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Welcome to Anything Left Handed

The best place for left handed people and left handed products

 

Last Month's Top Left-Hander

Sorry this has got a bit out of date - we plan to start updating it again very soon

Each month we choose our top left-hander based on current news events or their personal activities and successes. We also take account of your votes for your favourite left-hander.

 

Top Lefty -Aug/Sep 2003 - Jimi Hendrix
Top Lefty -July 2003 - Martina Navratilova
Top Lefty -June 2003 - Prince William

Top Lefty -May 2003
-
Phil Tufnell
Top Lefty -April 2003 - Mike Weir, US Masters Champion
Top Lefty -February/March 2003
-
Nicole Kidman
Top Lefty - January 2003 / Year 2002 - Paula Radcliffe, world record holder

See last year's Top lefties (2002)
See our Top lefties for 2001
Vote for your favourite lefty of the month












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Jimi Hendrix - Lefty of the month, September 2003



The late Jimi Hendrix has been placed top of a wide-ranging list of "The 100 Greatest Guitarists Of All Time" in the latest issue of Rolling Stone magazine. The magazine's staff compiled the survey, which includes classic rockers such as Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Keith Richards, and the late Duane Allman.

Pete Townshend of The Who-who came in at number 50-said Hendrix deserves the honour, adding that "he made the electronic guitar beautiful" Without question, Jimi Hendrix was one of the most innovative, creative, determined guitarists of our time. While making a name for himself in music's history books, he blazed the way for other young guitarists to form their own sound while at the same time reaping the benefits from Hendrix's expertise.

Hendrix played a right-handed Fender Stratocaster upside-down and left-handed and pioneered the electric guitar as an electronic sound source capable of feedback, distortion, and a host of other effects that could be crafted into an articulate and fluid emotional vocabulary. Although he was on the scene as a solo artist for less than five years, Jimi Hendrix is credited for having a profound effect on everyone from Miles Davis to Stevie Ray Vaughan.

After being a sideman throughout the early 1960s for many groundbreaking R&B artists like Little Richard and the Isley Brothers, Hendrix found himself being pigeonholed. His talents weren't being used to their best abilities so Hendrix broke out on his own. Hendrix moved to New York in the mid-'60s, making waves in various clubs while hooking up with blues rocker John Hammond, Jr.'s band.

While playing in a club one night, Animals bassist Chas Chandler approached Hendrix. Convincing Hendrix to move to London, Chandler became his manager and worked with him on his first solo gig. Bringing drummer Mitch Mitchell and bassist Noel Redding on board, the Jimi Hendrix Experience was born.

The Experience incorporated R&B and soul and melded those sounds into an eclectic pop variation of psychedelia just coming onto the scene. The London music scene in 1967 was exploding and so did Hendrix with his debut album, Are You Experienced? Hendrix took guitar playing to another level with songs like "Purple Haze," "Hey Joe" and "The Wind Cries Mary." Hendrix quickly jumped to the forefront of music. While each of those songs put Hendrix into the UK Top 10, they indirectly earned him a top spot at the Monterey Pop Festival in the United States later that year. Hendrix commanded everyone's attention while he played his guitar behind his back and over his head. His guitar wanderings incited a degree of spiritual hysteria, especially for the musician himself. He'd finger his guitar and then set it on fire, praying to the guitar gods who blessed him with his unbelievable craft.



Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock, 1969

Everyone from music moguls to teenage kids were taken by Hendrix's experimentation. Not since the likes of Eric Clapton or Pete Townshend had a young musician been able to take off on a stage. He'd use distorted riffs, mind-blowing feedback and heart-thumping wah-wah pedals to make his music speak to the crowd.
Hendrix would go on to record only two other full-length albums before he died of a drug overdose in 1970 at the age of 27; Axis: Bold As Love and the double-LP Electric Ladyland - still just as mind blowing today as it was nearly 30 years ago. In the course of the few years before he died, Hendrix seriously experimented in funk, jazz and Mississippi Delta blues, spending much time in the studio but never releasing an album. From these sessions, producers posthumously culled tracks and released Hendrix albums, both live and studio.

In July of 1995, Al Hendrix, Jimi's father, gained control of his son's estate. Currently with the help of his daughter, Janie Hendrix-Wright (Hendrix's sister and executor of his estate), the two have brought to fruition a video of the making of Electric Ladyland. Jimi Hendrix is buried in Greenwood Memorial Cemetery in Renton, Wash., a suburb of Seattle.

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Martina Navratilova - Lefty of the month, July 2003



Martina with Leander Pease winning
Wimbledon 2003 doubles


Winning the 2003 mixed doubles with Leander Paes took Martina Navratilova to the record-equalling mark of 20 Wimbledon titles.

She shares that honour with Billie Jean King, having already beaten many of her other landmarks, not least by playing a record 279 singles matches at Wimbledon.

Her haul of nine singles titles at Wimbledon is also still to be surpassed, as is her achievement of winning six in a row between 1982 and 1987.

In the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s, Navratilova raised the women's

game to a new level with power and aggression. The Czech-born left-hander, who became a naturalised American in 1975, also set new standards with her astonishing fitness levels and commitment.



left-handed champion

Amazingly, she had never even seen a grass court until a week before her first appearance there in 1973.

Watching Wimbledon on television as a child, she had no idea how long the grass would be, imagining it would be a couple of inches long like a football pitch.

When she leant down to touch the court at Queen's Club, where she was practicing before Wimbledon, she could not

believe how short and tightly-woven it was. She later declared: "Wimbledon is like a drug. Once you win it for the first time you feel you've just got to do it again and again and again"

Martina retired in 1994, although later returned to play doubles matches, teaming up with Paes this July for that famous 20th title. "If I ever reached the stage where winning Wimbledon was no big deal, I'd know it was time for me to get out of the game," she once said.

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Prince William - Lefty of the month, June 2003

 


Prince William in Wales


Left-hander Prince William, the elder son of Prince Charles and Princess Diana celebrated his 21st birthday on 21st June.

Handsome and photogenic, bearing a striking resemblance to his mother, the prince appears to offer the best chance of survival to a monarchy lacking in glamour and rocked by scandals for 15 years. But he seems reluctant to take on a destiny made up of privilege and duty.


Born on June 21, 1982, William Arthur Philip Louis Wales had an education that was a little less rigid - all things remaining in perspective - than other royal children. There were no tutors, but private nursery and primary schools, then the posh Eton boarding school, mould of the British aristocracy. His mother always tried to give him an insight into life outside the gilded palaces, with occasional excursions to McDonald's or the cinema.

An athletic 1.90 metre (six feet three inches) tall, William inherited from his father his love of outdoor sports like hunting and polo. But his life has not been easy, with widely-reported spats between his parents until their divorce in 1996, and especially the horrendous loss of his mother in a Paris car crash in August 1997. This could be one of the reasons for his reluctance to play the public role that Queen Elizabeth and her courtiers would love to see him take on.


Nearly 300 guests joined him on 21st June for a costume ball with the theme "Out of Africa" at Windsor Castle, one of Queen Elizabeth II's residences west of London. But nothing is expected to change in his daily life: the prince still refuses to use the title "Royal Highness" to which he has the right, along with all the other titles that his father had inherited at 21. He will pursue his studies at St Andrews University in Scotland, where he has for the last two years tried to live as discreetly as possible. Under an agreement reached with Prince Charles, the media agreed to respect his private life during his studies.

Unlike his father at the same age, William refuses to be served by a valet or chauffeur. He shares a flat with three students, does his own shopping at the supermarket, wears jeans and pullovers with holes in them, and likes to meet his friends over a cider in the pub.

 


William with a celebratory birthday cake in Wales on June 19th 2003

 

Phil Tufnell - Lefty of the month, May 2003

 

 

Left-handed former England cricketer Phil Tufnell has been catapulted into the limelight, after winning TV’s "I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here", beating off the challenge of John Fashanu.

The former England left-armer said afterwards in typically laid-back fashion: “I only turned up for a bit of a kip for two weeks.” The finale of I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here brought the show its biggest ever audience with more than 12 million UK viewers tuning in. Earlier

all three remaining contestants had to face their own Bushtucker trial in order to win a fully prepared course for their final meal in camp.

Phil Tufnell had to eat a selection of insects for his trial, Linda Barker had to transfer five eels from one tank to another and John Fashanu had to walk across a log while grabbing hanging stars. The 36-year-old snatched victory from Fashanu, bowling over the majority of the 2.5 million people who voted.

Emerging from the Australian rainforest camp, he gasped: "I can't believe it, that's unbelievable, I can't believe it."

 

Tufnell was arguably the best spinner of his generation, but courted controversy and was often dropped from games. Tufnell's popular TV appeal has not necessarily been reflected by his poll rating in the Middlesex dressing-room, where the team-mates he left behind by announcing his retirement from first-class cricket last month have all been casting their votes.

