Posted in music on November 18, 2011

Them Crooked Vultures at Coachella 2010 (more by Rachel Carr)
Them Crooked Vultures at Coachella

Father of two Robert McIndoe, 52, was unable to sleep for three months after going to a rock concert that left him with a permanent ringing in his ear. He was watching supergroup 'Them Crooked Vultures' at Brixton Academy.
In the coming months Mr McIndoe faced an uphill struggle to to get proper treatment for the condition, Southwark Coroner's Court heard.
His wife eventually received a letter of referral to a hospital ear, nose and throat specialist on November 1 last year - the day after he apparently killed himself.
Shirley McIndoe told the hearing that the day after the gig last July, her husband was "cross with himself" for not taking ear plugs.
She said: "When it first happened he wasn't too bothered about it because he thought it would subside, and the friend he had been with also had ringing in his ears that day.
"But it was a constant irritation.
"He didn't get a night of sleep after that until he went to hospital."-[Telegraph]
Super sad. (wear your earplugs!)

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Comments (92)

Really?

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2011 1:54 PM

Holy shit.

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2011 1:55 PM

FUCK THAT GUY..

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2011 1:59 PM

Lucky he didn't go to MBV show - the ringing would have been 10x worse

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2011 2:00 PM

such a scary fucking thing to have, and i've had it for many months now after many concerts (with earplugs), and i'll almost certainly have it for life. it sucks, and yeah, many days you feel like it's not worth living. drives you insane.

really sad story.

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2011 2:01 PM

I feel for him and his family. But wearing really good quality earplugs can prevent the problem. I have been going to shows for more than 20 years and have never had a problem (Godflesh, Swans, MBV, Motorhead, etc. included). I will never forget the absolute morons I saw at the MBV shows (in 92 and the reunion) not wearing earplugs. I come from the school of thought wherein, if you like music, you should keep the ability to listen to it.

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2011 2:06 PM

2:00 Lucky? Think of what you just typed. Did you read the article?

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2011 2:09 PM

2:06 any recommendations for earplugs? like which brand?

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2011 2:09 PM

2:00 pm is a fucking idiot.

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2011 2:12 PM

"I come from the school of thought wherein, if you like music, you should keep the ability to listen to it."

Totally agree! I go to around 40+ shows a year and ALWAYS bring my ear plugs.

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2011 2:12 PM

Shure is a good brand of plugs...can get them at guitar center...I wear plugs at the louder shows. I had tinnitus for awhile but mine fortunatley is now minimized but it took years for it to get better. Def wear plugs it will save you!

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2011 2:12 PM

2:00 - you stupid, thoughtless f--k!

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2011 2:14 PM

Heroes are good too...

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2011 2:14 PM

The fucking earplug generation. Feel free to post insulting stuff, but yes I'm old and went to hundreds of shows of intense volume in the late 70s, 80s and 90s and still hear about as well as anyone my age. This includes punk shows in the 80s when everything was turned up to 11. Dinosaur Jr., Mission of Burma, and a few of the other loudest-ever bands.

This guy who killed himself had an underlying psychiatric problem, I'd wager.

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2011 2:14 PM

I went to early-period Mogwai shows and Swans and whatnot. You know who was so loud it was retarded? Motley fucking Crue in the 1980's. They blew the PA system out and the concert had to end early. (and fuck you all because they were actually a good band...)

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2011 2:16 PM

etymotic (formerly earlove) great ear plugs

ear peace aren't bad either.

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2011 2:21 PM

I use Heroes too, they are awesome, a lifesaver at band practice and some of the louder shows I go to.

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2011 2:21 PM

i don't think the neverending ringing has to do with the concerts themselves - it's a predisposition thing. (obviously it rings for a day or two, but the year-long ringing isn't caused by the concert itself). same thing happens to some poeple when they listen to their ipod/walkman/whatever on full volume with headphones for years - some people's ears just cave in, others' don't.


just ask your parents if they went to a lot of concerts, then ask if they wore earplugs, and then finally ask if they can still hear properly. and that should give you a good idea of whether or not you should get some plugs.

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2011 2:23 PM

Terrible way to go in general. The fact that it happened at a TCV concert makes it 1000x worse.

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2011 2:25 PM

"This includes punk shows in the 80s when everything was turned up to 11"

2:14, you just lost all credibility.

