It’s been quite a long while since I posted anything here about Tinnitus. Honestly, I believe I just ran out of things to say about it. For all intents and purposes, it’s never going away. Nothing I’ve tried -– from whey supplements through any number of homeopathic “remedies” –- ever worked. I just acclimated. I’m fortunate that I was able to. My particular case isn’t that bad, but I’ve spoken to some individuals who aren’t as lucky. They grapple with perpetual frustration, headaches and depression as a result. It’s no joke.
In any case, my high school pal Lela recently reached out to me as she was tasked with penning a piece on the subject for a science periodical. I gave her my sob story, but also put her in touch with my friend Paul Wallfisch, a musician with a sterling resume from playing with some of my favorite bands, notably Firewater and the very loud SWANS, as well as his own band, Botanica. That article came out this week, you can check it out here.
You’ll notice I invoked an early 90’s show from the New Ritz on West 54th Street when I witnessed My Bloody Valentine (pictured above) unleash their infamous “holocaust” during a performance of “You Made Me Realize.” It sounds like the stuff of fanciful legend – not unlike the accounts of early SWANS gigs being so loud that they induced vomiting in the audience. I can’t say if that’s true, but the My Bloody Valentine shows were indeed the real deal. I saw them again at Roseland a few years back, and the all-engulfing sound was indeed loud enough to make your soul wince. I remember seeing unsuspecting and arguably “passive” fans being carried out of there with tears streaming down their faces.
Time to dust this off again: This doesn’t even begin to encompass how loud it was, but it should give you a taste…
I was prepared that time (I’d brought heavy-duty earplugs for that Roseland show), but I do genuinely believe the first exposure at the Ritz played a large role in the Tinnitus that blossomed in 1999.
But when it appeared for good, it wasn’t in the wake of a loud show the night before. I can’t say what the final straw was, but the cumulative damage reached a point wherein I just woke up with it one morning, … and, over seventeen years and counting, it’s never gone away.
Protect your hearing, kids.