SKF NOTE: When I shared my 1977 story about meeting Levon Helm in New York City for a Modern Drummer interview that never happened, I forgot to mention Levon’s puzzling left-hand callous. In the photo here of my left-hand I’ve positioned a USB adapter where Levon’s callous was.
He told me it was from his drumstick. I couldn’t – and still can’t – imagine holding a drumstick, traditional grip, so that it would cause a callous to develop that far back from where the stick rests between the index finger and thumb.
No one at the restaurant table had a drumstick Levon could use to demonstrate. So the topic ended.
But, as drummers often do, I’ve often thought about Levon’s callous, searching for an explanation that may never appear.