Yes, apparently headbanging can be hazardous to your health.
Slayer guitarist Tom Araya – known for aggressively swinging his long mane of hair while performing – began experiencing back problems while on tour with the band in Australia and Japan last October, according to Slayer’s publicist. Upon returning home, was diagnosed with a Cervical Radiculopathy, and while a series of minimally-invasive procedures have resulted in some improvement, Araya continues to deal with intermittent bouts of severe pain, numbness and muscle spasms.
“Tom gave various medical treatments more than a fair shot,” Slayer’s manager Rick Sales announced yesterday, “but they just haven’t handled the problem, so he’s biting the bullet and is scheduled for back surgery at the end of this month.”
The announcement came less than two weeks before the scheduled start of the American Carnage Tour, which was to have featured co-headliners Slayer and Megadeth, as well as Testment. The tour was slated to make at stop at the Glens Falls Civic Center on Friday, February 12. Araya’s upcoming surgery has postponed the tour, and the bands hope to re-schedule American Carnage tour dates for summer 2010.
Sales added, “As unfortunate as this is for so many people – the Megadeth and Testament camps, the concerts’ promoters, and, of course, the fans – Tom’s health is the number one priority, and this has to happen.”