It’s not only normal people that get Tinnitus. There are hundreds of celebrities who have it some worse than others. It’s interesting to know this as you can read their stories and find out more about hey they deal with having tinnitus in their different careers and fields of endeavour.
Some of the more famous celebrities with tinnitus are:
Vincent Van Gogh, Eric Clapton, William Shatner, Barbra Streisand, Steve Martin, Leslie Nielsen, Engelbert Humperdinck, Gabe Lopez, Bob Dylan, Leonard Nimoy, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Martin Luther, Phil Collins, Cher, Morgan Fairchild, Cheryl Tiegs, Ozzy Ozborne, Huey Lewis, Ludwig van Beethoven, Sylvester Stallone, Larry King, Bono, Phil Collins, James Hetfield, Jack Straw, Pete Townshend, Peter Sun, Betsy Casey
Songs about Tinnitus
Bob Dylan - Call Letter Blues - “My ears are ringing, ringing like empty shells… Well, it can’t be no guitar player.Must be…convent bells”
Peter Frampton - “I wonder how you’re feeling….there’s ringing in my ears….and no one to relate to…except the sea….Who can I believe in? ”
Robert Plant - Stairway to Heaven - “You´re head is humming and it won´t go in case you don´t know…”
Francis Rossi, Status Quo - Burning Bridges - “I can’t escape this ringing in my ears…”
Bob Seger - Turn the Page - “Later in the evening as you lie awake in bed, with the echo from the amplifiers ringing in your head.”
Wilco - Yankee Hotel Foxtrot - “Classical music blasting masks the ringing in my ears.”
Nine Inch Nails - Something I Can Never Have - “I still recall the taste of your tears. Echoing your voice just like the ringing in my ears.”
Nine Inch Nails - The Becoming - “I can try to get away but I’ve strapped myself in. I can try to scratch away the sound in my ears. I can see it killing away all of my bad parts. I don’t want to listen but it’s all to clear. Hiding backwards inside of me I feel so unafraid. Annie, hold a little tighter I might just slip away. It wont give up. It wants me dead. Goddamn this noise inside my head”
U2 - Staring At The Sun - “…There’s an insect in your ear, if you scratch it won’t disappear, its gonna itch and burn and sting, you wanna see what the scratching brings…waves that leave me out of reach, breaking on your back like a beach, will we ever live in peace? as those that can’t do, often have to preach, to the ones, staring at the sun……”
Other famous celebrities including musicians with tinnitus and their stories
Steve Martin - musician, actor, comedian. Got Tinnitus while filming “Three Amigos!” during pistol shootout.
Leslie Nielsen - from “Police Squad!”, “Airplane!” and “The Naked Gun” shows
Pete Townshend said “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.” Townshend is completely deaf in one ear from an explosion when Keith Moon blew up his drum set live on stage in the early 1960’s and loud amps. He has tinnitus, resulting partly from the band’s live gigs but mainly the deafening volume in which he and Entwistle used to listen to playbacks over the studio “cans.” There are reports saying that he is unable even to hear his phone ring. The Sun newspaper reported Townshend said his hearing got worse after the band’s recent US tour. Quote from Pete: “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,” the 57-year-old said. “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 @#%$ 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.” source from Sky News
John Entwhistle - According to Who scholar Andy Neill, Entwhistle was pretty deaf, and tended to rely on lip-reading. He didn’t have tinnitus but still played bass at his usual “everything on 11″ volume.
Tinnitus - A Ringing In Your Ears. About Tinnitus, Causes of Tinnitus, Tinnitus Cures, Tinnitus Maskers, Living with Tinnitus.
