Status Quo are one of the biggest bands in the world, having over 118 record sales world-wide. The prolific group have recorded 64 British hit singles – more than any other band – 22 of which have hit the Top Ten. The first hit was ‘PICTURES OF MATCHSTICK MEN’ which reached Number 7 in January 1968. Their music and music video’s will continue to remain timeless although time does not stand still even for the best of us.
After playing hundreds of venues and thousands of gigs, understandably the music has taken its toll on their hearing. Hearing loss among musicians is a sensitive subject and is more common than you might think. Recently in the media many iconic musicians from the 60’s have indicated that due to their work and lifestyle demands over the years, their hearing is not what it once was; most recently Cilla Black.
Noise induced hearing loss is one of the faster growing causes of hearing loss in the UK and is one of the primary factors in age related hearing loss. We can all subject our ears to potentially damaging noise – especially at nightclubs and gigs and by using headphones. The damage builds up gradually, and the effects may not be noticed until years later, when it is too late – most hearing loss or tinnitus caused by noise exposure is permanent. You can prevent noise induced deafness by taking steps to protect your hearing, and reducing the length of time you are exposed to very loud sounds. Listening to any sound at a high volume – more than 89dB – for more than five hours a week can damage hearing permanently over time.
Status Quo and their management’s hearing health is looked after by local Audiologist Leon Cox. Leon who is the director of Cox Lewis Hearing (formally known as Cox Lewis Hearing), Little Chalfont, now looks after a number of prolific clients. In addition to providing high quality hearing aid services, being certified in ear wax removal and an expert in tinnitus management, Leon also provides services for musicians. These services include expert advice, impressions for in-ear monitors and musicians hearing protection. All of this in addition to hearing tests and advice on tinnitus or hearing loss. ‘We manage all aspects of an artists’ needs from on-stage performance moulds to hearing protection, people are often surprised just how much we do’ said Leon.
Glen Smith, Manager of the band, said ‘My previous experience with hearing aids had been bad, and I was reluctant to let myself in for more disappointment. 2 years on and I have not regretted my decision to have another try… I have Menieres disease which has damaged the hearing in my left ear. However, since being fitted with my Unitron hearing aids everything has changed. I can do my job a lot easier, hear music on the stereo and listen to the TV at lower levels. It’s also easier to make and partake in conversation – best of all I am not even aware of it being in my ear. After seeing Leon at the Cox Lewis Hearing (formally known as Cox Lewis Hearing) for my annual review and having my hearing aids ‘tweaked’, my hearing is now even better than it was before!’
Hearing loss can really impact on your life and it can strike without you even realising it. Long standing band member; keyboardist Andrew Bown, said ‘This amazing technology has completely ‘repaired’ my damaged hearing, it has been a real life-changer!’. Guitarist, John ‘Rhino’ Edwards, was also surprised at what he had been missing ‘So that’s what treble sounds like! I remember now!’
But, just like anyone else, it is possible for people with hearing loss to enjoy a successful musical career.At Cox Lewis Hearing (formally known as Cox Lewis Hearing), we understand that the individual needs of a musician must be considered at all times. The guitarist in a rock band will have completely different requirements to the oboe player in an orchestra. It is therefore crucial that these individual requirements are taken into consideration when deciding which technology is the most appropriate.