AC/DC Postpones Tour to Keep Brian Johnson from Suffering “Total Hearing Loss”

It used to be that no one used any kind of hearing protection at gigs and rehearsals, that whole “If it’s too loud, you’re too old” sort of thing. It was almost a badge of honour to be half-deaf the day after a concert.

But now people are realising how stupid it was to ignore the potential of hearing loss. As Pete Townshend about his tinnitus. Neil Young has to ask people to speak up. Eric Clapton, Phil Collins, Brian Wilson and Ozzy Osbourne all have hearing issues. So does Beatles producer George Martin. Even Chris Martin of Coldplay has a constant ringing in his ears.

The list of half-deaf musicians goes on forever. I personally know several who can’t leave the house without hearing aids in both ears.

AC/DC’s Brian Johnson is the latest guy to suffering a hearing crisis. The band’s current tour has been cut 10 shows short of the end because Brian’s dangerously close to going completely deaf.

The band is hopeful that with a little rest Brian’s ears will recover. However, other reports say that Brian is done completely and that these final shows will be completed with another singer. If that’s the case, the future of AC/DC could be in real jeopardy.

Until things are settled, the following gigs have been postponed.

3/8 — Atlanta, Ga. — Phillips Arena
3/11 — Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. — BB&T Center
3/14 — Greensboro, N.C. — Greensboro Coliseum
3/17 — Washington, D.C. — Verizon Center
3/20 — Detroit, Mich. — The Palace
3/23 — Columbus, Ohio — Nationwide Arena
3/26 — Cleveland, Ohio — Quicken Loans Arean
3/29 — Buffalo, N.Y. — First Niagara Center
4/1 — Philadelphia, Pa. — Wells Fargo Center
4/4 — New York, N.Y. — Madison Square Garden

Meanwhile, if you’re not using hearing protection when you’re in environments with high sound pressure levels, you’d better start. Your older self will thank you for that in about 40 years.

(Via Loudwire)

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

4 thoughts on “AC/DC Postpones Tour to Keep Brian Johnson from Suffering “Total Hearing Loss”

  • March 8, 2016 at 11:02 am

    I suffer from a constant ringing in my ears, and have partial hearing loss in my left ear. You might assume it’s because I’ve been a working musician for some 37 years, and a rock fan for longer than that, and I’ve certainly been to my share of loud concerts, but it’s not. I worked in a factory with loud machinery for 18 years, and I think that’s where the ringing comes from, but the hearing loss came from something very unexpected – driving on the highway! Eighteen years of driving a half hour and back to work every day on a busy highway, with the windows rolled down because of no air-conditioning, will damage your hearing. I know that now. Certain upper frequencies are entirely gone in that ear – the ear that was facing the window. The other ear is fine.

  • March 8, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    I have a constant ringing in my ears. Pretty sure I can trace it back to Radiohead in 97, as I couldn’t hear for 2 days afterwards. I’ve never stood that close to the speakers again.

    I know I SHOULD wear earplugs, but the problem I have is that it dampens/deafens the sound too much. As someone who at one time fancied themselves a musician, I really want to hear all the instruments as clearly as possible.

    If anyone has any suggestions as to products that do a better job of letting proper sound in but still protecting hearing…I’m all ears 🙂 (sorry, just had to do it, I’ll show myself out…)

  • March 8, 2016 at 12:37 pm

    As both a musician since 13 (I’m 37), and and a Hearing Instrument (Aid) Provider… I empathize with the dilemma of the fear “missing out” on music (esp. If you play a more nuanced style like jazz, etc., and the important need to protect one’s hearing.

    I worked in industrial environments for years (mostly with protection), but not until the last 4 years or so did I start to wear hearing protection at shows.

    Sadly, I have mild, ever present tinnitus in both ears. It’s not as bad as it could be, but I never hear true silence. There’s always a high pitched tuning fork sound in my head.

    The solution is custom earplugs that are filtered for musician/live music lover/employees in loud venues like bars and clubs. They are filtered for as close to a flat frequency response as possible, with average filters you can choose to provide a 9, 15, or 25dB cut in overall volume. They’re about $225.

    People typically don’t like the sound of traditional earplugs because they diminish high frequency so much that things sound unnatural and muffled (like underwater). The musician plugs are a dream because everything sounds balanced, just quieter. Every time I go to a show, I always pull the plugs out and compare sound, and I sometime cringe at how much I’ve battered my ears over the years.

    I go to obnoxiously loud hardcore/punk/rock and these plugs keep it nice and punchy, but don’t rob the sound. There will always be people who turn their noses up at the idea because it reeks of caution/responsibility etc., but I couldn’t really give a squat. I see and experience the damage done from noise exposure everyday, and it is just not worth it.

    PS. The only time I saw AC/DC live, they were amazing and brutally loud. I wasn’t wearing plugs (yet).

  • March 8, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    I too have ringing ears, Mine is from poor hearing protection on the firing range when i was in the army reserves in the 1980’s and riding motorcycles also without proper protection. It’s not the exhaust but the wind noise over my helmet that seems to the culprit.

    I have ear plugs for shows now. one set i got from a hearing clinic ,they are great but were a pain to track down.

    the other pair which are also great i picked up at Long and Mcquade in the drum shop. I think the brand is Varta

    Neither pair was super expensive and both help a lot at shows to keep the sound at non painful levels.


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