William Shatner - stage/prop explosion on set of StarTrek (during mid 1960’s)
Leonard Nimoy - stage/prop explosion on set of StarTrek (during mid 1960’s)
David Letterman - T in one ear, has had T a long time: Dave mentioned that he too had ringing in his ears, and has had it for a long time to William Shatner
Paul Schaffer - “He’s got that?! I’ve got that!” on Billy Bob Thornton’s character with Tinnitus in ‘BANDITS’
Mark O. Hatfield
Jean-Jacques Rousseau - Influential eighteenth century political philosopher. From “Confessions” (1780) “…a great noise started up in my ears, a noise that was triple or rather quadruple, compounded of a low and muffled humming, a softer murmuring as though of running water, a piercing whistle…This internal noise was so loud that it robbed me of the keen ear I had previously enjoyed and made me, not completely deaf, but hard of hearing… in spite of the throbbing in my arteries and the humming in my ears, which since that time, some thirty years ago now, have never left me for a moment…The noise was irksome, but it caused me no suffering: it was not accompanied by any chronic affliction, apart from insomnia at night…” P. 222, Oxford World’s Classics paperback edition, Oxford University Press, 2000
Jean-Francois Champollion - (1790-1832) Champollion was a French Egyptologist and scholar who is acknowledged as the father of modern Egyptology. He is best known for deciphering the Egyptian Hieroglyphs on the Rosetta Stone. His deciphering of hieroglyphics laid the foundations for modern Egyptology and Egyptian archaeology. In the book “The Keys to Egypt”, it describes how Champollion drove himself to complete an encyclopedia of his work. “Depressed and feeling more and more unwell, Champollion now wrote to his brother about the damage done by the strain of work: ‘My poor head hurts, my tinnitus, the humming and buzzing noises, has worsened and leaves me neither day nor night. I have frequent spasms and am incapable of occupying myself seriously for more than a quarter hour…’ ”
Neil Young - got it originally from loud music siting that as the main reason he moved to “acoustic” music in the late 80’s
Barbra Streisand - “Streisand has ascribed her volatile temperament to the tinnitus from which she has suffered since she was seven.” source: news.independent.co.uk
Jeff Beck - From an interview with rock guitarist Jeff Beck: “Yes, it’s in my left ear. It’s excruciating… I mean, it’s the worst thing ’cause it’s not… It never… It does go away - it’s not true to say that it doesn’t but, uhh… It doesn’t… The doctors say it won’t… It isn’t actually going away - you’ve just gotta suppress… They try to come to terms with what it actually… Why some people fear it - that’s the psychology behind it. They know it’s there but why is it such a horrible sound? Well, you can say why is a guy scratching at a window with his nails such a horrible sound - I couldn’t put up with that! This is worse!” As Jeff told MTV - June 1993, He was asked to do a special guest spot with Guns ‘n’ Roses but had to cancel out. Jeff was going to play “Locomotive” with the band, but during the rehearsals, he used Slash’s amp rig which aggravated his tinnitus forcing him to drop out of the gig.
Douglas J Noble - musician, guitar instructor, and music journalist out of Edinburgh, Scotland. From a Jeff Beck interview: “I’ve got tinnitus in my left ear…I mean it’s permanent! Like just now…”
Mike Patton - lead singer for Faith No More; Wrote the Mr. Bungle’s tune “Slowly Growing Deaf”.
Liberty Divito - (Billy Joel’s drummer) (loud music)
Eric Clapton - (loud amplifiers)
One of the best forms of relief I have personally found after 14 years of EXTREME TINNITUS is the use of a ‘ Masking Noise’ or soundtrack during the day and night. You can try the different maskers out for free here at Relaxing Sounds…….They have Atmosphere Deluxe and Tinnitus Masker Pro trial downloads.
Eric Johnson - has developed T (loud music/amps); source from Guitar Player Magazine interview: “I’d run two Marshall stacks onstage and crank the monitors. I started using Fender Deluxe Reverb amps and 50-watt Marshalls around ‘97, after I started having some problems with tinnitus. It was my own doing — being irresponsible and thinking I was invincible…Yes, though it has been better lately. Take care and wear plugs. Don’t think it can’t happen to you. When I had a speaker reconed at the been here for years reconing shop in Austin the owner said, “I’ve reconed speakers for every guitarist in Austin for years and as far as I know there aren’t any rock ‘n roll lead guitarists here who don’t have tinnitus to some degree or another. Many have it so bad they have trouble sleeping.”
