I wish I'd invented metal 40 years ag0! if I had I'd be pretty pleased with myself...
Update: "In an industrial accident at the age of 17 on his last day of work in a sheet metal factory, Tony Iommi lost the tips of the middle and ring finger of his right hand... After attempting to learn to play right-handed, Iommi strung his guitars with extra-light strings (using banjo strings, which were a lighter gauge than even the lightest guitar-strings of the time) and wore plastic covers over the two damaged fingers. He fashioned the latter himself, by melting plastic liquid-soap bottles into a ball and then using a soldering iron to make holes into this ball, putting his fingers in while the plastic was still soft enough to be shaped. He then trimmed and sanded away the excess plastic to leave himself with two thimbles, which he then covered with leather, to provide better grip on the strings"
Not quite so medieval but definitely brutal!
Now that there's an economic downturn it'll probably be less easy for the next batch of school leavers to get a job in an office playing on the internet all day, so if you get a trade, i.e. metalwork or carpentry, mind your bloody fingers or you sideline as a concert Cellist could go down the pan. x