03 February 2010

Dire Straits star has hearing loss

Bass guitarist John Illsley has sustained considerable hearing loss after years of exposure to damaging levels of decibels

Dire Straits bass guitarist John Illsley acknowledged that his more than 30 percent hearing loss was unavoidable after touring constantly from 1976 to 1992.

“After every gig, my ears would be ringing loudly for at least an hour – ears are particular sensitive to a pumping bass,” said Illsley, now 60.

The early days Dire Straits sound system was primitive, modern noise regulations were non-existent, and the monitors were at full volume. But even after the band became successful and could afford better equipment, Illsley still suffered from ringing in his ears after every show.

“We did think that perhaps we should turn down the sound but we also knew that both to play and listen to music is far more exciting when it is loud,” said Illsley.

Son with tinnitus
Illsley is worried about the devastating impact of loud music on the younger generation, and he would like to see sound levels, particular in clubs, made safer, a subject of even greater urgency as his oldest son, James, is now also suffering from tinnitus at the tender age of 27 years.

”A few weeks ago, James went to a club and came back in a lot of pain,” explained Illsley. “He said it felt as though his ears were bleeding. They were not, but he has had ringing in them ever since which is worrying.”

Source: www.dailymail.co.uk Photo: www.wikipedia.org

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