Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Oh, me bleedin' ears hurt

I'm having a great deal of trouble focusing this morning. I have a ringing, roaring wave in my ears. The tinnitus is back in spades. I'm an apartment dweller, which means that if the mood strikes me to crank it up at 1:00 AM, the headphones have to come out. Otherwise I'd be looking for a new place to live every few months. I'm too old for that.

There are still a lot of albums and CDs in my collection that aren't safe to play at any volume, any time of the day. Most people don't share my continuing love of Fear or the Dead Kennedys even though their heyday has been over for close to two decades now. Even Fugazi can elicit funny looks from the neighbors unless you live in the bohemian enclave of your city.

I've been having insomnia problems of late so at 1:00 AM last night I had one of those needs to put on The Who. You can't play The Who at moderate levels, regardless of the time of day or your age. Out came the newer, deluxe editions of Live at Leeds and Who's Next. I felt better, was able to fall asleep and now my ears are roaring.

Of course years of doing this as well as going to shows where my goal was to get as close to the big full stacks of Marshalls, and listening to my own guitar "skills" through headphones have not exactly helped the cause. The damage was done years ago, I'm only exasperating them. Where the hearing loss is most apparent is when I am eating out with someone and I can't hear through the mid-range background noise that is common in a restaurant, or even a bar. "Eh?" "What?" "I Can't hear what your saying." I am not a lot of fun on a dinner date.

With The Who still in my head this morning I've started to wonder about an aspect of R&R that's been missing for a long time, one that I miss. Are there any bands left who just drip in danger and possibility like The Who and others did in their day? I can distinctly remember skinheads causing a near riot at The Fox here in Atlanta when they showed up on Peachtree as the fans were leaving after seeing The Clash. That, was real danger and the Clash's fans weren't dumb thugs. The thugs dropped by to have a go and the Clash fans wouldn't abide. This wasn't just an adrenaline pumping addiction the fans had, there was a sense that anything was possible at some concerts. I once left a Replacements show in the mid-80's, one where they were "on" and felt like anything was possible in this world. I still miss Bob Stinson.

Do they even make music like that anymore?

No comments: