While 18-year-old George Dennehy was born armless, he isn’t letting that stop him from pursuing his dreams and sharing his passion with the world. Most recently, he’s been receiving major attention for a YouTube video of his performance of “Iris” by the Goo Goo Dolls, in which he accompanies himself on the guitar using only his feet.
Shira Lazar chatted with the web sensation to learn more about his love for music and the online reaction to his work.
“I think people see the willpower and determination and how much that performance meant to me — and that song. I guess it touches people’s hearts,” Dennehy said of the video.
The musician just graduated from high school in Ashland, Virginia, but he was originally born in Romania, before being adopted as a baby. Quickly summing up his backstory, he said that he has 11 brothers and sisters from all over the world and music is his life.
It all started when Dennehy was eight years old. His mom introduced him to classical music and that’s when he started playing the cello.
“We had the cello and the floor and the neck was propped up on a pillow,” he said. It all took off from there as Dennehy quickly picked up other instruments. He took bass lessons but taught himself how to play the guitar and piano.
Now, he’s an inspiration for musicians of all levels of experience.
Dennehy told Shira, “People say, ‘I complain about not being able to play the guitar with my hands and here’s this guy playing with his feet.'”
He also received an email from the drummer of the Goo Goo Dolls, who said that he showed the video to the band and that they were all truly inspired by it.
Now that the Internet is listening, what message does he want to share with people through his music?
“Every person has their purpose here,” Dennehy said. “We’re all here for a reason. Don’t let anything get in someone’s way to do what they feel called to do. I just want people to see that even though I don’t have arms I’m still striving to do what I want to do in my life.”
He also treated us to a special performance of “Slide” by the Goo Goo Dolls.