The Who: Their Experience with Noise Induced Hearing Damage

On May 31, 1976 at Charlton Athletic Football Ground in London, England, The Who gave a performance that is listed in the Guiness Book of World Records as the loudest concert of all time, yielding 126dB 32 meters from the stage. That is about as loud as an air raid siren or a military jet about 105ft away from the esteemed rock band. This and another incident while giving a live performance of “My Generation” during the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour when Who drummer Keith Moon set off explosives in his drum set near Townshend may have single-handedly contributed to his tinnitus. Pete Townshend gave the initial funding for H.E.A.R., or Hearing Education and Awareness for Rockers, which is a non-profit organization promoting the education of rock musicians against hearing abuse.


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