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.