ROGER TAYLOR: DEAF METAL

Roger Taylor and Brian May. Roger has suffered dramatic hearing loss.

As the celebrations for the 40th anniversary of Queen get underway, drummer Roger Taylor tells how, despite personal setbacks, the band is still a major force

THERE’S a running joke in Roger Taylor’s house. Ask the Queen drummer a question, any question, and the response is always the same. “Half-past seven is my standard reply,” he says with a smile. “It doesn’t matter whether they’ve asked me what I want to drink, watch on TV or where I want to go on holiday.”

Behind this private joke lies the uncomfortable truth that one of the greatest drummers in the history of rock music has suffered dramatic hearing loss.

Talking for the fi rst time about his secret struggle to hear, Taylor revealed that he has joined the ranks of Who guitarist Pete Townshend and former Genesis drummer Phil Collins as the latest casualty of mega-volume stadium concerts.

“I guess it was inevitable and hardly surprising given what I’ve been doing for the past 40 years but at least I’m in good company,” says Roger sitting at a desk in the offi ce at his Surrey home.

“The sound levels on stage were so loud with all that constant banging and smash, smash, smash; it did untold damage to the fi ne nerve endings in the inner ear, though it is worse in the left, which is the side of my snare drum and the monitor.”

It was Roger’s wife Sarina, whom he married last October, who noticed the adroit drummer had a problem.

“She was the one who kept pointing out that the TV volume was up too loud, though I could only just hear it. Then I kept missing out on dialogue in fi lms and at dinner parties and social gatherings I couldn’t understand what people were saying. It felt strange and frustrating to a point where I was starting to lip-read. I realised my hearing wasn’t what it should be.”

Tests at the Harley Street Hearing Clinic in London showed that Roger has hearing loss in both ears due to prolonged exposure to loud noise.

“Now I’m wearing hearing aids in both ears,” he says pointing at said ears which are no longer covered by the trademark blonde mane that was back-lit on Queen’s album covers.

“When hearing aids were fi rst mentioned, I pictured myself as that old geezer at the back of the church with the whistling ear trumpet but you can’t see these Phonak hearing aids and people don’t realise you’ve got them in.”

So hearing loss hasn’t made Roger any less of a rocker?

“No, but I am an older rocker now,” he insists, though at 61, subtly-tanned
and dressed in a smart white shirt and navy trousers, he is still the  looker with the drumsticks whose falsetto highnotes (his voice spans three and a half octaves) characterised many of Queen’s songs; he wrote several more classics for the band, including Radio Ga Ga and It’s A Kind Of Magic.

“Hearing loss has not affected my vocal range. I can still pitch perfectly but without the hearing aids I don’t hear the intricate high parts of the actual spectrum. It goes all ‘wooferly’.”

Still being able to hit the high notes at this time in his life is reassuring for Roger, who has made four solo albums and after a 12-year gap plans to release a fi fth next year.

As he says: “It’s already been three years in the making. I work on it only when it comes to me.” Yet it’s probably wise for Roger to hold back, as this year the attention is on Queen celebrating their 40th anniversary, made all the more remarkable by the fact that the band offi cially “broke up” in 1993, yet have seemingly never ceased to exist.

The enduring legacy of the late Freddie Mercury, the ongoing success of the stage musical We Will Rock You and the Queen reunion in 2004 and subsequent tours with Paul Rodgers of Bad Company are part of the continuing history of a band that sold in excess of 300 million albums worldwide. To mark the anniversary Island Records is reissuing fi ve of Queen’s greatest albums from the years 1977 to 1982, which must make Roger feel very proud. “Some of it does,” he says pensively.

“There are bits where you think I wouldn’t have done that now but a lot of it makes me realise how much work we put into our music. The idea behind reissuing the albums is to get people to reassess their perception of the band as there is a view that we were just a singles band.

“Now we can introduce the albums to a new audience technologically enhanced so that the bass is more defi ned and the sound is crisper. Freddie would have loved the remastering.”

Roger and the then-Freddie Bulsara were particularly close from the moment they met in 1971 when the latter joined Smile, the band formed by Brian May which at art student Freddie’s behest was renamed Queen.

Roger, who had abandoned his dentistry studies, traipsed around London clubs with Freddie to see Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and David Bowie, who all came to infl uence the band’s sound.

“I was thinking about all that the other day and then it hit me that Freddie will have been dead for 20 years in November.” says Roger bowing his head.

“I was staggered because it doesn’t seem possible that all that time has passed and I still miss him. He was my best friend, my best man. We shared so much and I owe so much to him.”

