There are so many artists that are dyslexic or learning disabled, it’s
just phenomenal. There’s also an unbelievably high proportion of
artists who are left-handed, and a high correlation between
left-handedness and learning disabilities.
Hendrix was the bass player for Little Richard. We were both
left-handed, but we would use a right-handed guitar held upside down
and backwards. He developed my slides and my riffs. In fact he used to
say, and this is documented, ‘I patterned my style after Dick Dale.’
I was born left-handed, but I was made to use my other hand. When I
was writing ‘Famished Road,’ which was very long, I got repetitive
stress syndrome. My right wrist collapsed, so I started using my left
hand. The prose I wrote with my left hand came out denser, so later on
I had to change it.
The first time I picked up a bat in a professional game, I hit a ball
hard left-handed, and my first home run was so effortless, it
Meyer and I have a bit in common because we’re both left-handed. I
think it’s great that he seeks out that advice because he’s not too
cool or too uncomfortable to ask for it.
When I first started swinging a bat, I swung righty. So one time, my
dad came home, and he wanted to see my batting stance. So I showed
him. He says, ‘You don’t hit right-handed. You hit left-handed.’ At
that age I didn’t even really think about it. Just like ‘all right,’
and I switched hands. He said I’d thank him later.