Dave Grohl echoed the sentiments of millions of hearing-impaired people this week when he expressed his frustration with the need for face coverings and the wearing of masks due to the COVID pandemic.
Grohl, who suffered significant hearing loss for decades playing in hard rock bands, told Howard Stern this week he had no problem hearing his band on stage or in the studio; it’s hearing people in conversation that’s a constant struggle.
“In the mix, I can hear the thoroughness of everything we did for this song,” Grohl explained. “That being said, if you were sitting, like, next to me, right here [on my left side] at dinner, I wouldn’t understand a fucking word you kept saying to me. There’s no way. In a crowded restaurant, that’s the worst.
“That’s the worst thing about this pandemic, it’s, like, people wearing masks. I’ve been lip-reading for 20 years. So when somebody comes up to me, they’re like, [muffled speech], I say to myself: ‘I am a rock musician’. I’m fucking deaf. I don’t hear what you’re saying.”
the foo fighters the leader attributes the tinnitus in his left ear to his time with Nirvana. As a drummer, his stage monitor was usually placed on his left side, so it was the ear that took the most damage.
Stern asked Grohl why he resisted going to a doctor to have his hearing problems diagnosed.
“I haven’t had a hearing test in a long time,” Grohl said. “I mean, I know what they’re going to say. ‘You have hearing damage, tinnitus, in your left ear more than your right ear.’
Grohl added that he doesn’t like playing with in-ear monitors; he finds them too insulating from the sound of a play with an audience. And he admitted that his own stubbornness is a factor.
“We’ve been playing shows like this for so long, there’s not much I want to change.”
Grohl and the Foo Fighters will be back on stage, pounding eardrums around North and South America starting this month. Goes here for their tour dates.