The Former Band Member Of The Clash Who Ditched Music For Medicine

Being a musician isn't necessarily a path to a long-lasting career, to say nothing of it being a guaranteed path to long-lasting wealth. Even musicians who make it, however you want to define the phrase "make it," don't have careers that last forever. For every Sting or Phil Collins are hundreds of performers whose careers came and went. 

Once you're no longer paying the bills with music, what can you do? Putting aside former musicians who have gone into homelessness or prison, for example, many have done what the rest of us do to make money: They got a job. Rob van Winkle, aka Vanilla Ice, for example, forged a second career flipping houses, while MC Hammer went into the ministry.

Another performer who got a day job after his music career fizzled was Terry Chimes, who did various stints drumming for The Clash and other bands, before turning his focus towards medicine. At the same time as his vocational transformation, Chimes also underwent a personal and spiritual reawakening as well.

Terry Chimes' Musical Career

There's a saying among fans of punk music: "Punk snot dead," which is today, "Punk's not dead." Punk rock's heyday was, without question, the late 1970s and early 1980s, with the Ramones forging the genre here in the States, and acts like the Sex Pistols representing the genre across the pond.

One of the biggest punk acts in those days was England's The Clash which, like a lot of other bands, changed lineups over the years. Terry Chimes was their original drummer in the 1970s, according to his website, and then he left the band, re-joined them again for some tours in the 1980s, left again, performed with bands such as Black Sabbath, Hanoi Rocks, and Cherrybomz, before taking 20 years off to focus on "another career," as he describes it, and again stepping behind the kit, after two decades, to join The Crunch.

It's in that 20-year gap in his musical resume during which Chimes practiced the most un-punk-rock job imaginable — as a chiropractor. Along with the job change came a new enthusiasm and dedication to Catholicism.

Terry Chimes Became A Chiropractor, Found God

Back in 1994, Terry Chimes put music in the rear-view mirror in favor of a more steady day job, according to Catholic Culture. Specifically, he channeled his "lifelong passion for biology, medicine, and healing" into a career as a chiropractor. And, it wasn't just one chiropractic clinic: He actually opened up a chain of clinics, and he also became a respected professional in the fields of chiropractic management and alternative medicine. His website is filled with information about his own chiropractic practice, as well as about how he supports other chiropractors. "He has given over a quarter of a million treatments and has now reduced his hours to allow time for music and other interests," notes his website.

A few years after throwing himself into alternative medicine, Chimes also found an interest in Catholicism. Specifically, he was reading a book by C.S. Lewis, himself a devout Christian, when he (Chimes) had a conversion experience. "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," he wrote in his autobiography, excerpted at Catholic Culture.