WITH SUCH treasured memories of Freddie and periodic contact with his mother, Jer, and sister, Kashmira, one might assume that Roger would have mixed feelings about the forthcoming bio-pic starring Sacha Baron-Cohen, of Ali G and Borat fame, as the idolised front man but both he and Brian couldn’t be happier.

“The casting is inspired and we have a lot of faith in Sacha because he is an incredibly clever artist who runs a lot deeper than most people realise.

He is much taller than Freddie but I think he might really surprise people with this performance, though I haven’t seen him do any scenes.

“We haven’t yet got to that stage but we have given lots of material to help Peter Morgan (Frost/Nixon, The Queen) fashion the script so that he could recreate the dynamic and the dialogue that went on between us.”

As to which handsome blond actor will be playing Roger is yet to be revealed. “I don’t want to be involved in that,” he retorts with a grin. “Brian May and I will just supervise the music.”

The interview is interrupted briefl y by a text from Roger’s daughter Rory. “She says that Dragon Attack (writtenby Brian) is a great track and has had it on repeat on her iPod,” he laughs, adding: “She’s a junior doctor.” Roger has fi ve children, aged from 31 to 11.

He is delighted, however, that his son Rufus took to the drums without any persuasion or pushing from him and is now on the We Will Rock You tour.

“He is a brilliant drummer and will be joining Brian when he performs with Kerry Ellis.”

With his solo album bubbling on a low-heat, Roger has been busy watching rushes for a BBC2 documentary on the band to be shown tonight and tomorrow.

“Our story is in two halves as the band’s career up to Freddie’s death was 20 years and 20 years later, our music is as popular as it was then. It’s a sort of everlasting…income.”

So what does he think he’s worth? “7.30pm,” says Roger, with a smile.

If you have any questions about hearing loss contact Hidden Hearing.

Source: www.express.co.uk
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Now I can hear daddy – Pioneering hearing op means deaf child can hear

Hearing aids are difficult to fit on young children who may not be able to report what they are hearing, and may not have any experience to use to describe their experience.

It’s not easy telling 18-month old twins Skye and Daisy Brake apart.

The girls like the same toys, wear identical outfits and keep parents Katrina and Aaron on their toes.

But Daisy was diagnosed as profoundly deaf when she was just six months old, leaving the whole family devastated.

Now Aaron, a musician and former soldier, and wife Katrina are once again feeling positive about the future, thanks to pioneering treatment which has given Daisy the chance of a normal life.

And they are looking to enlist others to raise funds for ABF, The Soldiers’ Charity, which made the treatment possible.

Katrina, 38, of Dunkeld, Perthshire, said: “We went from being a family that was completely devastated and didn’t know what we were doing, to one which had a great deal of support.”

Katrina and Aaron, 26, who also teaches music, had already endured a difficult start to life as a family when the twins were born 10 weeks premature.

But after three months in the special care baby unit at Ninewells Hospital, Dundee, they were allowed home. It was another three months before a routine hearing test flagged up Daisy’s problems.

Katrina said: “It was a big shock, although we had noticed Skye would react to a lot of louder noises, whereas Daisy wouldn’t.

“When we found out she had severe hearing loss, it was devastating, as you want your child to be perfect. All parents do.”

In an effort to find out more, Katrina and Aaron took to the internet and learned about Auditory Verbal Therapy, available at a clinic in Oxfordshire. Aaron said: “We liked it because it was positive. It explained how Daisy could be taught to listen and communicate. The therapy teaches her to communicate and to understand that words mean things.”

Further good news came when doctors confirmed that Daisy was suitable for cochlear implant surgery – and the op was a success.

Coupled with continued therapy sessions in Oxfordshire over the next year, it means that Daisy should be able to communicate normally.

Katrina said: “To have someone telling you that Daisy will be able to listen and will be able to speak the same as any other child means everything to us.

“Now, if you call her name, she’ll turn around. If you ask her to bring you a toy, she’ll do it.

“If her dad plays music, she dances. That’s due to the therapy as she’s filling in the gaps that are missing.”

But funding the therapy sessions and travel costs meant Katrina and Aaron needed financial help. Some of that came from The Soldiers’ Charity, thanks to Aaron’s two-year stint in the Scots Guards before he was medically discharged after suffering a serious knee injury on a live-firing exercise.

But despite his relatively short time in uniform, The Soldiers’ Charity were able to offer some much-needed help.

The couple also received assistance from the Scots Guards and Radio Tay’s Cash for Kids appeal.

