Phil Collins:Sudden deafness

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Dan C, Nov 16, 2002.

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  1. Dan C

    Dan C Forum Fotographer Thread Starter

    The West
    Is there anything more terrifying for a musician!
    Some here might have already heard, but I only found out a bit ago. This is the most comprehensive story I could find.
    Collins was on NBC's Today show this Friday and Saturday and only made passing mention of his condition. He's not touring to promote the new album but is doing a number of TV appearances.
    Dan C


    Phil Collins feared his 30-year music career was over after a stroke in his ear left him deaf.
    Speaking for the first time yesterday about his nightmare he told how, bewildered and frightened, he was forced to look afresh at
    the direction of his life.
    To add to his torment, just as he was coming to terms with his condition, he was struck down with agonising gall bladder stones.
    Now recovered, Phil - father of six-month-old Nicholas - said: "The deafness was scary and I thought I might have to knock music
    on the head. "It made me think what I wanted, and I realised that I wanted a family life. Now, for me, being a dad is the most
    important thing."
    The former Genesis frontman was hit by the rare condition of Sudden Deafness at a business meeting in Los Angeles 11 months
    ago. Phil, 50, said: "My hearing suddenly started fading over the course of an evening. "It was a shock. I didn't know what it was. It
    was just so weird. Then I couldn't hear." Phil, his balance affected by the dramatic loss, staggered from the room terrified. The next
    few months were hell as he consulted a host of doctors to discover what had happened to him. Sitting in his magnificent home in
    the Swiss village of Begnins, he said: "At first it feels like you've got water in your ear. It's very alienating. "My balance went a bit
    funny although the brain adjusted so eventually I was able to walk OK. "The doctors described it as a stroke in my ear, though it
    was more like a trauma. It's a rare condition and can often be permanent. "They didn't know where it came from. Apparently, it can
    happen to anyone. But thankfully it got better after a couple of months although the deafness may come back."
    Three months ago, the drummer was hit by a second health scare. Phil, who has had more than 30 solo hits in Britain, was taken to
    hospital with severe stomach pains. Doctors diagnosed gall bladder stones. He had an immediate operation and was in hospital for
    a week. He said: "You don't need your gall bladder so I had it taken out. The doctors went in in four places and that was it. I also
    lost some weight, which is always a good thing!"
    In the past workaholic Phil, who has an £80million fortune, has struggled to combine his career with those he loves. He said:
    "These things with my health helped me realise I wanted different things in life. "When I had the ear problem I thought 'Hey, at
    least I can do what I want to do now'. "You can keep saying yes to everything and the next thing you know you're spending the
    next two years on the road. I don't want to drag my family to hotels all over the world."
    Phil is married to third wife Orianne, 29, who he met five years ago. Now he is determined to be a hands-on dad. He has even put
    his pet project, the Phil Collins Big Band, on hold so he can spend more time with Nicholas. Phil said: "I'm still working on a solo
    record and a second Disney film. But being a father is fantastic."

    Bron: The Mirror (08-10-01). Auteur: Alexandra Williams In Begnins, Switzerland
  2. John B

    John B Once Blue Gort,<br>now just blue.

    Toronto, Canada
    Certainly a scary thing for a musician (or anybody). Jeff Beck and Pete Townsend have had their lives changed by tinnitus.
  3. Dan C

    Dan C Forum Fotographer Thread Starter

    The West
    You're very right. It's scary for anyone to suddenly lose a major sense like this. But the fact that Collins makes his living with his ears makes it a bit more cruel. And apparently, unlike Beck and Townsend, his years of touring didn't have anything to do with it. Strange.

    Dan C
  4. Flatso

    Flatso Forum Resident

    New Jersey
    Yea it is sad

    And let's not forget George Martin, wasn't that the reason he did not produce the Anthology because of his hearing going? And oh yea Beethoven too.
  5. JWB

    JWB New Member

    Hasn't Phil Collins already been deaf for the past 20 years?

    *bad joke*
  6. Famous people with Tinnitus include the above mentioned and the following:

    George Harrison
    John Entwistle
    Eric Clapton
    Neil Young
    John Densmore
    Charlie Haden
    Al Dimeola
    Stewart Copeland (hearing loss but no T yet)
    Dave Pirner
    Bob Mould
    The Edge
    Dave Swarbrick (Fairport Convention)
    David Letterman
    Paul Schaffer
    Rick Emmett
    Liberty Devito
    James Hetfield
    Lars Ulrich
    Tim Bogert
    Ian "Lemmy" Kilminster
    Kevin Shields (My Bloody Valentine)
    Blinda Butcher (My Bloody Valentine)
    Blixa Bargeld (Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds / Einstuerzende Neubauten)
    William Shatner
    Leonard Nimoy
    Babs Streisand
  7. Grant

    Grant Senior Member

    United States
  8. John Carsell

    John Carsell Forum Resident

    Northwest Illinois
    Add Todd Rundgren to the list as well.
  9. Dan C

    Dan C Forum Fotographer Thread Starter

    The West

    I remember Letterman talking about his "perfect" hearing during a show a while back. He was proud after a hearing test that he tested so well. He asked Paul about his and Paul said "I'm deaf as a doornail".

    Dan C
  10. Dan C

    Dan C Forum Fotographer Thread Starter

    The West
    A concert clip of Ted Nugent stuck in my mind. Ted was jamming with his guitar and had his ear RIGHT up to the speaker stack. He certainly couldn't have come away from that without doing some damage. :eek:

    Dan C
  11. Flatso

    Flatso Forum Resident

    New Jersey
    Ted does have hearing damage

    Read that somewhere
  12. Re: Letterman?

