Complementary and alternative medicine Entertainment/culture Medicine Music

Say it ain’t so, Terry…

One problem with getting old is that you start to see bands that you admired in your youth start to betray what you perceived as their ideals. The Baby Boomers were the first to start experiencing the disillusionment that comes with that, and songs from the rock gods of the 1960’s have become ubiquitous in ads for everything from clothes to Cadillacs. Of course, bands that I idolized when I was in high school and college are no different. Sometimes, however, something happens to members of such a band that is just plain bizarre.

For example, could you believe that a member of The Clash is now a chiropracter? It’s true:

What do you do next after you’ve been in one of the most celebrated bands on the planet? Become a chiropractor.

You’ve played the biggest stadiums, you’ve had Bob Dylan, Jack Nicholson and Eddie Murphy coming backstage to pay tribute. Rolling Stone magazine says your records are in the top 10 of all time. So where do you go now?

Terry Chimes, drummer with the Clash, literally turned his back on rock and roll – and became a chiropractor in Essex. His stage appearances are now limited to motivational seminars for doctors.

So how did he get from playing in a band to the treatment table?

“I felt it was time to completely change – and over the time I’d been a musician, I’d already become a non-drinking, non-smoking, non-drug-taking vegetarian who does yoga.”

Ack! The drummer from one of my favorite bands of all time, a band that actualy had a legitimate claim to its hyped title of “The Only Band That Matters” has become an altie! On the other hand, maybe it’s not so unexpected. According to Chimes:

“When I met them, they were like a gang. They looked different, they were wearing clothes that no one else was wearing,” he says.

But what really set them apart was the idea that it wasn’t just about music, but about radical politics and an alternative lifestyle.

“It took on a life of its own. It was like joining a cult. I wanted to enjoy playing music – and they wanted to suffer. It was serious from the moment you got up in the morning, until the moment you went to sleep.”

Of course, that was exactly what I loved about The Clash, back when I was 18 years old. You tend to think that way about music and your favorite bands when you’re that age, you know. At least I did. But to go from that to being a chiropracter? Chimes explains:

When he [Chimes] decided to retrain as a chiropractor, he didn’t tell anyone else on the course that he’d been in a band. “I didn’t tell them in case they thought I was a crackpot,” he says.

But then Should I Stay Or Should I Go was re-released and went to number one – and the other students spotted him in the video. “Then they thought I was even more weird for not talking about it.”

Does he miss the old days?

Not at all, he says. The chiropractor and alternative therapy business has boomed, with his firm becoming one of the biggest in Europe. And he’s more interested in spiritual matters, saying how important his Catholic faith is to him now.

And, according to his website Chimes:

…became a doctor of chiropractic and also an acupuncturist. He studied in the UK, with a spell of clinical practice in Nanjing, China. He developed a chain of chiropractic clinics, perhaps the most successful in Europe. Terry then turned his hand to training others in how to be successful.

He currently runs Europe’s largest consulting business in alternative medicine. He lectures and leads seminars all over Europe and the USA on success and how to become one. Terry is actively involved in charity work and is chairman of the board for the YMCA of East London.


It sounds as though Chimes has done more than become a woo by becoming a chiropracter; he’s become a motivational speaker writing self-help books as well!

I think I need to go and listen to The Clash’s first album for a while. That, and London Calling, even though Chimes wasn’t the drummer when it was recorded.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

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