Reeling In The Ears
- 5 Mar 08, 04:00 PM
Bad hearing tends to go with the rock and roll territory. In the old days, it was almost a badge of honour, a sign that you’d been through the wars, battling with feedback, crash cymbals and house-shaking PA speakers.
A friend of mine was in a Camden basement bar when her eardrum spontaneously ruptured, spraying the place with blood. Steve Lamacq called his autobiography ‘Going Deaf For A Living’ while Pete Townsend, who once wrote about a deaf, dumb and blind kid, is severely challenged in the hearing department. Are you surprised?
This morning, I was talking on Good Morning Ulster, explaining that a quarter century of music journalism has left me with permanent ringing in my ears. Tinnitus isn’t a great laugh, especially at night when you’d rather have a gentle sleep, or when tiredness and stress turn the tones into a howl-around chorus.
There’s a new campaign called Don’t Lose The Music, telling people about how to avoid such conditions. They’re aiming to find cool designers who can make ear plugs look more attractive, and delivering easy hints about prevention. Tinnitus, you see, has no cure.
Alternately, you can put your head in the bass bins and hot-wire your MP3 player to hit 11 on the volume scale. The royal prerogative of youth is to ignore the future, to damn the reasonable advice, to crash the car. But consider the fact that your precious music needs a couple of sensitive instruments to channel the tunes. If you abuse ’em, you lose ’em. Really.
Stu Bailie presents The Late show on Radio Ulster, every Friday from 10pm until midnight. See his playlist here.
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites