Longtime concertgoer Howard Deefman dejectedly admitted today that he’s distraught after learning from his physician that he’s starting to suffer from irreversible hearing loss. Deefman, a 65-year old Venice Beach street vendor and self-admitted “dinosaur rock aficionado,” estimates that he’s seen thousands of concerts over the last nearly 50 years, both in his hometown of Los Angeles and throughout the United States.
Deefman readily admits the specific details of these show have become seriously scrambled in his addled brain. “I can vaguely remember sitting through marathon Led Zeppelin drum solos, Who concerts where the volume was so loud I couldn’t complete a covert drug transaction in the bathroom, and even a recent Springsteen concert that I thoroughly enjoyed from row 278.” Yet the street vendor is still in shock over his impending auditory demise. “The memory loss I can deal with; losing the memory of those Rick Wakeman ice concerts seems like a fair tradeoff. But I gotta be able to hear at these shows.”
Perhaps what’s most surprising is the alleged cause of Deefman’s hearing loss. Dr. Heinrich Vears, Deefman’s long-time doctor who he describes as a “good croaker who knows the score and how to write a solid prescription,” attributes his patient’s deterioration to a very unique cause. “Based on a series of extensive and cutting-edge tests, billed of course at a discounted rate since Mr. Deefman’s insurance lapsed sometime around the heyday of Prog Rock, I’ve concluded that his hearing loss is attributable to a lifetime of concerts in which he found himself sitting directly in front of a decibel-shattering person who would constantly shout at the band, drunkenly requesting songs that the band would never play anyway, and loudly harass those around him by calling everyone ‘bro’ or ‘dude,’ directly into Mr. Deefman’s ears.”
Deefman readily agrees that the doctor’s theory rings true. Deep within the recesses of the remaining brain cells that are doing more than retaining bong resin, the lifetime music fan can still recall countless cases where his concert experience was ruined by a loud neighbor. “Dylan gospel tour 1980, some meathead spent the whole night screaming for ‘Tiny Montgomery’ and booing directly into my ear every time Dylan played a religious song. In 1997 I spent a whole month following Tom Petty around, and each night girls screamed hysterically every time he played ‘American Girl.’ At this year’s Tom Waits show in Phoenix, a fan in a bowler hat directly behind me conducted a screaming soliloquy about having Mr. Waits’ children before he was escorted out.”
Deefman gloomily concluded: “I used to think the worst thing about these concert screamers was that they’d startle me so much that I’d spill my Pabst all over some college preppie. But now I guess my hearing loss wasn’t actually caused by that particularly shrill Joan Baez show from 1963.”
Though Deefman isn’t thrilled that he needs to begin wearing a hearing aid, he’s equally concerned that other music fans will suffer the same fate. “The younger generation’s ears are going to hell, without a doubt,” he asserted. “The stuff that passes for music nowadays is a far cry from the dulcet melodies of my 1960s prime. The noise kids listen to today proves to me that their ears are already crapping out. It’s certainly not music to my ears.”