Local musician hitting all the right notes
Photo: Video by tmj4.com
MILWAUKEE -- He's a singer, songwriter, and producer, and he's hitting the right notes.
Tony Memmel is a talented musician making what would seem impossible possible. He was born without a forearm and has only one hand.
Still, he figured out how to play the guitar.
Getting ready is more than just tuning up. He must tape up his arm and secure his guitar pick with electrical tape.
His mother Katie Memmel says Tony was raised to be self sufficient.
She shares, "There was nothing we did not have Tony do. If there were dishes to be done he figured out the dishes situation, if there was laundry to be done, he figured that out. If there was grass to be cut he figured that out."
But the guitar, not chores, was Tony's dream.
Katie Memmel says her son saved up to pay for half the cost of a new instrument when he was only 13 years old, and listening to Tony play and sing, it's clear it was a sound investment.
Tony Memmel admits mastering his music has taken hard work, discipline and practice.
He adds, "I don't think I knew how far I wanted to go with it until I felt more inspired. I started to reach more people and realize that the fact that I learned how to play the guitar was meaningful to people."
Today, you might find Memmel playing at venues all over our area. He also performs with his wife.
Memmel is also an important advocate for those born with limb difference.
Katie Memmel says, "He became his own voice. He now speaks publicly and performs and goes into schools and he talks to kids."
Tony Memmel has strummed his way into thousands of hearts. He's a testament to the determination and strength of the human spirit.
He reflects, "I think life is all about perseverance. We all have different challenges. For me it was my arm, for the next person its something totally different. The important thing is you face your challenges head on. Work hard to do whatever you want to do in life."