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Issue Date: August 2007 Issue

Tide Cool

John Carollo
As far as we know, he’s the only eight-fingered, left-handed surf-rock guitarist in the world. And if you ask Kirk Bradley Sporck (KB for short) what happened to his hand, he might actually give you the real story. “I like to tell tall tales about shark attacks, of magic tricks gone horribly wrong,” he says. Really, he was born with just three fingers on his left hand. So when Sporck first picked up a guitar, he quickly figured out he’d have to play as a lefty so the five fingers on his right hand could work the strings. That moment of ingenuity turned out to be a pivotal one — the Cleveland resident now works as a certified Fender Musical Instruments technician, teaches guitar lessons and heads up two bands, including KB and the Riptides. The guitarist says he assembled the surf-rock act “just for fun,” but his staccato, machine-gun-like playing has garnered attention. Last year, Sporck’s band opened for Dick Dale, the king of 1960s surf guitar. KB’s physical obstacle has become just another part of the show, like when he introduces a difficult-to-perform song with a wry, “I might lose another two fingers playing this one.”  

Check out KB and the Riptides this month at Zeleznik’s Tavern in Brooklyn Aug. 11 and Scorchers in Eastlake Aug. 18. For more information, visit

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