Dave Grohl reveals hearing loss and says he's been reading lips for 20 years: 'I'm f**king deaf'

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By Nika Shakhnazarova

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After decades of rocking out on stage night after night, Dave Grohl is starting to pay the price.

The Nirvana drummer and Foo Fighters frontman, 53, has revealed his struggle with hearing loss as he described himself as "f**king deaf" during an appearance on The Howard Stern Show last week.

Explaining that he's relied on reading lips for the past 20 years, Grohl said: "I haven't had them tested in a long time — I mean, I know what they're gonna say," he said of getting his ears looked at by a doctor.

"'You have hearing damage tinnitus in your left ear, more so than your right ear.'"

Take a look at Dave Grohl open up about his hearing loss:

Grohl said he finds it extremely difficult to hear other people in public places, especially since the start of the pandemic. The musician blames face masks for making it tougher for him to hear what people are saying, meaning that he can no longer rely on lip-reading.

"If you were sitting next to me right here at dinner, I wouldn't understand a f**king word you were saying to me, the whole f**king time," he told Stern.

He went on: "There's no way. In a crowded restaurant, that's worse. That's the worst thing about this pandemic s**t, it's like, people wearing masks.

"I've been reading lips for like, 20 years, so when someone comes up to me and they're like [garbled noise], I'm like, 'I'm a rock musician. I'm f**king deaf, I can't hear what you're saying."

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Credit: REUTERS / Alamy

Tinnitus, which Grohl said he has in his left year, is a ringing in the ear that can develop over time when ongoing exposure to noise damages tiny sensory hair cells in the inner ear that help transmit sound to the brain, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.

Despite Grohl's conversational struggles, he did say he's still able to hear "the slightest little things" when recording in the studio and mixing albums.

"My ears are still tuned in to certain frequencies, and if I hear something that's slightly out of tune, or a cymbal that's not bright enough or something like that, in the mix, I can f**king hear the minutiae of everything that we have done to that song, I really can," he said.

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Credit: Jason Richardson / Alamy

While many artists wear in-ear monitors while performing in order to give them a direct source of sound and to protect their ears, Grohl does not, as he finds it "removes [him] from the natural atmosphere sound."

"I wanna hear the audience like, in front of me and I want to turn around be able to hear Taylor [Hawkins] right there and go over here and hear Pat [Smear], and go over here and hear Chris [Shiflett] and stuff like that," he explained.

"It just messes with your spatial understanding of where you are on stage."

Grohl told Stern that he's relied on the same person to mix his monitors for the past 31 years, who ensures that "the sound on stage for me is f**king perfect."

Featured image credit: Imagespace / Alamy

Dave Grohl reveals hearing loss and says he's been reading lips for 20 years: 'I'm f**king deaf'

vt-author-image

By Nika Shakhnazarova

Article saved!Article saved!

After decades of rocking out on stage night after night, Dave Grohl is starting to pay the price.

The Nirvana drummer and Foo Fighters frontman, 53, has revealed his struggle with hearing loss as he described himself as "f**king deaf" during an appearance on The Howard Stern Show last week.

Explaining that he's relied on reading lips for the past 20 years, Grohl said: "I haven't had them tested in a long time — I mean, I know what they're gonna say," he said of getting his ears looked at by a doctor.

"'You have hearing damage tinnitus in your left ear, more so than your right ear.'"

Take a look at Dave Grohl open up about his hearing loss:

Grohl said he finds it extremely difficult to hear other people in public places, especially since the start of the pandemic. The musician blames face masks for making it tougher for him to hear what people are saying, meaning that he can no longer rely on lip-reading.

"If you were sitting next to me right here at dinner, I wouldn't understand a f**king word you were saying to me, the whole f**king time," he told Stern.

He went on: "There's no way. In a crowded restaurant, that's worse. That's the worst thing about this pandemic s**t, it's like, people wearing masks.

"I've been reading lips for like, 20 years, so when someone comes up to me and they're like [garbled noise], I'm like, 'I'm a rock musician. I'm f**king deaf, I can't hear what you're saying."

 wp-image-1263145880
Credit: REUTERS / Alamy

Tinnitus, which Grohl said he has in his left year, is a ringing in the ear that can develop over time when ongoing exposure to noise damages tiny sensory hair cells in the inner ear that help transmit sound to the brain, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.

Despite Grohl's conversational struggles, he did say he's still able to hear "the slightest little things" when recording in the studio and mixing albums.

"My ears are still tuned in to certain frequencies, and if I hear something that's slightly out of tune, or a cymbal that's not bright enough or something like that, in the mix, I can f**king hear the minutiae of everything that we have done to that song, I really can," he said.

 wp-image-1263145881
Credit: Jason Richardson / Alamy

While many artists wear in-ear monitors while performing in order to give them a direct source of sound and to protect their ears, Grohl does not, as he finds it "removes [him] from the natural atmosphere sound."

"I wanna hear the audience like, in front of me and I want to turn around be able to hear Taylor [Hawkins] right there and go over here and hear Pat [Smear], and go over here and hear Chris [Shiflett] and stuff like that," he explained.

"It just messes with your spatial understanding of where you are on stage."

Grohl told Stern that he's relied on the same person to mix his monitors for the past 31 years, who ensures that "the sound on stage for me is f**king perfect."

Featured image credit: Imagespace / Alamy