    You may be right Dan. Don't always believe everything you read on the World Wide Web, except here. :) This is the link to famous people with tinnitus.
  13. MagicAlex

    MagicAlex Gort Emeritus

    Atlanta, GA
    Anyone on hear (pun intended) suffer from tinnitus?
  14. John B

    John B Once Blue Gort,<br>now just blue.

    Toronto, Canada
    Re: Yea it is sad

    More reasons for hearing loss:
    George Martin - too loud studio playback
    Beethoven - tertiary syphilis
  15. John B

    John B Once Blue Gort,<br>now just blue.

    Toronto, Canada
  16. mandrake

    mandrake New Member

  17. Dan C

    Dan C Forum Fotographer Thread Starter

    The West
    I've got tinnitus, have had it since I can remember. Had a lot of brutal ear infections growing up, but I don't know if that's the main cause.

    I was on assignment photographing a football game a couple years back and I didn't notice the cannon behind me, on my right side. Our team scored and BLAM! Worse yet it was actually an INDOOR football game, and these boneheads packed that cannon with as much powder as possible. I felt my pant legs flap from the blast and actually fell to my knees. I was dizzy for several minutes, had a numbing pain in my ear that returned for days. I noticed kids all around me screaming and running with their hands over their ears. Now I wear ear plugs to every sporting event I cover. I've even missed key shots because I'm terrified of that goddamn cannon and bracing for it.
    I also no longer listen through headphones, except on very rare occasions and at low levels for short lengths.
    Dan C
  18. Ed Bishop

    Ed Bishop Incredibly, I'm still here

    Maybe not, but I saw Genesis at the Worcester[Ma]Centrum back during the "Mama" tour, and that was right up there with the loudest and most bombastic nights I've ever heard in a venue that large. But yes, it's scary just to think about. Last year I had a hearing test and the doc said, "Well, for your age, you're about average." Not the greatest diagnosis, but, considering the years of headphones and sound systems and concerts, I'll take that as a plus creeping toward 50.

  19. reechie

    reechie Well-Known Member

    It's no joke. I've got a touch of tinnitis just from wearing headphones every day at my old DJ job. It's not something that bothers me, I can only hear it if things are absolutely silent, but still it's worrisome.

    Sure did make me think about things for awhile. As important as music is to me, I think I'd rather lose my sight than my hearing.
  20. pauljones

    pauljones Forum Chef

    columbia, sc
    Hearing loss is a frightening situation. It happened to me at around age 20. I had been playing drums in very loud groups from age 12. Suddenly I could not hear in my right ear. There were the usual examinations from specialists and they could not figure out the problem. I went for a decade without being to hear stereo, struggling to decipher conversations, etc. Graduate school was really hard. It was painful to wonder what CD's were really supposed to sound like.
    Then, a miracle happened. I was at work one day and someone dropped a metal platform which must have weighed five hundred pounds on a concrete floor. The sound was literally earshattering, but at that time, "something" felt like it broke loose in my right ear and I could hear again. I immediately had my hearing tested and actually could hear better than normal out of the right ear and my hearing was close to perfect in the left ear.

    The reason I am relaying this is to encourage all forum readers to never, never take your hearing for granted. By the grace of God I was able to regain full hearing. And here we Hoffmanites cherish the ability to discern and appreciate the nuances of good sound.

    One other thing: please appreciate Phil Collins for the decades of great music he has produced/written/performed/sung. Even when he moved from progressive music to commercial music, he still continued to make meaningful music. And fatherhood at his age is a good thing. Though I am not quite his age I am really enjoying my two year old daughter.
  21. Dan C

    Dan C Forum Fotographer Thread Starter

    The West
    Interesting story with a happy ending. It's amazing how little scientist know about human hearing. There's nothing one can do about hearing loss, and then there's the inexplicable miracles such as yours. The lesson of course is to always be careful.
    I've preached hearing protection to my two daughters for a few years now. With seemingly every young person with an MP3 player glued to his/her ear, I suspect the hearing aid business is going to be very profitable for years to come. :sigh:
    Dan C
  22. JohnG

    JohnG PROG Nation!

    New York, NY
    When I reached 40 years old I actually went to an audiologist to have my hearing checked because I did have a slight ringing in the ear. But they said my hearing was fine and just needed decongestants because of allergies.

    Its good to have your hearing tested once in a while.
  23. John B

    John B Once Blue Gort,<br>now just blue.

    Toronto, Canada
  24. proufo

    proufo Forum Resident

    It could have been another audiophile-exploitation matter but I read somewhere hat there are medicaments that can improve your hearing, or at least slow down the decay associated with age.

    Any thruth to that?

    Sorry to hear that some of us have hearing issues too.
  25. Ed Bishop

    Ed Bishop Incredibly, I'm still here

    I use protective headgear now when vacuuming or shampooing the rugs, mowing the lawn....just good common sense. So is keeping the music volume moderate but not excessive. Depending on the music, sometimes that's not easy, but sensible.
    There's also a process I've heard about called 'coning,' where a device is used to remove excess ear wax through the canal that can harden and build up over the years. Don't know the details, but the next time I get my hearing checked I'll ask about it. I know a few older folkswho've had it done and they say it brings back some of the sharpness they thought they'd lost forever. Fascinating....

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