James Hetfield - Metallica rhythm guitar and uses Sonic II Ear plugs
Lars Ulrich - drummer for Metallica
Vanilla Fudge - Tim Bogert (bassist): “Tinnitus, big time. That’s the price you pay for having a darn good time. Nothing’s free!”
Radiohead - lead singer
Motorhead - Lemmy Kilminster (thrash-punk-metal pioneers): “We just like it loud, you know?”
Kevin Shields - guitarist/singer for My Bloody Valentine: “I did the damage to my ears listening to mixes in headphones at very loud levels without giving my ears time to recover.”
Blinda Butcher - bassist/singer for My Bloody Valentine: “I had a punctured ear drum which fortunately they were able to put right but for a while I couldn’t hear out of one ear and it was very depressing. On stage we all wear hearing protection and encourage anyone who sees us regularly to do the same.”
George Martin - retired from music due to hearing loss
George Harrison - hearing damage from loud music
Graham Cole - UK actor and singer, suffers tinnitus and hearing loss
Ted Nugent - Amboy Dukes guitarist: “My left ear is pretty much whacked. But I can still hear really good in my right ear. Early on, I would stick shell casings, which I always had handy, in my ear, to protect my right ear because that was the one that was facing the amp the most.”
Rick Emmett - Triumph guitarist, source from Guitar Player Magazine
Bono - U2 lead singer, he even sings about it in his lyrics. Bono derived his name from a hearing aid store in his hometown of Dublin, Ireland which had a sign that read ‘Bonavox Hearing Aids’.
The Edge - U2 guitar player
Ben Bossi - Saxophone player for Romeo Void. From a VH1 interview: His ears had started ringing and he was losing his hearing when the band was in it’s heyday. He quit playing the sax after the band broke up and hasn’t played since.
Jerry Stiller - Frank Costanza on Seinfeld
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Phil Collins - He will have to severely cut back on live performances “because of a buzzing in his ears.” “Phil Collins recently declared an end to his concert touring because of the hearing loss he has suffered. The 51 year-old former Genesis drummer and vocalist announced that he will perform live only occasionally to avoid further hearing loss on his hearing damaged left ear.”
Cher - actress/singer, Cheryl Sarkisian LaPiere
Morgan Fairchild - Actress; She was born a preemie who developed scarlet fever. She has so many kidney and ear infections as a child that she admits she is “partially deaf.”
Cheryl Tiegs - Super model
Alan Shepard - Meniere’s Disease
Vincent Van Gogh
Francisco de Goya (1746-1828) - Spanish artist that had tinnitus and hearing loss from a severe illness.
Ludwig Van Beethoven - Famously deaf, Beethoven was also a famous tinnitus sufferer. The great composer was driven mad by “rushing and roaring sounds” in his head.
Robert Schumann - composer
Bedrich Smetana - it was a high E, and it was in his string quartet “From My Life.”
Charles Darwin - who kept records of its daily amplitude and frequency
Mick Fleetwood - Fleetwood Mac drummer; “The world’s worst is when you find yourself going like Mother Hubbard and cupping your hand behind your ear. I was a major glutton for volume: ‘Gotta feel it, gotta hear it.’ Sooner or later you’re going to pay the reaper.” source: Rolling Stone Magazine
Stewart Copeland - hearing loss but no T yet
Keanu Reeves - plays bass in the band Dogstar
Larry King said he has tinnitus on his left ear. He also said his is very low and it dosn’t bother him
Dave Swarbrick - fiddle player Fairport Convention mammoth onstage amplification (ironic for a ‘folk rock’ band).
