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Ex-Clash Drummer Terry Chimes Has Become A Chiropractor And A Catholic?




May be many of you aren’t going to understand why I find this weird but this is plain unusual to me! Punk rocker Terry Chimes, original drummer of the legendary Clash, has not only totally given up to rock’ n’ roll to become a chiropractor but he has also converted to Catholicism. Do you see how strange it sounds? Going from rebel to obeying pupil of one of the most old-fashioned faith. I don’t get it! In his autobiography, The Strange Case of Doctor Terry and Mr. Chimes, Terry Chimes writes about his journey back to the Catholic faith when he stumbled across a copy of CS Lewis’ ‘Mere Christianity’ in 1998 and was basically illuminated with a chapter entitled ‘The Great Sin’, which talks about pride,

‘That was until I realized the significance of pride as an obstacle to spiritual growth,’ he explained to the Catholic Herald… ‘As I read those words I had the chilling awareness that I have been in just such a trap for twenty years. I put the book down and went to sit on the sofa. I was reeling from the realization that I’d been in a trap for all of that time. Within minutes I was having the most extraordinary experience of my life.’

‘At that moment, everything material and concrete seemed like nothing compared to the power and majesty of this presence. Everything in my world seemed to be instantly shattered, leaving me feeling tiny, naked and exposed. At the same time I felt the most extraordinarily powerful love. This presence knew everything about me and yet still loved me.’

In other words, he had a total spiritual experience, it happens to a few people, it is apparently very powerful and leaves an everlasting effect on the person.

He continues: ‘There were many tears, but also the most profound feeling that I would always be loved until the end of time and beyond. I also realized at that moment that my life could never be the same again. There was the feeling that all of the hairs on my head were standing on end and tingling, a feeling that has stayed with me on and off ever since.

‘I decided to set about rearranging all of my life’s priorities…When I came across the following poem, by Saint Augustine, it expressed perfectly my feelings at that time: ‘You made us for yourself and our hearts find no peace until they rest in you. Beauty at once so ancient and so new, late have I loved thee. You were within me, and I was in the world outside myself. I searched for you. You were within me but I was not with you. You called me. You cried aloud to me. You broke the barrier of my deafness. You shone upon me.’

Wow, I want what he is having! Or probably not as great as the experience may look. But these spiritual/religious experiences can be explained scientifically by some weird activity in the brain, especially in the parietal lobes, the part of the brain that makes the distinction between self and other. And for reasons still obscure (to me) this distinction can become blurry, explaining why a person feels one with everything. There are tons of papers in neurobiology about this phenomenon: there is no higher power involved as it can even be produced in labs with proper stimulation of the brain or just with drugs.

May be it doesn’t matter if the guy is happy, let him think and believes what he wants. yes, but this is such a long way from The Clash’s rebellious days. I didn’t know very much about him however Chimes, also nicknamed ‘Tory Crimes’ has always been regarded as an outsider in Clash circles, even having right-wing political ideas, and this could explain a lot. At the end, what does this tell us? That there is a life after punk rock? But do we need to know… I already wasn’t very found of chiropractors and their new-age-y-pseudo-medicine (it’s wacky what can I say) but a catholic chiropractor? Just remind me to forget about all this next time I listen to the first Clash album!

1 Comment

  1. Nisha on March 24, 2017 at 1:17 pm

    The Catholic Church is the Church Christ left us to still tap into his most awesome love. makes complete sense to me why Terry Chimes returned to what he always belonged to!

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