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Chiropractic quackery, power metal edition: The Hootsman laid low

James Cartwright, otherwise known as the Hollywood Hootsman, bassist of my favorite power metal band Gloryhammer, announced on Facebook and Instagram that he had been felled by a chiropractor.

I normally don’t post on weekends, but yesterday, I saw something that demanded at least a brief post. James Cartwright, otherwise known as the Hootsman, bassist of my favorite power metal band Gloryhammer, announced on Facebook and Instagram that he had been felled by a chiropractor:


Gloryhammer, for those of you not into epic power metal, just the sort of geeky music one might expect me to like. Power metal isn’t really much of a thing in the US, but it’s really popular in Europe, and Gloryhammer is a Scottish band that uses names of cities and locales in Scotland to put their stamp on their songs. They dress in costumes and sing about the sort of things common in the genre, such as epic battles, dragons, evil wizards, and the like.

One way that Gloryhammer stands out among power metal bands is that each Gloryhammer album tells a chapter in a multi-album story of the battle of Prince Angus McFife to free his kingdom of Dundee from enslavement by the evil wizard Zargothrax. (Lots of power metal bands tell stories over the course of an album, but not many tell one story over several albums.) Over the course of the story, the Hootsman was introduced as a mighty warrior and the King of California. By the mostost recently, became the god of an alternate dimension. The story is, amusingly enough, way more complicated and wild than that. For instance, Dundee was initially conquered by the evil wizard Zargothrax leading an army of undead unicorns in the first song of the first album. Zargothrax enslaved the kingdom and imprisoned its princess in ice, setting Angus off on his quest for mystical weapons (e.g., the Hammer of Glory) and a magic dragon to gain the power to defeat Zargothrax. By the third album, released in 2019, the story had grown to feature Death Knights riding undead eagles, flying submarines, a magic jetpack, missiles of nuclear justice, and Angus flying to the sun to recharge his hammer before battling Zargothrax again. (There’s more than even that, but I’m not going to write a full Orac-length post recounting the whole story.) Yes, it’s all rather silly, but it’s damned good fun and actually quite creative.

The Hootsman is on the far right.

In concert (I saw Gloryhammer in Chicago in June), as the Hootsman Cartwright dresses in furs and downs beer after beer that fans bring to him, sometimes by way of a fan crowdsurfing to the stage.

In any event, the Hootsman noticed some back pain, a very common complaint, and, because was about to embark on tour again, thought he should try to get it under control. So he went to a chiropractor. Right after the manipulation, he was in excruciating, spasming back pain, so much so that he spent the next two days on the floor. (This part of the story is a bit weird. Why didn’t he call for help? Why did it take two days for a paramedic to be called?)

Even though the Hootsman didn’t suffer the most serious complication of chiropractic, a stroke from neck manipulation, which can result in paralysis and death, back pain this severe is quite a setback. The Hootsman went from being able to function to not being able to get up because of the pain and to having to try to soldier on in concert on narcotics and sitting in a wheelchair. I’m assuming here that he was worked up and doesn’t have any physical injury requiring surgical intervention, but this sort of back pain is no joke. Here’s hoping Cartwright is back to being able to portray the Hootsman the way he always has in the past.

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]

28 replies on “Chiropractic quackery, power metal edition: The Hootsman laid low”

@ Orac

I’ve just had a look at the “The unicorn invasion of Dundee” song…

A princess getting raped by undead unicorns? WTF?

Anyhow, quite a good laugh! Thanks.

Beats a fight between a tarkus (a tank-like creature) and a manticore (a cross between a lion and a scorpion).

Tarkus is an awesome album, and I occasionally play the song in bars while playing pool.

Of course there’s also the quest to free the muse Singring from the glass guitar.

I can’t view the last video on your post. “This video has been blocked by UMG in your country on copyright grounds.”

Huh. I’ve listened to a bit of Gloryhammer but I had no idea there was any kind of storyline to the songs, probably because I wasn’t listening in any set order. I’m surprised I haven’t listened to more of them, actually, seeing as it was my high school DM who got me into metal in the first place.

Also, while I can’t say I’ve ever had any sort of problems with back pain (I think I’ve got a fair few decades until that happens), I’ve seen my dad go through it and it can be seriously disabling. Kudos to the Hootsman for soldiering on, though. That can’t have been easy.

Dundee was initially conquered by the evil wizard Zargothrax leading an army of undead unicorns

It hasn’t changed much.

V&A Sassenachs have recently put up a nice building, I’m told. (Though doesn’t have much in it; presumably the good stuff would walk.)

Cruel, but not entirely undeserved. Back in the Cold War days, Dundee city centre was where British spy movies would go to shoot scenes set in Moscow.

While I never knew heard about the band, Dr DG always enlightens us**, I viewed
their holiday song wherein the chief god reveals he has switched from his usual activities to working for IKEA
But which goddess/ god makes the pancakes?

** see how much we can learn here?

“Hootsman was introduced as a mighty warrior and the King of California”

He’s also Arnold Schwarzenegger (“immortal warrior with armor made from wolf”).

Absolutely fabulous band. Love their ridiculous intentionally over-the-top story. Flying submarines? Hell yeah!

Pharma was threatened by the evil dwarf Bolenthrax leading an army of millions of undead weasels.

But by the time he reached the the gates of the great citadel, they had all melted away. 🙁

S’no bad, pal, but ye gonnae haftae put it tae music n’aw tae. Kis ah kin alredi heer oor Mastir ae Blinkinlites ower oanae Toobes ae Yoo, fair geein it laldy whil feedin yon dungin ae slavverin hellbeests oana baws ae al hiss enemies.

Please, this is a serious blog. Do not post if you are going to let your drunk cat do your typing for you just because Our Omniscient Overlord seems to have suffered a glitch, due to a severe electromagnetic pulse, and spent time in an alternate reality of overwhelming geekdom.

has – I copied your post into google translate to see what it’d make of it, it came up as Scots Gaelic, but the translation into English was just what you had written, except with the odd change of word order! Incidentally, Dangerous Bacon does sound like a suitable band name. What does ‘fair geein it laldy’ mean?

I have to say, thanks Orac for introducing me to Gloryhammer – splendidly silly! They’ll go well alongside Alestorm in my mental roladex. 🙂

Just noticed – the founder of Gloryhammer is also in Alestorm. That might explain the similarities!

It’s easy to laugh, it’s my belief that but these Gloryhammer songs are all coded instructions to the Scottish independence movement.

For example Zargothrax is obviously Boris Johnson and the zombie unicorns are the Brexiteers. The conquest of Dundee is, however, wishful thinking by the rest of Scotland.

Don’t be depressed – I overanalyze everything.

Also, I think I have a new favorite band.

By the power of Hoots! Heroes of Dundee arise! Just…. How on earth did a chiropractor do this kinda damage ?

Overly forceful “adjustments” can certainly cause serious damage. One of my med school memories involves a family practice clerkship, where I saw a patient come into an ER in great pain following a chiro treatment – the “adjustment” had fractured a couple of his ribs.

Unintended consequences are even more consequential when the treatment in question can do little or no good even if applied properly.

I know little of this Dundee of which you speak, but surely Zargothrax is an escapee from the lost notebooks of Douglas Adams.
I don’t know about zombie unicorns, but it would be pretty cool to have an army, or maybe a megaflock (?), of carnivorous sheep under my command (See also my comment on the doTerra post about the heavenly aroma of CBD oil.).

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