An occasional series featuring our favorite Instagram follows.

Who he is: RAEA, lost his right arm in a work accident at age 17.

What he does: He drums with one arm like Rick Allen of Def Leppard, plays bass with one arm a la the incomparable Bill Clements, and is learning the guitar. Oh year, he’s also a professional audio engineer.

Why we followed: We originally found him goofing on the drums to Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On.” The chops are impressive, but what hooked us was the soul. Many players have twice as many arms but not even a tenth of the emotional range. Jack flashes ferocity, precision, inventiveness, wit, and more. This amputee reminded us that, in the end, music comes from the heart.

Follow at: @jackthomas_ (and please follow Amplitude at @livingwithamplitude)

In his own words:

  • March 14: “Living with such a jarring disability has made it difficult for me to accept who I am and be happy. I knew that feeling of solace wasn’t going to come on its own. I know a lot of you can relate to that too—not being happy with how you look, therefore not being happy with who you are, and knowing you have to do something to change that.”
  • February 5: “What a great day meeting and hanging out with some new upper limb amputees! It’s unfortunate that these guys have had to go through something so traumatic and damaging. But being able to sit with them and ensure them that they will succeed and give some tips and tricks was even uplifting for me. Seeing how excited they all were with my prosthetic was incredible! Amputees are a special kind of strong, and I never thought of myself as that until I got the opportunity to meet with so many others.”
  • December 26: “I’m a big dumb idiot, but I’m a smart big dumb idiot that’s also really happy. No more making excuses about not being able to play guitar, I’m just gonna do it.”
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