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When Left Became Right
15 December 2014
10.40am
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Hildy
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Some of you will be left-handed, just like two members of the Beatles.

Those of you old enough to have been around when the Beatles exploded on to the scene will be aware that lefties were sometimes persuaded, cajoled, encouraged and even bullied into being right-handed - Ringo being a case in point.

I was lucky and so was Paul. We were 'forgiven' for being left-handed although society never went out of its way to accommodate us and people like us.

I used to spend time with friends in guitar shops in my teenage years, but while they could try out almost anything that they wanted, I was left to ask the man behind the counter: 'do you have any left-handed guitars in stock- anything at all?'

If I was lucky, there would be one left-handed guitar in the shop out of hundreds, but praise to Fender here - this company looked after lefties more than any other. I'm told that Gibson has actually stopped making guitars for lefties, which is extremely depressing if true.

I ended up trying out right-handed guitars, and while I could do the fingering for many chords upside-down, the situation was far from satisfactory. To this day, I have never played a left-handed bass guitar because I never found a shop that had one in stock. I've tried a good few regular ones but not the real deal - a genuine leftie bass. 

Back in the day, aspiring guitarists would buy books that displayed chord fingering, but instead of saying 'fret-hand' they would say 'left hand', and instead of saying 'picking-hand' they would say 'right hand'. Lefties quickly got used to this but it was still annoying.

When I was at primary (junior) school, my mum promised me I could have long hair if I tried out for violin class, so I gave it a go. I lasted five minutes and was sent packing. When I tried to play the thing left-handed, I was immediately dismissed. Let's face it, how often do you see a leftie in an orchestra? 

If you are left-handed, you learn what it's like to be part of a minority. You just don't fit in. You have to innovate more than most but I'll be honest, I wouldn't want to change it. We lefties like being different, even if the right-handed world demands that we 'conform' or pretends that we don't exist.

The fact that the Beatles had an obvious leftie in Paul McCartney was enormously satisfying because it told the right-handed community that lefties were their equals - and it needed to be told. Later on, Jimi Hendrix would also play a part in highlighting left-handedness. With those two icons being left-handed, corrie-fisted types had a couple of real heavyweights demonstrating that the sinistral breed had as much legitimacy as everyone else.

It's still a right-handed world but it's cool now to be a leftie instead of queer, and that's progress.

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15 December 2014
12.53pm
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Ahhh Girl
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I immediately thought of the movie The King's Speech while reading your post, @Hildy. He was forced to become right-handed and that caused his stuttering. I looked up a review on the movie and read this sad story

I started stuttering when I was almost eight after a traumatic experience with my second grade teacher who for months wanted me to change from writing with my left hand to writing right handed. After months of fruitless efforts, one day she repeatedly pounded my left wrist and knuckles with a steel ruler until my hand and knuckles started bleeding. Psychologists and speech therapists attribute this incident with the onset of my stuttering.

http://www.stutteringhelp.org/.....ngs-speech

I am glad you avoided that fate. Here's hoping you find that leftie bass.

Aren't we all thankful Paul and Ringo's parents allowed nature to stay in control in their lives?

15 December 2014
2.32pm
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Hildy
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Actually, Ringo's gran made him write with his right hand but in almost everything else, he remained a leftie.

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15 December 2014
2.35pm
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Ahhh Girl
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Thanks, Hildy. I didn't know that...or I heard it at some point and forgot about it.

15 December 2014
2.43pm
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Ahhh Girl
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You're Going To Lose That Girl just started playing. I just have to do this:

If you don't treat her left, my friend
You're going to find her gone
(You're going to find her gone)
'Cause I will treat her left and then
You'll be the lonely one

"Right" really is ingrained in our thinking and vocabulary. I hadn't thought about this before. A little "wow" moment.

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15 December 2014
2.47pm
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Starr Shine?
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The word left derived from an old English word (lyft) meaning weak. They were not allowed to be knights back in the day.

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https://youtu.be/52nwiTs7bk8

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15 December 2014
3.04pm
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Hildy
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Annadog40 said
The word left derived from an old English word (lyft) meaning weak. They were not allowed to be knights back in the day.

That makes it all the more gratifying that Paul is now Sir Paul - a knight.