Aaron said: “What they’ve done for us has been the difference between Daisy being able to hear and speak and being unable to. It’s as basic as that.”

Now the couple are urging people to sign up for an event next month which will allow The Soldiers’ Charity to help more ex-servicemen and women. The Alliance Trust Cateran Yomp, on June 25 and 26, is a charity walk across Perthshire.

Katrina said: “It’s such a worthwhile charity. The difference it has made to our lives is incredible and we owe them so much. We’d be delighted to see as many people as possible taking part and we’re sure it’ll be good fun.”

If you have any questions about hearing contact Hidden Hearing

 

More Information:

May 29 2011 By Craig Mcqueen, Sunday Mail

Husband won’t accept that he’s going deaf

Thursday May 26 2011, Belfast Telegraph.

He turns up the volume on the television so high that the rest of us cannot bear to stay in the same room.

I think my husband is going deaf. That, in itself, is not a problem, but he won’t accept it.

He turns up the volume on the television so high that the rest of us cannot bear to stay in the same room.

He grumbles at us all that we are mumbling and deliberately trying to exclude him from conversations.

He is getting to be a miserable grouch. I have tried to tell him that it’s because he doesn’t hear well rather than us not speaking properly but he won’t have it.

He seems to regard deafness as something to be ashamed of, so how can I get him to see reason? LG

FIONA SAYS: ENCOURAGE HIM TO GET A CHECK-UP

He may be embarrassed about going deaf but it’s not something he has brought on himself. How you can encourage him to see things logically and seek help, though, is tricky. He could improve his life so much if he just sought some help.

Point out to him that ear infections or even a build-up of wax can muffle hearing and that just to be sure, it would be worth asking your GP for a check-up.

Alternatively go to have a free hearing test yourself. They are available from a number of places.

Then tell him what you’ve had done and suggests he does the same thing.

If his hearing loss would be helped by the use of an aid he should remember that these days they can be so small they are practically invisible.

Thursday May 26 2011

If you have any questions about Hearing contact Hidden Hearing

Hearing aids help battle Alzheimer’s

When Lisle resident Angela Perosi, 85, started forgetting things and tuning out conversations, her daughter took her to a doctor — and then got her fitted for new hearing aids. Studies have shown hearing loss can increase a person’s risk for Alzheimer’s disease.

When Lisle resident Angela Perosi, 85, started forgetting things and tuning out conversations, her daughter took her to a doctor — and then got her fitted for new hearing aids.

Studies have shown hearing loss can increase a person’s risk for Alzheimer’s disease.

Perosi had hearing loss before she was diagnosed with mild dementia. But her arthritis made it difficult to keep taking the over-the-ear hearing aids in and out, said her daughter, Debby Berger, a Naperville resident and registered nurse. So Perosi started wearing “invisible” hearing aids that fit inside the ear canal and can be worn for months at a time.

“She’s more into the conversation at the dinner table,” Berger said. “(Before,) she just sort of sat there. I thought maybe this will help. The way to help her dementia is to get mental stimulation, and way to get mental stimulation is to hear.”

Over the last two years, doctors at the Hearing Health Center in Naperville have fitted 11 patients with the completely-inside-the-canal hearing aids. Audiologist Ronna Fisher, founder and president of the Hearing Health Center, said eight of those patients have experienced significant improvements in memory, mood and social interaction.

“I’ve been impressed, but not surprised,” Fisher said in a statement. “Studies show even mild hearing loss impairs patients’ relationships, incomes and emotional states. I’d always suspected it impairs their memories as well.”

In a recent National Institutes of Health study, researchers who followed 639 adults for 12 years found the worse the subjects’ initial hearing, the greater their likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s. The risk doubled with mild hearing loss, tripled with moderate loss and went up five times for those with severe hearing loss.

The researchers theorized hearing loss may cause Alzheimer’s disease by creating cognitive stress or social isolation. Whether hearing devices affect cognitive decline and dementia will require further study.

Berger has noticed the link between hearing loss and memory loss with both of her parents. Her father, who died two years ago, lived with Alzheimer’s for 15 years. He also had hearing loss.

As a result, she’s consciously keeping her own mind — and ears — alert. When she took her mom to the Hearing Health Center, the doctor invited Berger to get a hearing test as well. It turns out she has high-frequency hearing loss from going to loud concerts when she was younger.

“I do not require any hearing aids as of yet,” Berger said. “But I do crossword puzzles every day, trust me.”

