I can easily take them off if I need to talk to
someone in the room, listen to the audience,
or get away from an accidental volume blast.
And the speakers are simply a lot bigger in
the headphones, so there is more headroom
and better quality sound. It also gives me a
good excuse to have messed-up hair, which
is pretty much all my hair will do anyway.
Now, let’s turn to damage control. Do
you already have constant ringing and high
frequency loss? Do you wonder why most
people (especially women and children)
don’t talk loud enough? Do you wonder
why the dialogue in movies is mixed so
low? Do you wonder why telephones, alarm
clocks, and kitchen timers just aren’t made
like they used to be? Do you wonder why
your new stereo never sounds as good as the
one you had when you were a kid? Do you
wonder why concerts are always too loud
and sound crappy? I wondered all these
things until I realized it’s me Sorry!
This is the price I paid for listening to all
that fantastic loud music and guitar. Was it
worth it? In a word, yes. I loved that music
so much. I would have had a lot more
misery if my rock and roll were taken away
from me than from any grief that I have
now from living in my treble-free world.
But I certainly wish I could go back in time
and follow some of my advice. I would
definitely trade some head-stuffed-into-
the-4x12-moments in exchange for getting
some high-end back into my ears.
So how do I deal with living in a treble-free world? Well, first of all, I can still hear
my guitar. I have help from the best hear-ing-aid company in the world—Marshall
amps! Hearing my guitar is just not a
problem! Seriously, my experience of playing guitar is not only via my ears. When I
play, I am physically touching the strings
and feeling the vibration in the wood of
If I could go back
in time and visit
my teenage self, I
would certainly have
advice to give.
the body and the neck. I have a strong connection to the music before I hear a note.
Guitar is still good.
The biggest challenge is speech. Since
my hearing loss occurred gradually, I
never really noticed the change. I still feel
normal. But now it seems like I live in a
world where everyone else has bionic superpowered ears. I’ll watch people on opposite
ends of a room talking to each other with
ease, while I stand in the middle and can’t
understand anything. I’ve tried hearing aids
and have yet to find one that doesn’t sound
like a kazoo broadcast on an AM radio.
So my solution is to move closer to people
and convince them to speak clearly, slowly,
and directly to me. I can imagine that this
requirement for simple communication
might be annoying to the people around
me. In a way, I am demanding special treatment. But I don’t have brown M&Ms on
my backstage rider, so I’m hoping it will
balance out in the end.
Finally, this may be dangerous optimism,
but I actually enjoy some of my hearing
loss. I can sleep through just about anything
(alarm clocks, traffic, barking dogs, ringing
phones, noisy neighbors, even fire alarms).
I am not as annoyed as I normally would
be at the ubiquitous and horribly chosen
background music in restaurants, shops,
and public places of all kinds. And although
spoken communication requires that I get
closer to people, I like how it makes com-
munication more serious. I simply can’t chit-
chat easily. You’ve got to get my attention,
look right at me, and say what needs to be
said clearly and directly. Cloudy mumbling,
whispered sarcasm, and fluffy verbosity sim-
ply don’t work. The cantankerous old man
in me doesn’t miss those much.
oeoeoeoeoeoe oeoeoeoe n oe n oe oeoeoeoe