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15 December 2014
5.25pm
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vonbontee
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We've come a long way, haven't we? My grandfather (who would've been close to 100 years old today) was a lefty who was likewise forced to write right through ruler-abuse.

Someone said 'What were you gonna do when it's all finished,' and I said 'I don't know but it'd be good fun being a DJ.' And since then I've become a DJ, only by word of mouth, you know. SO any minute now you'll read, 'Ringo leaves to become a DJ' but it's not true. - Ringo Starr

                     Von-Bontee-2017.png

15 December 2014
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StrawberryFieldsForever
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And yet it's said that left-handed people are more creative. Way to kill that creativity, eh?a-hard-days-night-john-2

15 December 2014
6.00pm
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Into the Sky with Diamonds
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"sinister" comes from the latin 'sinistra' for 'left' ...

"Into the Sky with Diamonds" (the Beatles and the Race to the Moon – a history)

15 December 2014
6.07pm
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Hildy
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I remember being at a party and we had a game of Trivial Pursuit with about ten players on each side - men v women. When a question came up about why Paul McCartney had chosen the Hofner Violin Bass, I responded immediately with the answer - 'because it's symmetrical'.

People looked at me with astonishment - they had no idea why I had come up with this answer. I explained it to them and we went with it, and of course, it was correct.

For right-handed people, choosing a guitar because it is almost symmetrical seems bizarre, but for a leftie like Paul, it was the sensible thing to do.

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15 December 2014
8.05pm
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Mr. Kite
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Ahhh Girl said

Thanks, Hildy. I didn't know that...or I heard it at some point and forgot about it.

I posted it in a video I made a while back.

That's why Ringo has such a distinct sound! Lefty on a righty kit.

If I spoke prose you'd all find out, I don't know what I talk about.

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16 December 2014
1.39am
Wigwam
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It didn't seem to hold Hendrix back…….

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16 December 2014
1.46am
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If left was seen as less desirable then why did the U.K start driving on the left side of the road?

https://youtu.be/52nwiTs7bk8

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16 December 2014
1.57am
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Annadog40 said

If left was seen as less desirable then why did the U.K start driving on the left side of the road?

Then they were on the right side of the car!

If I spoke prose you'd all find out, I don't know what I talk about.

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16 December 2014
10.52am
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Hildy
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Annadog40 said
If left was seen as less desirable then why did the U.K start driving on the left side of the road?

Apparently, the Romans started it. When riding a horse on the left hand side of the road, the sword hand is free to deal with oncoming charlatans. Being on the left then is appropriate for right-handers.

Across the channel, Napoleon wanted everyone to travel on the right, which was inconvenient for right-handers, but not for him - he was a leftie!

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16 December 2014
9.08pm
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Zig
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Much progress is being made in this area with the inventions of left handed hammers and screw drivers. Can left handed knives, forks and spoons be far behind?

To the fountain of perpetual mirth, let it roll for all its worth. And all the children boogie.

16 December 2014
9.20pm
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meanmistermustard
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Apple have created the left-handed cd and will be re-releasing the Beatles entire catalogue in this new format in 2015.

Ned Flanders has ordered 10,000 units.

zz-1308-leftorium.jpgImage Enlarger

Sadly the lefties have had to get lawyers involved as Apple are planning to release the cds at a higher price (15% more than right-handed cds) due to this new format, something the left-handed people see as discriminatory. 

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16 December 2014
9.24pm
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Zig
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All the while I was reading this thread, I kept thinking of Ned Flanders. Thanks for that spoiler pic!

To the fountain of perpetual mirth, let it roll for all its worth. And all the children boogie.

17 December 2014
12.12am
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Hildy
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meanmistermustard said
Apple have created the left-handed cd and will be re-releasing the Beatles entire catalogue in this new format in 2015.


Ned Flanders has ordered 10,000 units.
zz-1308-leftorium.jpgImage Enlarger


Sadly the lefties have had to get lawyers involved as Apple are planning to release the cds at a higher price (15% more than right-handed cds) due to this new format, something the left-handed people see as discriminatory. 

Actually, leftie guitars really did cost more. I once bought a Fender Stratocaster and I believe it cost 15% more than a right-handed one.

Left-handed plectrums come at normal prices, though.

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