Rolling Stone named Frampton Comes Alive! Album of the Year. It quickly became the best selling live album to-date at the time. Now, 37 years later, it still remains the 4th best selling live album ever.
We were seated 8 rows back from the stage in a fairly intimate outdoor arena, and when we left the venue three hours after warm-up blues and rock guitarist, Sonny Landreth, got things started, the ringing in my ears from all that driving rock music was off the charts loud. By the time we got home, however, the sound that only I can hear had resumed its normal, constant volume.
That is becauseI, along with nearly 36 million Americans, suffer from a malady called tinnitus. Tinnitus, which, by the way, is pronounced TIN-i-tus, but is often mispronounced tin-EYE-tus, is a ringing, swishing, or other type of noise that seems to originate in the ear or head. Tinnitus is a 24 x 7 affliction; it never eases up for even a single second. It’s right there inside your head and it cannot be snuffed out or quieted.
first noticed the ringing in my ears in the early-Eighties. When I first heard
it, the sound was intermittent...it would come and go. But then, in the mid-Nineties, this
continuous, never ending ringing seemingly coming from both ears became my
Tinnitus can be quite annoying to those of us who suffer from it, especially since we are the only ones who can hear the noise. But according to the Mayo Clinic, tinnitus, in and of itself, isn’t indicative of something more serious. Instead, it’s a symptom of an underlying condition, such as age-related hearing loss, ear injury, or a circulatory system disorder. Yet for something that afflicts so many people, tinnitus is not very well understood by the medical community.
In many cases, an exact cause of tinnitus is never found. Personally, I don’t care if my tinnitus came about due to all of the rock concerts I’ve attended over the course of my life or for any other reason. Whatever it was that triggered my tinnitus, it seems to be here to stay, and all I want to know is how to get rid of it. Unfortunately, there is no known cure, and the many doctors I’ve seen about it basically gave me the same advice: learn to live with it.
And speaking about age-related hearing loss, my hearing has become progressively less acute as I've gotten older. This loss of hearing acuity is particularly annoying when ambient noise is loud, which is nearly everywhere. Particularly in noisy restaurants, I often can’t make out what people are saying unless they are sitting right next to or across from me.
I find myself looking at the lips of whoever is speaking in an often futile effort to figure out what the hell they’re talking about. And when that doesn’t work, I simply nod my head in a gesture of understanding and comprehension, hoping that I wasn’t being asked a question and that my knowing nod is an appropriate gesture for whatever it was that someone said.
At home my wife keeps complaining that the TV is on too loud, but in order to be able to hear...and more important, to understand...the dialogue, I need to have the volume pumped up. In contrast, though, very loud, shrill noises, like sirens of any kind, are actually painful for me. I suppose the good news about loud sirens, though, is that they do temporarily drown out my tinnitus.
Fortunately I am a relatively healthy person. I have no dreaded, potentially fatal diseases (that I know of). My blood pressure and heart rate are fine. True, I can’t see shit without my glasses, and I can hear only slightly better than I can see. But this ever-present tinnitus, coupled with the loss of hearing acuity, is truly bothersome.
If only I could have an hour or two of pure silence...no constant ringing. If only I could simply turn off the sound inside my head. How great would that be?