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2011 2:25 PM

2:09- I have been using the Hearos Xtreme protection series. They attenuate 32db and have good sound fidelity. I used them during the last Swans show at MHOW and was fine afterwards. I want to get a professional pair at an audiologist but, $$$.

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2011 2:27 PM

I've had tinnitus for 3 years now. constant ringing. Please value your ears and wear ear plugs before it's too late.

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2011 2:27 PM

2:14 DUDE YOU SOUND BADASS. YOU NEVER WORE EARPLUGS??? THAT IS SOOOOO COOL.

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2011 2:28 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R69eYznTIYA&t=4s


'Man kills himself after listening to Them Crooked Vultures'

too soon?

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2011 2:29 PM

This is truly a tragedy, and I feel awful for Mr. McIndoe's family. I do have to agree with 2:14, however, that this man probably had deeper problems that ringing ears to commit suicide.

I also agree with 2:14 that this "earplug generation" is problematic. I've been going to loud rock/punk/noise shows without earplugs for decades. The only problems I've encountered are shows where the soundperson is wearing earplugs: the sound is terrible, overly middy and overdriven (and I don't mean the good kind of overdrive), and too loud. If the band and soundperson need earplugs, something is wrong.

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2011 2:30 PM

one word: earplugs

Posted by can you hear me now? | November 18, 2011 2:31 PM

"The f--king earplug generation. Feel free to post insulting stuff, but yes I'm old and went to hundreds of shows of intense volume in the late 70s, 80s and 90s and still hear about as well as anyone my age. This includes punk shows in the 80s when everything was turned up to 11. Dinosaur Jr., Mission of Burma, and a few of the other loudest-ever bands."

"just ask your parents if they went to a lot of concerts, then ask if they wore earplugs, and then finally ask if they can still hear properly. and that should give you a good idea of whether or not you should get some plugs."

YOUR LOGIC IS BEYOND STUPID...and completely unacceptable!!!

Posted by dfewe@yahoo.com | November 18, 2011 2:33 PM

Never mind the mouth-frothers 2:00, I got your back.

"Lucky" might not have been the most accurate word, but he (or she) was just saying that an MBV show would have been worse.


Sensitive people.

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2011 2:34 PM

"If the band and soundperson need earplugs, something is wrong."

I'm sure Pete Townshend would agree with you.

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2011 2:34 PM

When I go to a concert, I want to actually hear the music, not some muffled version of it. Fuck earplugs.

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2011 2:36 PM

Not a fan of earplugs, but buttoning are a necessity.

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2011 2:38 PM

Buttplugs, that is

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2011 2:40 PM

^ I used to agree, but if the ringing lasts for 3 days - Godflesh in '92 was one of those - you start rethinking. Enjoy it while you're young.

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2011 2:41 PM

well fuck you then if you want to ruin your hearing what do i care, go ahead and stab yrself while yr at it

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2011 2:42 PM

Wearing earplugs is basically like wearing a condom. Sucks but, in the end, will probably make things safer.

That being said, I tried wearing them but stopped after a while. I have ringing but since I sleep with my windows open there's always constant ambient noise anyway to cancel it out.

One question though: for bands that play with in-ear monitors, I can't imagine that those help with their hearing. I mean...the level has to be loud enough to drain out the onstage noise so it's gotta be really fucking loud I assume?

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2011 2:43 PM

2:30- Actually, the sound person should have headphones that block the high amplitude but still allow him/her to hear the fidelity of the music.

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2011 2:44 PM

I always bring ear plugs but don't always wear them. I usually end up wearing em for the opening bands but not the ones I came to see unless the show is super loud. So glad I had em for Godspeed!

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2011 2:45 PM

2:14- I am not being insulting, but hearing "about as well as others your age" is not often good. There is actually a crisis of hearing loss starting with the generation of people exposed to stadium/amplified rock shows.

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2011 2:46 PM

2:36- You need to get better earplugs.

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2011 2:50 PM

The weird thing is: This happens all the time from the inanity of The Drums shows and also Wavves shows. You just don't really hear it because the authorities find it in good respects to not disclose such a humiliating manner of someone going out.

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2011 2:51 PM

@2:30: You're correct, the soundperson should be wearing headphones, but this is usually not the case.

I can think of tons of shows where I've noted that the sound is awful, too loud, and the frequency range is a hot mess, and I almost always walk by the soundperson and notice them wearing earplugs and not headphones. So, so counterintuitive.

