AC/DC’s Brian Johnson Says It Wasn’t Rock Music That Made Him Deaf

You gotta feel for AC/DC’s Brian Johnson. At age 68, his hearing has deteriorated to the point where he’s been sidelined from the last ten dates of the band’s current tour. Doctors say that if he had persisted, his hearing might have disappeared entirely.

This is a lesson in ear protection, right? You can’t expose yourself to loud rock’n’roll for decades and not expect your hearing to go to shit. But here’s the thing: Brian maintains that rock isn’t to blame for his auditory issues. It’s cars.

Johnston is a hardcore gearhead who not only collects exotic cars but also races them. Here’s what he told Howard Stern

I’ve obviously had some hearing loss,” Johnson told Howard Stern. “I’ve got hearing loss in me left ear. I didn’t get it from music. I got it from sitting in a race car too long without ear plugs. I heard my ear drum burst, because I forgot to put me plugs in under my helmet. That’s how it happened. Music had nothing to do with it,” he continued.

After stopping and taking his racing helmet off, Johnson realized that blood was coming out of his ear and he was experiencing dizziness. When Stern asked him if it’s true he could no longer hear with his left ear, the rock singer said, “Not much. It’s just like tinnitus. You forget about it after a week.”

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Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ 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.

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