mick Fleetwood.

Roughly 10% of the world’s population is left-handed. says that left-handed people are “more likely to be drawn to careers in the arts, music, sports, and information technology fields.” I don’t know if that’s true, but there certainly are some huge rock stars that are left-handed, most of which (but not all) are singers and drummers. I put together a list of 9 Left-Handed Rock Stars to celebrate Left-Handers Day (August 13th).

Ringo Starr sings and plays the drums and is left-handed.  By the way, half of the Beatles were left-handed. Phil Collins is another example of a left-handed drummer and singer. He played hi-hat and bass drum with his left side. Scroll down to check out nine MORE rock stars that are left-handed or feel free to get a lesson in left-handed life first.

Only 10% are Left-Handed

I have a hard time believing only 10% of the population is left-handed since in my house, we are 4 for 4 on lefties. At work, besides me, our afternoon drive host, Screamin’ Scott, and our morning show host, Jim O’Brien are both left-handed. Our on-air studio is actually optimized for left-handers. The screen and keyboard placement lends itself to making sense for a left-handed person.  That’s a unicorn right there… things are not traditionally set up for lefties.

Growing up left-handed, I got to experience the right-handed desk where I had to turn half my body and use the desk space sideways to accommodate my left-handed writing.  The outer edge of my hand and pinky were continually covered in pencil lead smears.  I started turning my paper so I didn’t have to crook my wrist around so much when writing.  Eventually, I straightened my wrist out and for decades I have written straight up.

I know.  I’m weird.  The history of left-handed people is also weird.  Some data links the words “left” with a root meaning of “sinister,” “weak,” or “worthless.”  That’s not nice.  Phrases like “Two left feet” and “Out in left field” also exemplify the left side being out of sync.  Today, I don’t think anyone gives a crap.  We’re free to be left or right-handed without getting a ruler across the knuckles and told to do it the “right way.” These rockers all think (or thought) outside the box regardless of what was right… or left.


9 Left-Handed Rock Stars

  • Jimi Hendrix

    Jimi is the OG of lefties.  His dad tried to get to him to play right-handed but that didn’t work for Jimi.  Since left-handed guitars were hard to find or very pricey, Jimi took a right-handed guitar, and restrung it in reverse order, thus playing the guitar upside down.


  • David Bowie

    David Bowie was left-handed. He taught himself to play right-handed for the same reason as Jimi Hendrix: right-handed guitars were much more accessible.  David Bowie also had a fairly rare condition called anisocoria.  It means one pupil is larger than the other.  The larger pupil can’t react to light the same way the other pupil does.  Here’s David explaining it in his own words:


  • Paul McCartney

    Half of The Beatles were left-handed.  Both Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney are southpaws.  Paul McCartney played guitar right-handed when he first started playing and then switched to left.  An article on tells more about why Sir Paul made the change.

    Here’s Paul McCartney talking about one of the benefits of being left-handed.

  • Mark Knopfler

    Mark is left-handed but he learned to play right-handed and never switched. I can identify. I am left-handed but I cut with my right hand. I spent significant time learning to use right-handed scissors since left-handed scissors were hard to find and when I did find them, they were the awful round-tip children’s scissors that cut nothing. But enough about me, lol.  Here’s Mark Knopfler talking guitars:

  • Kurt Cobain

    Kurt Cobain was a natural left-hander, but he was taught to write with his right hand. When it came to playing guitar, he naturally gravitated to the left.  Here’s Kurt talking about what it is to be a left-handed guitar player.

  • Joe Perry

    Joe Perry naturally gravitated to playing left-handed.  His first stringed instrument was a ukele his uncle gave him.  As is the case with many of our lefties, finding the right instrument isn’t easy.  Joe Perry accepted this challenge when he built Frankenstrat with Jim Servis.  Here’s Joe talking guitars live from his closet… and by “closet” I mean a full room.


  • Iggy Pop

    Iggy doesn’t play guitar much… it’s hard to stage dive with a guitar in tow, but Iggy is left-handed and plays guitar left-handed as well.  He here is talking about the roots of The Stooges and he plays left-handed on “I Wanna Be Your Dog.”

  • Stewart Copeland

    Stewart Copeland is left-handed but plays on a right-handed kit.  Self-taught, Stewart grew up with many musical influences in his family.  His dad was a jazz musician and composer and his mother founded the Folk Dance Federation.  These world music influences that Stewart brought to the sound of The Police were outright genius.  Please enjoy a solo video of Stewart Copeland at work.


  • Tony Iommi

    Tony Iommi did like his hero, Jimi Hendrix, and played his guitar upside down… until he heard of a guy who had a left-handed guitar and was playing it upside down because he was right-handed. Tony can’t remember how, but he got in touch with the guy and they swapped guitars!

    On his last day of work at a sheet metal factory, when he was 17, Tony Iommi lost the tips of his middle and ring finger. He was told he would never play again. Tony crafted his own prosthetic fingertips by melting down a soap bottle and using pieces of leather.


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