Charles Arthur - guitar player
Charlie Haden - jazz bassist, Charlie Haden to Charles Arthur (Q&A), “Over the years I have learned to adjust my life to this problem and accepted these ear problems as part of my being. In other words, I tell myself that I’ve been this way since I was born. This helps me to reduce the stress and frustration of this condition. I wear earplugs when I play that cut out 32 db’s, as well as using plexiglass baffles. You are seeing the right person in Dr. Jack Vernon. Many musicians have this problem. I take it you know about “Tinnitus Today” and “H.E.A.R.” from Dr. Vernon. Good luck and keep positive, Charlie Haden”
Kathy Peck - bass player/singer-songwriter: “My life had really changed when I experienced the loss of my hearing and Tinnitus damage
Duran Duran.” H.E.A.R. - “As a former bass player and singer for the San Francisco rock band The Contractions, Kathy had suffered hearing damage while playing a set at the Oakland Coliseum in l984. The repeated exposure to excessive noise caused a ringing sensation in her ears called tinnitus, as well as decreasing her ability to hear.”
Michael Tomlinson - musician/singer-songwriter: After an ear infection, he temporarily lost 90% of his hearing for a few weeks, but still has Tinnitus in one ear. Source from: E-mail correspondence
Al Di Meola - musician/guitarist: “I do. That’s why i don’t play electric anymore.”
John Densmore - drummer for The Doors, Ray Manzarek says that things are looking grim for Densmore, in terms of his future as a musician: “Tinnitus, man, you can’t…You know, there’s nothing you can do about it. It doesn’t get better. It can only get worse–that’s the hell of that thing. You’d say, ‘Well, you know, when it’s better, you’re gonna play, man.’ Well, it doesn’t get better. The nature of that problem is that it can only get worse.”
Jimmy Savile - “It doesn’t bother me in the slightest,” he told Michael Church. “It reminds me of all the girls I’ve known, and all the discos. I’m very happily ensconced with this friend inside my head.” Source from: news.independent.co.uk
Michael Church - “I acquired my own tinnitus in the stupidest possible way: on the rifle range at Catterick army camp, while training as an officer cadet. St Albans School in the late Fifties was a grotesquely spartan place, where ear-defenders were unheard of (my fellow victim Stephen Hawking improvised earplugs from blotting paper, and the doctor had to dig them out). After a noisy afternoon with a Bren firing 12 inches from my left ear, I returned home deafened, and though my hearing eventually returned (minus the high frequencies), I was left with a loud hiss. (Yes, I should have sued both the school and the MoD, but 16-year-olds don’t have time for such niceties.)” Source from: news.independent.co.uk
Francis Rossi - lead singer and guitarist for the band Status Quo.
Mick Ronson - David Bowie’s guitarist, had tinnitus in the ear that was closest to his speaker column.
Hansi Kursch - lead singer and bass player for the band Blind Guardian. Kursch actually lost all hearing on one side, and then suffered tinnitus in the same ear. source from DynamiteMetal.com
Jarmo Miettinen - Rhythm guitar & vocals for the band Status Quiz
Roger Miller - “Mission of Burma…Its career cut short by guitarist Roger Miller’s mounting tinnitus… Miller’s never shaken his condition, but now wears firingrange headphones so that Burma’s full sonic experience–high decibel levels are a key component in the band’s music–can be unleashed upon the crowd.”
Richard Pleasance - guitarist for Boom Crash Opera, took time off in 1990 from touring with this band due to tinnitus.
Danny Elfman - Oingo Boingo, film scores/composer. Touring took a major toll on his hearing and he still suffers from tinnitus. “The last five or six years I was in the band, my instincts were telling me I was doing myself a lot of harm - and I was right. I really should have gotten out sooner than I did, and I’m incredibly regretful that I didn’t because I’m paying the price for it now.” Source from: OCRegister
Steve Lukather - guitarist/song writer for Toto, developed tinnitus sometime in the 1980’s. “Yes I have tinnitus, what a drag. I wear earplugs now ’cause of it. I found that it was all the years wearing headphones that did me in more than live playing. I used to have the real expensive plugs, but I found some 2 dollar ones that work just as good and you don’t feel bad losing them, hahaha. My hearing is damaged though. I always have to say “WHAT???”, hahaha. Be careful guys, this could happen to you!”