If you have any questions about hearing loss contact Hidden Hearing

Stone Deaf Forever: Rockers With Hearing Loss

Pete Townshend suffers from tinnitus

The wages we pay to rock and roll aren’t always of the sinful and hungover variety. Some of us pay, dearly, with our hearing, one of the best gifts that God has given humanity. Today is Pete Townshend’s 66th birthday, and The Who guitarist is just one of countless rockers living with tinnitus, a particularly annoying form of hearing loss characterized by a constant ringing or buzzing in one or both ears. ​It’s not surprising that Townshend is almost deaf, considering the volume and intensity of his band throughout their career. From the beginning in dingy British rock clubs to massive outdoor concerts, he’s been playing to 11, maybe even 21, through his amps.

And earplugs aren’t very sexy or rock and roll, so we doubt he was using any preventive steps to save his hearing beyond drugs or booze to drown out the ringing.

Don’t forget us in the peanut gallery in the seats and pits who deal with high decibels from small venues to arenas almost nightly. Sadly, we rarely wear hearing protection ourselves doing our Rocks Off duties, but we know that one day we will regret it when we can’t hear the smoke detector, or be able to carry on our adopted father’s oil business. Here are some rockers with acute hearing loss, from metalmen and punks like Ozzy Osbourne and Husker Du’s Bob Mould to soft-rockers like Sting and Phil Collins.


What Happens at a Hearing Test?

When visiting the audiologist or hearing instrument specialist for your first hearing test, you may be a little unsure of what to expect.  Below is a detailed description of the standard hearing test and what exactly you can expect before you arrive at the office.

Medical History

Your audiologist will begin your hearing test by asking for a brief medical history to determine any medical factors that may contribute to your possible hearing loss.  Additionally, your doctor will want to know if you’ve been exposed to any loud noises either through occupational or lifestyle choices.  These factors are useful for determining what type of hearing loss from which you may be suffering.

Physical Exam

The audiologist or hearing instrument specialist will continue the exam by using a cone-shaped tool with a flashlight known as an otoscope to look inside your ear.  The otoscope will allow the specialist to see whether there is anything abnormal in the ear canal.

Pure-Tone Audiometry

One of the most basic hearing tests is called pure-tone audiometry.  During this procedure, your audiologist or hearing instrument specialist will place earphones in your ears.  Then you will be asked to respond whenever you hear a tone.  The tones will come at varying pitches and varying volume levels.  The pure tone hearing test is a useful tool for narrowing down the type and degree of hearing loss and allows us to help you choose the properhearing aid for your hearing loss.

Additional Tests

If a problem has been detected, your specialist may wish to perform additional tests to determine whether it is conductive or sensorineural hearing loss.  Conductive hearing loss, which is caused by damage to the mechanical portion of the ear, can often be reversed with medical treatment, while sensorineural hearing loss, which is caused by damage to the tiny hair-like cell structures of the ear’s organ, is permanent.  Therefore, it is important to find the location of the damage in order to adequately fix the hearing loss.

If you believe you may suffer from hearing loss, please schedule an appointment with Hidden Hearing. Our thorough hearing test will effectively pinpoint the problem and allow our specialists to find the hearing aid most suitable to your needs.  Don’t struggle for another moment with sub par hearing, we can help!

Musicians ‘have less hearing loss’

Learning music may improve the listening ability of older generations

Learning music may offset some of the effects of ageing and improve the listening ability of older generations, a study has found.

Years spent playing a musical instrument “fine tunes” the nervous system, said scientists.

As a result auditory memory – the ability to remember what is heard – and to distinguish sounds is improved.

“Lifelong musical training appears to confer advantages in at least two important functions known to decline with age – memory and the ability to hear speech in noise,” said researcher Professor Nina Kraus, director of the Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory at Northwestern University in Illinois, US.

Previous research has suggested that learning music confers learning advantages on youngsters in the classroom.

The scientists carried out tests of memory and speech recognition on 18 musicians and 19 non-musicians aged 45 to 65.

All the musicians started learning an instrument at the age of nine or earlier and had continued to play throughout their lives.

In the tests they outperformed the non-musician group in auditory memory and sound processing tasks, and were better at detecting speech against background noise. Both groups showed an equal ability in tests of visual memory.

“Difficulty hearing speech in noise is among the most common complaints of older adults, but age-related hearing loss only partially accounts for this impediment that can lead to social isolation and depression,” said Prof Kraus. “It’s well known that adults with virtually the same hearing profile can differ dramatically in their ability to hear speech in noise.”

The research was published in the online journal Public Library of Science One.

For information on hearing loss contact Hidden Hearing