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2011 2:55 PM

i've been worried about my hearing for years. been going to shows since 1974 (including a summer of standing in front of johnny ramone's marshall stacks)and often had ringing for days afterwards. it always went away.

i had my hearing tested recently and they said it was perfect, but i've had trouble hearing low voices and low frequencies.

i've used earplugs, but they do muffle the sound. i want to save my hearing, but want to enjoy the music also.

do any of the above-recommended earplugs NOT muffle the sound but just reduce the volume?

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2011 2:59 PM

"such a scary fucking thing to have, and i've had it for many months now after many concerts (with earplugs), and i'll almost certainly have it for life. it sucks, and yeah, many days you feel like it's not worth living. drives you insane.
really sad story."

Just curious, what kind of earplugs do you use? Because if you use earplugs, you shouldn't be having a problem.

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2011 3:00 PM

This is incredibly sad news and something I am trying to help prevent.

Please bring earplugs with you when you go to shows, and encourage your friends and family to do the same.

Save Your Ears, folks.

R.I.P. Robert.

Wear Today Hear Tomorrow

Facebook: www.facebook.com/weartodayheartomorrow

Twitter: @wthtorg

Blog: http://wthtorg.wordpress.com/


Posted by Wear Today Hear Tomorrow | November 18, 2011 3:05 PM

"Just curious, what kind of earplugs do you use? Because if you use earplugs, you shouldn't be having a problem."

hearos 32db; plus a long history of ear infections and potentially ototoxic medications. and many years of concert bands (percussion didn't help) and guitar playing.

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2011 3:24 PM

2:46, I'm willing to be open about it, but have you anything to back up this "crisis" in hearing for the pre-earplugs loud music generation?

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2011 3:24 PM

RIP, all ny prays

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2011 3:27 PM

Oh yeah, and nothing from anyone like the "blog" listed in 3:05 which is just a money-making proposal masquerading as a concerned site.

Real, actual data that there is a "crisis" in hearing for the pre-plug rock generation.

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2011 3:27 PM

dfewe@yahoo.com - how was my logic unacceptable? it's common sense that life-long tinnitus is not solely caused by the environment, but also due to natural predispositions such as an ear drum that is more susceptible to puncture/damage (due to ear structure), as well as the simple lack of a fortified tectorial membrane. i want an aswer.

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2011 3:36 PM

3:24- I'm at work, so I can't do exhaustive ad hoc reseach, but here is one . http://hearingcareblog.com/2011/04/15/baby-boomers-the-next-generation-to-have-hearing-loss/. It's interesting that the articles out there that say that the baby-boomers aren't doing badly hearing wise are actually misleading. Reading into the articles, a lot of them are actually just using more effective hearing aids.

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2011 3:40 PM

No good, its a doctor who's promoting her "seminar". Oh, and almost all of the data suggests that any incremental additionally hearing loss by "baby boomers" is attibuted to living in a "louder world". concert aren't mentioned once in that article.

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2011 3:44 PM

I ALWAYS wear earplugs. i wouldn't go to a show without them.

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2011 4:14 PM

That shit is fucked up.. ya heard?

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2011 4:23 PM

You should always wear earplugs (teenage me would be kicking my ass right now).
Some people are more prone than others. I have significant hearing loss in one ear coupled with tinnitus. It sucks. My best friend my whole life with whom I've gone to thousands of shows has absolutely fine hearing. Neither of us bothered growing up and now I'm fucked.

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2011 4:25 PM

Q: If the music is so loud that you cannot safely listen to it without earplugs then... why is it that loud?

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2011 4:27 PM

A: So the people in the back can hear.

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2011 4:39 PM

@3:27 I don't sell anything. I formed this organization as part of a colloquy while studying at NYU.

I go to hundreds of shows per year, have toured across the country in bands, and am working towards getting a Doctorate in Audiology. I always wear earplugs when performing/attending concerts, and am genuinely concerned for other people's health and well being.

While I totally understand your cynicism, not everyone is out for a buck... Some of us actually want to help spread the word about this problem.

Save Your Ears, folks.

-WTHT

Posted by Wear Today Hear Tomorrow | November 18, 2011 4:45 PM

anyone who went to a 'Them Crooked Vultures' show should kill themselves

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2011 4:52 PM

what?

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2011 4:58 PM

WTHT. I've read your site and your Facebook page and you're full of shit.

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2011 4:59 PM

@4:27, 4:39: this is an interesting point.

