Rock music and no protection leads to damaged hearing

A high volume is part of the game when you are a rock musician. It is part of the concert experience to feel the bass in the floor and in your body. But these volumes can also be hard on your hearing and have been a part of the music as long as rock has existed.

For some rock bands, high-level volume is a part of their brand, maybe even what they are most known for. A high volume as always gone hand in hand with rock music since bands like Deep Purple, The Who, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath laid the foundations for the future of rock.

Sadly, rock concerts have not only given the public and the musicians joy. Reduced hearing and tinnitus are dangerously close when the volume reaches the 130 decibel (dB) mark. Even sounds over 85db can be hazardous for our hearing.

The Who  British band The Who were noted for reaching a volume of 126dB at a concert in the sports stadium The Valley in London. This happened while the band was on tour with their The Who By Numbers album.

Led Zeppelin  At a concert by the British band Led Zeppelin in 1969, The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association apparently recorded a volume of 130dB during the song “Heartbreaker”. A year later, Rolling Stone Magazine wrote that Led Zeppelin number “Whole Lotta Love” was the loudest on stage in 1970.

Deep Purple  Even though it sounds like a tall tale, Deep Purple were noted as the world’s loudest band by Guinness World Records in 1972. At a concert in London’s Rainbow Theatre, which has a capacity of 3000, a volume of 117dB was recorded during the concert. The sound pressure from this volume, combined with the closed room, meant that three people fainted.

Crosby, Stills and Nash One musician who has suffered from hearing loss because of his music is Stephen Stills of Crosby, Stills and Nash. For many years, he did not use ear plugs of any kind when he was performing or recording in the studio. Today, on the advice of his colleague Neil Young, he uses hearing aids.

Our Advice  When attending rock concerts, ideally use custom hearing protection. This will reduce the damaging effect of noise by up to 30dB. For further information follow the link below:-


Sources: www.meyersound.com, www.gibson.com

Published Date: 16th October 2012

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