37 Musicians With Hearing Loss
In light of the recent new that Brian Johnson may have to pull the pin on his AC/DC career due to hearing loss, we thought it might be interesting to check out other musicians who have suffered the same fate – either with the onset of hearing loss, or even being born with hearing issues.. There’s no doubt that playing loud can be dangerous for your ears, and that tinnitus may be the result, so this is probably only just scraping the surface of those who have been affected over the years. Hell, you have to figure that a few of the members of 13 loudest bands of all time could be members of this club. In fact it’s though that just about every rock musician may have varying degree of tinnitus – a reminder to wear earplugs as much as possible.
1. John Illsley (Dire Straits)
Years of standing next to bass cabs have contributed to his tinnitus
2. Chris Martin (Coldplay)
It’s not just heavy rockers who have problems
3. Paul Stanley (KISS)
The loud music wasn’t the issue here – Stanley was born deaf in his right ear.
4. George Martin
Even producing can leave you with problems as Martin discovered in the ‘70s
5. Brian Wilson (Beach Boys)
Another who has been partially deaf in his right ear for most of his life
6. Andy Partridge (XTC)
Developed tinnitus after damaging his ears in a studio accident.
7. Trent Reznor
The Nine Inch Nails front man has tinnitus and has even written lyrics about the condition.
8. Will.i.am (The Black Eyed Peas)
Started to have hearing issues back in 2010
9. Neil Young
They say Harvest Moon was made as a softer album to help deal with the onset of tinnitus
10. Danny Elfman (Oingo Boigo)
The man who composed The Simpson’s theme tune gave up performing in favour of the studio after his hearing began to go.
11. Liam Gallagher (Oasis)
“Without a doubt I have tinnitus. You’re not a proper rock’n’roll star if you don’t. I learned to live with it a long time ago. I put up with it – I just talk really loudly over it. I’m proud of it. Anyone who doesn’t have ringing in their ears can fuck right off.”
12. Thomas Bangalter (Daft Punk)
Developed tinnitus from being exposed to loud music for many years. He no longer performs in small clubs, as to protect his hearing.
13. Joey Jordison (Slipknot)
His tinnitus is so painful he has sometimes had to leave shows early.
14. Phil Collins
Hung up his sticks in 2011 due to hearing loss
Developed tinnitus after playing with loud punk bands in his early career. Since then he always wears some form of hearing protection.
Cancelled a tour in 2012 due to tinnitus
17. Eric Clapton
Turning up loud has resulted in partial deafness
18. Barbara Streisand
Has been said to have suffered from tinnitus since she was seven.
19. Pete Townsend (The Who)
Now almost completely deaf
20. Ozzy Osbourne
Metal + trouble for your ears: “I suffer from permanent tinnitus because of all the head-banging I’ve done”
21. Paul Gilbert (Mr Big, Racer X)
Living with significant hearing loss
22. John Entswisle
Started to go deaf early in his career and relied on lip-reading in the later parts of his career
23. Dave Pirner (Soul Asylum)
Yep, another victim of years of loud music
24. Bob Dylan
Developed tinnitus after years of playing loud, live music.
25. Jeff Beck (Yardbirds)
Nasty tinnitus issues in his left ear (maybe the one that was closest to his amps?)
26. Mike Patton (Faith No More)
Described his hearing loss in the Mr Bungle song “Slowly Going Deaf”
27. Eric Johnson
Changed his amp setup in 1997 as a result of tinnitus onset
Yep, not the loudest band in the world but enough to create hearing issues
29. James Hetfield (Metallica)
Along with drummer Lars Ulrich suffers hearing issues
30. Blinda Butcher (My Bloody Valentine)
Once suffered a punctured ear drum
31. Ted Nugent
Left ear is shot, even though right ear was the one facing the amp
32. Mick Fleetwood (Fleetwood Mac)
“I was a glutton for volume”
33. Mick Ronson (David Bowie)
Another with tuinnitus in the ear closest to his amps
34. Louis Tomlinson (One Direction)
His hearing loss is due to screaming fans!
35. Anthony Kiedis (Red Hot Chili Peppers)
Following a tour with Nirvana said, “Maybe Nirvana was pushing him [Chad]. That night was the beginning of my ongoing battle with tinnitus. Chad and I both came offstage and hugged backstage and realized that our ears were perceptibly ringing. By the end of that tour, I’d have permanent ear damage.”
36. John Densmore (The Doors)
“Tinnitus… there’s nothing you can do about it…it only gets worse”
37. Ludwig Van Beethoven
Wrote some of his best stuff when totally deaf…