Back in the day (geesh, I really hate that phrase), I was a hardcore, thrashin’, mosh pit monger–standing on the edge pushing and shoving people. Yes, for those of you that don’t know, I was a headbanger. Usually, just around friends when fooling around, since I wanted to appear a bit under control while at rock shows. Well, that and I wanted to actually watch the band. Novel idea, eh?
It seems that scientists have now found that the thrashing of the head back and forth, the windmill, and the figure eight (my specialty) may have left me brain damaged.
Researchers Declan Patton and Andrew McIntosh from the University of New South Wales in Australia attended hard rock and heavy metal concerts to create a “theoretical headbanging model”.
And where did they get this model?
The paper applies the theoretical headbanging model to a scene from the cartoon Beavis and Butthead.
In the scene, the characters headbanged to The Ramones’ I Wanna Be Sedated at 164 beats per minute.
The range of motion of Beavis’ head was about 45 degrees, below the serious injury threshold.
But for Butthead, the prospect was not so great.
He headbanged with a range of motion of about 75 degrees, risking a “level one” head injury, headaches and dizziness.
Okay, I’ll admit to dizziness, but I always thought that was just a side effect of being a ditz. But to be quite honest, whenever I watched Beavis and Butthead, I’d giggle at their lack of true headbanging skill. They had bad form.
Their study found a rock or metal rhythm of at least 146 beats per minute combined with a head-swing arc of 45 degrees will cause “mild head and neck injury”.
Worse still, with faster tempos and wider arcs, they observed a “definite risk of mild traumatic brain injury”.
And for those who regularly indulge in a bout of headbanging, they carry a strong warning.
“In 2005, doctors believed that Terry Balsamo, the guitarist from the band Evanescence, experienced a stroke from headbanging,” their report says.
(H/T: Sky News)
It’s sad that Balsamo had a stroke and that it might be due to headbanging. But, people don’t walk around banging their heads everyday.
Now, I know some of you probably have moments when you scratch your head and wonder about me, but I assure you, I’ve not done any damage. I might have a slight twitch here and there, but other that, my use of my mane as a pom-pom didn’t make my IQ lower. I do have degenerative issues in my neck, but so did my grandmom. I don’t think she was rockin’ out to Metallica.
In honor of the “whiplash,” here’s Metallica’s “Whiplash”. Yes, I used to bang my head to this song. (SOME A LOT OF “F” WORD USAGE. YOU’VE BEEN WARNED.)