Noel Gallagher once claimed that, in the early days of Oasis, he didn’t use an effect pedal and instead simply turned up his amp as loud as it would go. Now, twenty-two years into his music career, it may be a decision he is coming to regret.
It was recently announced that the High Flying Birds frontman has developed tinnitus, a condition which causes the sufferer to hear a ringing or buzzing sound in their ears. It can be a constant or varied noise and often leads to distress or depression, as well as sleep deprivation.
Gallagher, 45, visited a doctor earlier this year to complain about a ‘bizarre ringing’ in his ears that, following a brain scan, was identified as tinnitus. The condition came about, in all likelihood, as a result of his loud, rock star lifestyle and two decades of touring.
And he isn’t the only musician to have been affected. Bono, Chris Martin, will.i.am, Morrissey, Sting and many other artists all suffer from tinnitus, so why is this not a more imperative issue? Well, research conducted by the British Tinnitus Association indicates that, even though 10% of the UK and one in twenty-two people worldwide have the condition, a staggering 93% of sufferers fail to inform their doctor.
Hopefully, the Noel Gallagher case will bring tinnitus to the public’s attention but, for now, Hidden Hearing has some advice for those afflicted. The charity recommend keeping busy, avoiding silence, moving around and keeping hydrated as potential methods to manage the condition.
They also provide advice on tinnitus prevention, instructing anyone either playing or attending music concerts to wear earplugs or other aural protection. They claim that the best way to stop the condition developing is by reducing the volume and duration of music but, for some, this just isn’t an option!
Most rock stars would inevitably turn their noses up at these kinds of suggestions; indeed, when asked about his tinnitus, the former Oasis guitarist replied that he had no regrets and had ‘a bloody great time doing it all’. Given the effect that this condition can have though, Gallagher’s nonchalance seems just a little inappropriate.
Tinnitus is a serious issue and one that the music industry must take more effort to prevent. To find out more about Noel Gallagher’s case, please read this legal blog post about his condition.
Stay updated with your free Noise11 daily music newsletter. Subscribe to Noise11 Music News here