Pete Townshend on hearing loss

bushearsA friend of mine is having hearing loss; tinnitus. He has played in bands and is doing music on the computer for years and years. Me too, same thing but I am not having any hearing trouble.

My friend wondered if it all was caused by listening to loud music in clubs or wearing headphones. I tend to believe most of the damage is caused by wearing headphones, like Pete’s explains in this article at p2pnet.

I don’t like headphones. Never did. They are closing down the background noises and shut you off from the rest of the world. ‘Closed’ headphones are the worst because you won’t even notice someone entering the room or a telephone ringin’. Sure, I need them. I need them when I am recording acoustic instruments. But in general I love listening to low powered nearfield monitors a lot better.

I’ve heard there are methods for recording with a mic while having your monitors turned on as well. It’s a trick with mic placement and phase cancelation. Maybe I should check that out one day. It must be great being able to record without headphones on, in a natural environment.

Update: Typo corrected (see comments below), tendinitis changed to tinnitus.


Tendinitis is about muscles. You probably meant tinnitus. Millions of people have it and don’t know it. I have it, not from headphones but from drunkenly sticking my head in speaker cabinets at big rocks shows and clubs. Everybody assumes that’s the way Townshend got it becase The Who was the loudest live band in the world. Pete himself thinks it was excessive use of headphones.

Oh, silly me, I got it wrong, too. Tendinitis is about TENDONS, not muscles. How I could type it and not realize that mistake is beyond me. Oh well.

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