I love loud music and hate earplugs, but some shows (and again I'm pointing my finger in the direction or bands and soundpeople wearing earplugs) are pushed beyond a comfortable level. I don't wear earplugs, and it hasn't hurt my ears, but it bothers me because it sounds fucking awful.

Bands and soundpeople should not be wearing earplugs. It messes up the frequencies and loudness they hear, and the 98% (I'm assuming) of the audience not wearing earplugs suffer (and suffer a shitty-sounding show).

If you're playing so loud that your team needs earplugs, you're probably playing too loud, and you probably sound like shit. Trust me.

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2011 5:07 PM

dfewe@yahoo.com - how was my logic unacceptable? it's common sense that life-long tinnitus is not solely caused by the environment, but also due to natural predispositions such as an ear drum that is more susceptible to puncture/damage (due to ear structure), as well as the simple lack of a fortified tectorial membrane. i want an aswer. i will e-mail you if i don't receive one on this forum.

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2011 5:17 PM

This is very sad, although I do agree that there was probably some other psychological problem going on here, not simply because he committed suicide, but in the way he did it. There are way less violent ways of killing yourself... to kill yourself by stabbing yourself suggests someone who may not have been 100 percent in the head. It doesn't seem to be the way most people would choose to do it and suggests an additional issue.

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2011 5:26 PM

time to start suing venues, promoters and bands. we shouldn't all have to buy and bring fucking earplugs every time we go out to see music. Keep the volume at a reasonable level, you're not any better/cooler/more hardcore for tuning a knob all the way up

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2011 5:28 PM

"If you're playing so loud that your team needs earplugs, you're probably playing too loud, and you probably sound like shit. Trust me."
ding ding ding

hey Sleigh Bells, the volume doesn't hide your suck

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2011 5:31 PM

i'm a musician/producer so i'm really conservative about wearing earplugs. you can get decent etymotic research earplugs on amazon for $12 or something in that range. takes out all the high guitar shit that doesn't sound good anyway. some of my friends have custom earplugs that are over $100 but if you're afraid of losing those i'd just stick with the etymotic research ones.

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2011 5:37 PM

question for tinnitus sufferers: did it happen all at once, or gradually? and if gradually, how long did it take for symptoms to show? what warning signs should we look for?

thanks for sharing. I always bring earplugs, I always assume it's going to be too loud. Movies are even worse.

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2011 5:50 PM

if you wanna bring earplugs, fine, but if you don't, just use tissue paper. it takes most of the harsh edge off, but the music sounds alot better than with serious plugs.
And obviously you have far greater flexiblity to modulate how much you plug up an ear than with actual plugs. Unless you really need to shut out as much as possible, it's really the best sounding, most comfortable, & most flexible solution

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2011 6:27 PM

I didn't notice the ringing until I read this article FUVK YOU

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2011 6:55 PM

musician's earplugs suck balls don't get em they're a waste stick to the cheap foam ones

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2011 10:46 PM

I've tried using the Etymotic earplugs at shows, but I find that they still muffle the sound to the point where it's not even enjoyable. It sucks because I've started developing tinnitus and want to protect my ears from further damage, but I'd rather stay home than sit through an entire set with earplugs. I usually only wear them for the openers and go to a lot less shows these days.

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2011 11:21 PM

If you follow Dr. John Sarno, you may believe the theory that Tinnitus is actually cause by your brain. There is a good possibility that it is stress induced.

Posted by Anonymous | November 19, 2011 12:33 AM

i have etymotic plugs too and they are pretty great, to echo what everyone else has been saying

Posted by Anonymous | November 19, 2011 2:41 AM

3:44- you didn't read very carefully. It's not a cause and effect study, more of a prevalence report, but rock concerts are specifically mentioned as a factor.

Posted by Anonymous | November 19, 2011 3:04 AM

My pug just created a fart.

Posted by Anonymous | November 19, 2011 10:01 AM

This is truly a sad story.

I remember going to the Queens of The Stone Age show, and beforehand, my friends and I all went and picked up earplugs. Except for Steve. The show was incredibly loud, as suspected, Josh was really cranking the guitar to 11. After the show, Steve seemed odd and distant. Weeks went by and none of us had heard of him. Finally we get word from one of Steve's family members. His mom had found him sitting in his kitchen, keeled over. The ringing in his ears had driven him to consume an ungodly 16 jars of hummus, until his stomach burst, and the hummus poisoned the rest of his body. I still miss him.

