Jose Canseco made quite an impact on Twitter trends the other day, and that's saying something for a dude who been one of the most absurd social media users in the history of the internet. What happened to the former professional baseball player this time? Well, if you believe his Twitter account, his finger fell off while he was playing poker.
"Ok well I might as well tell you .I was playing in a poker tournament last night and my finger fell off .someone took a video of it," he tweeted, presumably not having lost his thumbs. "My finger should have been amputated from the beginning. It was very loose with no bone to connect it.it was also smelling really bad."
You are either rolling on the ground or vomiting right now. Once you get done doing whichever, check out our list of famous musicians who have gotten over missing fingers and gotten famous playing their instruments:
Hound Dog Taylor
"But wait," says the educated blues listener upon seeing this entry. "Hound Dog Taylor had 11 fingers when he died, so how could he possible have lost one?" The Chicago blues guitarist was a polydactyl, meaning he was born with an extra digit on each hand. One night, during a drunken spell (as all good blues stories begin), Taylor took a razor blade and sliced the extra finger on his right hand right off (Dethklok would approve). It didn't affect his playing at all, being that he still had five good fingers on his picking hand but he was smart to leave that extra little guy on the left hand for ultimate hammer-ons (no, it didn't work like that unfortunately).
Acker Bilk, the recently deceased clarinet star from the UK, suffered several injuries that would make life difficult for most players of his instrument. For one, he lost several teeth during a schoolyard scuffle as a youth. Secondly, he lost a finger in a sledging accident. No, alas, "sledging" is not a term for having a sledgehammer brought down on one's hand but actually a reference to riding in a sled pulled by horses. Although not quite up to getting hammered into oblivion, we'll acknowledge that having it run over/pulled off is pretty brutal.
Billy Joe Shaver
Billy Joe Shaver is one of the heroes of outlaw country thanks to his own work and contributions to the discographies of Waylon Jennings (and Elvis Presley...not an outlaw but still). Prior to becoming the talk of Nashville as a songwriter, Shaver worked a number of odd jobs to put food on the table, including at a lumber mill (this is where his biography starts to become predictable). The guitarist got his right hand jammed in the machinery (yes, jammed) and it ground off his ring and pinky fingers. It might not seem too tough to grip a plectrum with just the finger/middle/thumb combination but try it. The strumming, not the lumber machinery part.
Jerry Garcia and his fellow members in the Grateful Dead were willing to experiment with just about anything on tour. One thing the guitarist quickly learned not to play with as a child was sharp objects. He and his brothers were tasked gathering firewood and guess who was holding the log steady while his brother did the chopping. One bad swing of the axe later and Garcia was missing two-thirds of his middle finger...which makes us curious: How was it that ONLY his middle finger took damage and not any of the surrounding digits? He must have been holding his hand in a very specific way...which might also explain why his brother missed the mark.
No lost digits have been more formative in music history than the two Tony Iommi lost during an industrial accident before Black Sabbath made it big. The most defining figure in modern metal was ready to call it quits before he was inspired by jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt, who adapted his style to suit his two fingers that had been paralyzed from burns. Iommi found that his guitar was easier to play with thicker gauge strings but he accordingly tuned his guitar down to drop-D to ease the now-greater tension on his now-shorter fretting fingers. Hence the signature sound of heavy metal being born. It even got down to drop-C for a while: