Off The Record
The Incredible Story of the Musician without arms: Tony Melendez
Tony Melendez’s full name is Jose Antonio Melendez Rodriguez and we can bet anything that his story is unlike anything you have heard.
We all say that music is a gift to humanity, something that holds the power to soothe even the most disturbed soul but what do you call a man, who was born without arms, playing the guitar, and moving thousands of people with his music, all because of sheer grit and determination?
Yes, you read that right.
Tony Melendez was born in 1962, without arms, owing to his mother’s consumption of Thalidomide while she was pregnant with him but that did not deter him from achieving his one dream: becoming a musician.
He might have suffered a very obvious shortcoming, but now a motivational speaker, Tony says that it is in every human to make anything possible if he or she sets their heart to it, like he did.
He taught himself to play the guitar with his legs and he has not looked back since.
His talent shone through, and he never, even for once let his disability get to him.
He talks about how music is the purpose of his life and that he would not let anything take that away from him.
Being as gifted as he is, he has received numerous accolades, like the Male Vocalist of the Year for the Unity Awards multiple times, the Best New Artist: Branson Entertainment Award and so on.
His biggest achievement, however, would be an opportunity he was given to play for the Pope in 1987, after which the Pope was so impressed that he went forward and pulled Tony into a hug and told him to never stop giving hope to people. Hope is truly one of the most underrated things in the Universe. We forget that hope alone can move mountains. Hope alone can change our lives, and hope alone can make the impossible possible.
Tony Mendelez is a motivational speaker today, spreading this particular message, instilling hope in the hearts of the people that can see him live his dream every day.
He talks about how it was only his undying love for music and hope that got him through the times when everyone said that he could never be a musician, when he had no one beside him to give him as much of a pat on his back.
Tony’s band called the Tony Melendez and Toe Jam Band is sought out to perform regularly and he lives in Missouri with his wife, who, as Tony mentions in his talks has always given him all the support and love he could possibly ask for.
Tony has also written a book, called A Gift of Hope, which came out in 1991. It covers all his struggles and all the pains that he had to take to teach himself all that he knows today.
If you came across this post today, consider this a sign, a sign to not lose hope and dedicate the last ounce of your energy to do what you really want to do. As you can see above, nothing can stop you.
Take a look at the video bellow:
No Arms? No Problem! This Guitar Cover of Let It Be is a Jaw-Drop
Tony Melendez was born without arms, but thanks to determination and God's strength he was able to overcome challenges he faced… and can play guitar.
Posted by Inspirational Videos on Sunday, October 27, 2013