 

 

Coach John Emburey, who has had to come out of retirement and register himself as a player at the age of 50 to cover Tufnell's sudden departure, revealed : "I think the lads have only been voting for him to keep him up the jungle. Phil has played the jungle game very well and he's come across as a goody two-shoes, but people haven't seen the other side of his character. At his best, there's no question that Tuffers can be a very funny bloke."

ECB chairman David Morgan said: "I can't believe Tufnell's contribution to the programme has done us any harm at all … he has been a good advertisement for left-arm county spinners".

 

It remains to be seen whether Tufnell prefers playing cricket to eating them, but we will no doubt be seeing much more of him on our TV screens in the coming months, as he has expressed an interest in becoming a sports presenter. Well done Tuffers!

"I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here"
This year's participants

 

Mike Weir- Lefty of the month, April 2003

Mike Weir is the first left-hander
to take the US Masters


The 32-year-old Mike Weir becomes the first Canadian to win a Major, and the first left-hander to take the US Masters.

"It's an unbelievable feeling," said Weir as he was presented with his green jacket by defending champion Tiger Woods. "It's something I've dreamt about for a long time and worked very hard for it. It's a thrill and tough for me to put into words because I wouldn't do it justice."


Weir, the first left-hander to win a Major since New Zealand's Bob Charles triumphed at the 1963 Open, carded a 68 in Sunday's final group, while Mattiace fired a seven-under-par 65, the lowest round of the day. .

At age 13, Weir wrote to Jack Nicklaus asking whether he should switch to playing right-handed. Response was to stick to natural swing !


Mike Weir with the green jacket presented by Tiger Woods after the Masters.

 

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Nicole Kidman- Lefty of the month, February/March

Nicole Kidman with Jack Nicholson
at this year's Golden Globe


Now we know why Nicole Kidman deserved to be our Top Lefty for the last two months running. She won the Oscar for best actress category, Golden Globe, and was also the winner of the best actress in a leading role category at the Bafta Film Awards for "The Hours".

Nicole, who donned a prosthetic nose to play the big-conked literary genius Virginia Woolf, refused to cut corners. Despite being left-handed, Nicole, 35, learned to alter what comes naturally for the sake of authenticity.

"I learned to write with my right hand for it" she says. "People look at me, like, that's crazy, and I'm like, no, it was necessary."

Nor did she resort to using a double to film the opening suicide scene in which Virginia walks into the river.

 

"People say to me, we can't believe you walked into the water yourself, but why would I let anyone else do it ? It was the most important part of the film for me."

"People call it obsession but that's what you're meant to do. To do anything else would be a fraud. " Now, where's the Oscar ?

Nicole Kidman picked up the best dramatic actress prize for her role as author Virginia Woolf in Stephen Daldry's The Hours, which also won best dramatic film.


Kidman as Virginia Woolf in the "Hours"

 

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Paula Radcliffe - Lefty of the year 2002



Paula after winning Chicago Marathon


Paula Radcliffe was featured as our top lefty for May, but her athletic performances later in the season proved that she has more than deserved to be our Top Lefty of the year.

Apart from winning the London Marathon that we featured back in May, she
has also won the Commonwealth Games 5,000m, the European 10,000m title, and the World Cross Country title.


Perhaps the highlight of the year was Paula's sensational run in Chicago, improving the world record by 90 seconds and leaving Catherine Ndereba trailing two minutes behind.



Paula at European Athletics

The world's top female marathon runner has also been honoured as one the UK's Women of the Year capped with an Outstanding Achievement Award from the annual Women of the Year Lunch and Assembly in London.

For receiving this aword she commented: "However much talent you have you won't achieve things unless you are prepared to put in hard work, the commitment and the dedication".

Also, Paula has rounded off a remarkable 2002 by winning the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award. The runner triumphed in a public phone poll vote, with England football star David Beckham the runner-up and record-breaking jockey Tony McCoy in third. Radcliffe was a clear winner with a total of 619,577 votes. Beckham polled 113,539 and McCoy 87,972.

We believe that her wondrous achievements of 2002 are a mere springboard to what she will achieve in the future.

So congratulations Paula and Good Luck !

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Vote for your favourite left-hander for next month

Send us an email with the name of your favourite left-hander and the reasons why they should be the lefty of the month.

email us at ideas@anythingleft-handed.co.uk

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