The last really loud show I went to was Johnny Winter playing in  small venue in upstate NY. I was 
very thankful for earplugs because it allowed me to get right up on the edge of the stage and watch 
a somewhat diminished but still competent Johnny do his stuff with that funky little guitar he 
plays. His blaring amp was right next to his chair, but the earplugs cut the blare right out so I 
could hear his guitar work. My friend who was foolish and didn't wear earplugs said his ears were 
still ringing a week later.

The idea of the 10-cent (or 25-cent or 1-dollar) earplug dispenser at live venues should be adopted 

I have sat close-in enough for orchestras where peak loudness is painful. So potential hearing 
damage lurks at many live music events. That said, I doubt any adult in the industrial world today 
goes to the grave with very good hearing. The environment itself is tinitis-causing.

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "John Bondurant" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, January 05, 2010 8:52 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] The Loudness Wars - NPR story

> When I worked live sound in Nashville there was at least on venue (which no longer exists) that 
> had a gumball machine type dispenser of good quality earplugs for about 25 cents a pair. I had a 
> friend who worked for 3M who would send me a case of industrial grade earplugs each year. I would 
> hand them out to band members, friends, or anyone who needed them. One time my cousin came down 
> for a show. As we were leaving the house I said "Hold on, you'll need some protection tonight." He 
> got this really shocked look on his face, and then just grinned when I handed him a package of 
> earplugs.
> H.E.A.R. IS a phenomenal organization. They always have a booth at AES and NAMM to offer free 
> hearing tests and earplugs. A friend at Clair Brothers got his molded earplugs through one of 
> their programs.
> My father, father-in-law, and wife have congenital hearing loss, so I am always aware of my 
> hearing (since things can get noisy around them when they don't have their hearing aids on.)
> John H. Bondurant
> Sound Preservation Archivist
> Berea College
> Hutchins Library
> Special Collections & Archives
> Berea, KY 40404
> (859) 985-3389 - voice
> (859) 985-3912 - fax
> mailto:[log in to unmask]
>  Please consider whether it is necessary to print this email.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Michael Biel [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
> Sent: Monday, January 04, 2010 9:23 PM
> Subject: Re: The Loudness Wars - NPR story
> I do remember a couple of times entering a venue where there was a big
> punchbowl filled with packets of the foam hearing protectors.  They were
> the flesh-colored (politically incorrect description, sorry) type that I
> find are not as good as the bright green type because the former do not
> re-expand enough fill the ear canal.  However, I find using a half
> square of crumpled soft toilet paper or part of a soft tissue is very
> efficient for me.  Cotton, by the way is USELESS because it freely
> passes high frequencies.  I don't know where it got a reputation for
> hearing protection.
> Mike Biel  [log in to unmask]
> Gary Powell wrote:
>>> It's sparked my girlfriend and me to discuss the possibility of
>>> starting a non-profit vendor of hearing protection for concerts of
>>> that sort.
> Lou Judson wrote:
>> Check this ut for inspirations:
>> >>
> From: Gary Powell <[log in to unmask]>
>> Phenomenal! Thanks!  GP