A friend and I were expressing gratitude that we were not enrolled in a particular exercise class at the “Y” because of the extreme levels of music and voice amplification in use. The degree of loudness is annoying, even in the hallway, far away from the room in use. My friend said that he would never consider taking a class that relied upon an instructor who insisted on loud noise to psych up the participants.
We recalled times that we had to endure loudness that is part and parcel of what passes for live entertainment these days. Even when going out to a nightclub, a patron must often put up with loud music. We wonder how the wait staff is able to understand drink orders. I don’t think I’d enjoy such a job, even with generous tipping.
I remember attending the Denver Pop Festival in late June of 1969. Some of my favorite artists and bands were featured. I specifically was attracted by Jimi Hendrix, Crosby, Stills and Nash and 3 Dog Night. I had to take a hasty retreat from the venue for awhile in the middle of the Creedence Clearwater Revival set. The music was so loud that nausea was about to overcome me. No, I was not smoking anything illegal nor drinking. A fellow concert goer recommended that I chew some Wrigley’s Spearmint gum then place the wads into my ear canals. I did that and it provided a little relief.
Later, I stopped at a Walgreen’s and purchased two sets of earplugs. I knew the Jimi Hendrix sets would be the loudest, so I wanted to be ready. Even with the earplugs, I did later develop a nagging headache and a temporary case of tinnitus or severe ringing in the ears.
I still don’t understand how people can stand to attend live concerts, if they’re going for the music. To attend in solidarity with other fans, I suppose there is fun in that. In order for me to enjoy the nuances of live amplified concerts, I must place noise suppressing wax plus earplugs into my ears. Even with such precautions, tinnitus will set in for about a week afterwards. Now, I’d much rather enjoy my Jimi Hendrix “experience” and other music inside of my car or home from stereo units that I can control to my own comfort levels.
I’m often amazed at how many younger men wear hearing aids. Many of them have attended several rock concerts. Others confess to over-cranked car stereo use. Plenty of others work in loud factory environments.
It’s surprising what sounds can do to harm our hearing or that affect our moods and behavior. Even such innocuous sounds as strong winds, and normal highway traffic create noise that is unhealthy. My friends who keep dogs and cats frequently comment around the Fourth of July, that their pets are quite unhappy because of the traumatizing effects of fireworks. I’ve noticed that birds, squirrels and rabbits are very skittish during fireworks season.
For some reason, many people enjoy loud music. I guess loudness is subjective. I enjoy relatively loud levels of techno and house music. Some of my friends like it louder, others want to turn down the volume. I have set and locked in safe levels on my portable music devices that use earbuds. Even with the protective devices in use and extra care in music level choices, I have a mild case of tinnitus.
This effect likely has developed because of cumulative environmental noise. I’m thinking the main culprits are lawn mowing, driving and past exposure to noise in the workplace. I wonder how much Creedence Clearwater Revival and Jimi Hendrix contributed to my condition, even back to the late ’60s.
Meantime, I don’t plan on enrolling in any aerobics classes that rely upon loudspeakers for motivational effect.
The Blue Jay of Happiness is at his best on a calm day in a quiet grove of trees.