5Multiple Singers Have Ridden Throat Trauma to Success
Bonnie Tyler is a Welsh-born singer with the unfortunate real name of Gaynor Hopkins. Tone Loc is a Los Angeles based rapper whose real name matters even less. She had a massive hit in the 1980s with "Total Eclipse of the Heart," he was in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. Oh, and he released that "Wild Thing" song, too. Maybe you know it from developing a healthy hatred for it after hearing it for the 874th time in 1989 alone.
Under federal law you can kick him once in the junk without consequences.
But the similarities between Bonnie Tyler and Tone Loc don't end with their shared status as couple-of-hit wonders. Much like a Stallone film isn't a Stallone film without a paralyzed lower lip, a song by either of these two just wouldn't pack the same punch without those voices: raspy, sandpaper-like, as if they've been gargling badgers. It must be nice to born with such a gift. Too bad neither of these two were.
They had to get their excessively manly voices the hard way ... through horrific medical care. In Tone Loc's case, the problem, like so many problems for so many people before him, can be traced back to shitty parenting. After he came down with a bout of strep throat at age 13, Tone Loc's mother mixed him up a concoction of hot tea and brandy, because booze shuts up fussy kids. That's parenting 101.
Tip for an overdue pregnancy: Playing "Wild Thing" will ensure the baby will not want to stick around any longer.
One problem, though: The tea was absurdly hot and, likely after realizing he had a shot in his hand, Tone Loc slammed it down his gullet without a second thought. The ensuing carnage scarred his vocal chords and left him with a voice that sounded like heaven when paired with a Van Halen sample he probably should have been sued for using without permission.
For Bonnie Tyler, the circumstances were even more troubling. She had already released her debut single before things turned for what probably seemed like the worse at the time. Check it ...
No sign of rasp, right? Now, let's check out her breakthrough single from the very next year:
Clearly, something had changed. Something had changed and, if our ears aren't mistaken, it likely involved swallowing shards of glass. It turns out Bonnie had a major problem standing between her and a full time singing career: She had been diagnosed with vocal fold nodules, tiny lumps of meat that can mess up vocal cords something awful. After her first single, she decided to get the problem fixed for good and went under the knife. The surgery went without a hitch, and the doctor sent Bonnie home with one instruction: She was not to speak for six weeks for the vocal cords to heal properly.
To this, Bonnie Tyler apparently said, "What are you, some kind of doctor or something?" For reasons that were probably unknown even to herself, Bonnie decided to ignore the doctor's orders completely and spent the healing period being less than careful about her voice, up to and including full throttle screaming. As a result, her voice got the instant whiskey treatment, making her the female Rod Stewart.
Or maybe just the Rod Stewart Rod Stewart.
4Thomas Edison Became a Genius (and a Dick) Due to Deafness
While he never used his disability to scale to heights anywhere near as epic as the Destroyer album like Paul Stanley did, Thomas Edison still deserves a healthy amount of respect for overcoming significant hearing loss to do whatever less important bullshit he did with his life, which involved something along the lines of holding 1,093 successful patents. It's no "Detroit Rock City," but people remember him anyway.
We have pointed out several times that Edison was kind of a dick, but that's not exactly an uncommon trait among the great creative thinkers. Going "outside the box" means constant disagreement with contemporaries, a rejection of traditional methods and a steadfast belief that you're right, no matter what they say. It requires living in a mental bubble. And to that end, near-deafness was a blessing for Edison.
"I DIDN'T CATCH THAT, TESLA. WHAT SORT OF CURRENT?"
Edison lost virtually all hearing as a child for reasons that aren't known for certain, though there are several theories floating around, none of which involve explosions, so we won't recount them here. Whatever the reason, Edison's subsequent difficulty to hear others around him made him live his formative years as a relative recluse in a silent, brooding world of his own after his mother withdrew him from school.
"I've been 'peeling your lideas'? You're speaking gibberish, man."
Unable to make friends or do normal little kid stuff, young Edison started reading his little ass off. He obsessed over the sciences, particularly physics and figuring out how electricity works. And here's the thing -- because he wasn't being taught by anyone in any formal setting, he was able to think outside the box, chasing down the newest and most radical theories instead of whatever bullshit they were teaching in high school.
Or, to put it in Edison's own "dickish" way, "Deaf people should take to reading. It beats the babble of ordinary conversation."
"Everyone is a prick but me."