I have severe hearing damage. It’s manifested itself as tinnitus, ringing in the ears at frequencies that I play guitar. It hurts, it’s painful, and it’s frustrating.
The recent return to touring and to me playing electric guitar – albeit more quietly than in the 1970s – led to further deterioration of my hearing. My right ear, which encounters my own edgy guitar and the machine gun strokes of the drums, has suffered badly. Luckily for me, I still have my left ear, which seems to be less fucked up. When I’ve worked solo in the past five years I’ve not used drums. This has meant I could play more quietly I think. With The Who, there is of course no way to play the old songs without drums. I’ve no idea what I can do about this. I am unable to perform with in-ear monitors. In fact, they increase the often unbearable tinnitus I suffer after shows.
Pete talking about his hearing damage. Produced by Flynner Films “Can’t Hear You Knocking” (1991) :