Archive for the ‘hearing loss’ Tag

Hearing The Who   1 comment

A mystery left unanswered for over 30 years has been cleared up. Finally! I have proof that I wasn’t crazy. But unfortunately it’s a satisfaction that will go unshared since I’m certain I’m the only one of the four of us who remembers that night. Sure, they probably remember the WHO concert but I’m sure they’ve long forgotten the lisp. Who am I fooling? I’m probably the only one who even remembered it the next day – or cared!

What I don’t remember is the exact year. Let’s settle for 1980-early something or other. The WHO Were appearing at the Oakland Coliseum and I went to see them with the man to whom I was married, and another couple. Husband and friend, being technology types, and other wife, being a nurse, all brought earplugs to use once the concert was underway.

“What are you nuts?” Yes, I’m sure that’s what I said.  “We’re here to see a group that bills itself as the loudest rock band in the world……

loudest band


………and you three are going to plug up your ears?!”



Well, one of us didn’t.

We had great seats. Balcony? Loge? Mezzanine? Whatever they were called, they were upper left of the stage so I could down for a side view of Roger Daltrey as he kept up his non-stop marching steps and twirled and caught his microphone throughout the entire concert.


twirling mic

Sure Jagger has his moves ………




but it is my strongly-held opinion that Roger is overlooked when it comes to putting on a non-stop show. He may not prance and strut like a rooster, but he never stopped moving. And, to this day, no one has perfected the rock and roll scream like Roger Daltrey.


rock and roll scream



And ,as I said, I had a perfect seat to verify this. And the pyrotechnics that that culminated “Won’t Get Fooled Again” – A full sensory assault.

Ha! I thought, too bad these namby pambies with me aren’t getting their money’s worth.  

Later on the drive home, maybe I was tired or cranky, but I didn’t appreciate the joke the guys were playing on me, talking with a lisp, saying things like

“Did you thee the colorth in the thmoke after that exthplothion?” asked friend

“Stop talking like that!” I whined

“Thtop talking like what? What am I doing?” he asked.

“You’re talking with a lisp!”

Here’th the thtop thign where you need to turn,” advised husband who was serving as his navigator.

“You too, Cut it out!!!”

“Why are you so upset?” Other wife turned around to look at me in the back seat. “They’re not doing anything.”

“ They’re talking with those phony lisps. Don’t you hear them?”

They continued this way the entire ride home. I gave up, but I never forgot, and finally, last month, I discovered the guys were innocent after all.


Smart Planet is a newsletter I follow online at work. It often serves up material I can curate for our Twitter account. An interview with a woman named Katherine Bouton, who began losing her hearing at age 30, caught my eye although it had no application for work. I began reading, and there it was in black and white – the answer I’d been searching for all these years……

I understand that high-frequency sounds are the first victims of hearing loss and then comes the inability to hear the frequencies associated with speech.

Audiologists refer to the speech banana. This is the pattern on an audiogram that shows where speech sounds fall. If your hearing does not fall within the speech banana you’ll have trouble understanding speech, though you may hear it. Very few vowels or consonants fall in the low frequencies but in the high frequencies, 4000 to 8000 Hz, you find the consonants f, s, and th. So people with hearing loss in that area can’t distinguish between “fish” “fist” “fifth” or “fit.”

Finally, vindication was mine. I wasn’t hearing things, after all.

Hmm, I wasn’t hearing things?! I wasn’t hearing? What does this mean?????

I need time to think about this. But if you’d like to learn more about hearing loss. (No, I didn’t say my hearing loss, I just said hearing loss) you can read the entire article at

Name That Tune   4 comments

Last Friday night, I went with friends to a new wine bar that opened up in the neighborhood. As a very effective means of introduction, they are offering free live music every Friday in August. And you know me. Free? I’m there!

We didn’t know that we should make reservations but fortunately there was one table left –right in front of the stage. I was happy about this. My friends weren’t. They thought the big speaker towering over us might be too loud. I looked up at the stage. I had to admit it was one big honking speaker. But hey, I survived two Who concerts and came away with my hearing intact and who’s louder than The Who? Not even The Stones and after a couple of their concerts my voice took a while to recover from all the screaming but I could hear.

When the warm-up band came on, playing a mix of 60’s through 80’s songs, my friend dragged the table back and out of the speaker’s aim. I stayed put. What wimps this younger generation is,I thought. Well we’re all the same generation, all ,but as much as I hate to admit it, I have over ten years seniority on all three of them.

“I’m fine,” I bragged. “I’m used to this kind of loud music,” adding as a half-humorous afterthought – “or maybe I’ve already lost a lot of my hearing.”

It turned out my original thought was accurate. The second, and arguably, featured  band started up, (a nineties grunge band with a tall statuesque but definitely grungy female lead singer), it was not what I was used to. My ears could take but two songs of the strident guitar strumming guitar and the undecipherable, screamed lyrics. I got up and stood to the side. We left soon after.

Nirvana fans, forgive me but there’s nothing like classic rock, especially the songs that paint a picture, and draw you right into the scene. You see it, feel it, smell it. Know what I mean. No? Sure you do.

Let’s play a game. I’ll tell the story, as I see it and you tell me the name of the song; my version of Name that Tune.


Song#1 (In fact the warm up band played this one)

A young man pines for a particular summer of his youth,  spent on his back porch with his buddies, playing his first guitar, one that he bought for practically nothing. But soon the old gang broke up. Some moved away, others got married. No other summer before or after ever matched that one.

Story #2

A young country boy, probably blond, impossibly good-looking and naïve, decides he’s tired of living with the older rich woman in her penthouse. Tells her he’s leaving the city to go back home to the farm where he grew up.

Story #3

Another young man, this one, a talented musician in the city plays music at a working man’s  border-line seedy bar, and succeeds in bringing some joy to the aging, lonely clientele who drink there every night

Too easy, you say? OK try this one.


Yet another young man (hey what is this with the young men) comes home with a girl he just met. She lives in what we, in America, call a studio apartment, in England, they call it a bed-sitter. He sits patiently talking all night, and when she hints she has to get up for work in the morning, he goes into the bathroom to sleep in her tub. When she leaves for work in the morning he wakes to find himself alone and so proceeds to….. This song has two interpretations, the G-rated one – light a fire, or the X-rated one (send the children out of the room) he masturbates,

Story #5

A man (young?) just can’t bring himself to end a beach town vacation. He spends his time wandering around, watching the tourists, and then limps home to make his favorite cocktail. Where is he? Puerto Vallarta? San Diego? I personally picture St Thomas, Virgin Islands but then the rum punch doesn’t go with the song.

Okay! Time for the answers

Drum roll please…….



Summer of ’69,  from the album………..


Song #3

Song#4, Norwegian Wood

Song #5

Now I’m off on a mission – to find  “story” songs about young (or not so young) women. And when I find them, we’ll have another round of Name That Tune.