Posted by Anonymous | November 19, 2011 10:19 AM

"Gotcha Journalism"

Posted by Anonymous | November 19, 2011 10:30 AM

i saw enya in '94 and my colon burst. ears were fine though.

Posted by Anonymous | November 19, 2011 12:29 PM

Sad story and sincere condolences to the family. Hits me where I live because I'm also 52 and go to a lot of shows. I play guitar too loud and listen to my ipod on the subway every day a bit too loud as well. I have never worn earplugs at shows and while my hearing isn't great, it's not too bad either. I get ringing fer sure after some shows but it mostly goes away eventually. I'm going to buy a pair of earplugs and try them out.

Posted by jabez | November 19, 2011 2:07 PM

can someone explain why this happens ? also does wearing earplugs compromise your enjoyment of the music at a show ? How can you hear as well through something (earplugs) that is designed to protect your ears from sounds. What is the solution ? also, is there a part of the venue that makes you more susceptible to this issue? What a sad evocative story but I think its appropriate that it was reported on this blog.

Posted by Anonymous | November 19, 2011 3:55 PM

i always wear earplugs at loud shows. i also audio record most of the shows i go to. afterwards i can listen to the show without earplugs.

Posted by Anonymous | November 19, 2011 4:09 PM

this is kind of ridiculous... how many shows are you going to that you need earplugs? a few times a year is not going to damage your eardrums permanently. If you're in a band, or a sound guy/roadie, then sure every single day of overexposure is going to affect you. a few shows a year and you need earplugs, uhm, youre either a hypochondriac or just a pussy.

btw; anyone else think that, uh, this story is completely made up?

Posted by Anonymous | November 19, 2011 4:56 PM

It was made up that he killed himself because of going to a concert without earplugs. He most likely killed himself because he was suffering from metal illness.

Posted by Anonymous | November 19, 2011 5:47 PM

I felt like killing myself after listening to LuLu.

Posted by Anonymous | November 19, 2011 9:25 PM

Whenever I see someone wearing earplugs at concerts I think, "Wow. Look at that pussy."

If you're in a position where you're going to shows daily, I understand. But occasionally? If you're that scared, people - don't see live music.

Posted by Anonymous | November 20, 2011 12:15 AM

"this is kind of ridiculous... how many shows are you going to that you need earplugs? a few times a year is not going to damage your eardrums permanently. If you're in a band, or a sound guy/roadie, then sure every single day of overexposure is going to affect you. a few shows a year and you need earplugs, uhm, youre either a hypochondriac or just a pussy."

you're a moron, as evidenced by your post. if you're exposed to more than 15 minutes of noise at 85db or above, you're damaging your hearing. and the damage is cumulative (e.g. that ring the first time might last a few hours, then a few more hours the next time, and a few more hours after that until one day it doesn't go away -- that's what happened to me; and i'm sure the ipod at loud levels is to blame, in addition to concerts, where i did wear earplugs). concerts are generally at an obscenely high 115db and above, which means damage to normal people almost immediately.

again, folks don't tend to notice, but the inner hair cells that are impacted have a very limited recovery potential, and fail to regenerate over time. hence, once they're gone, they're gone, and what's left is the ringing in the frequency where the cells are dead (or the tinnitus). trust me, it sucks; i downright hate living with it, and i rarely go to shows anymore because of it.

Posted by Anonymous | November 20, 2011 9:38 AM

To everyone with metal ilness, all my prays

Posted by Anonymous | November 20, 2011 9:53 AM

if i saw the crooked vultures, i too would kill myself.

Posted by Anonymous | November 20, 2011 1:00 PM

This story is extremely irresponsible. There is no way that this loud music alone caused this poor man with mental disease to commit suicide. You're exploiting this band and their music and this man and his family to forward the questionable agenda put forth by alarmists and those standing to profit from this sort of thing.

Remember, even Pete Townsend fully believes that years of headphone use and not concert performance caused his Tinnitus, and he fears more for iPod users than performers.

Posted by Anonymous | November 21, 2011 10:04 AM

I have Tinnitus this bad, this guy was suffering, it was not mental illness, Tinnitus like this effects your central nervous system. I have been homebound for over three years now holding on for my daughter. Along with ringing in both ears I have a 747 in the middle of my brain. Imagine an amp feeding back in your head at 120dbs 24/7 with no sleep ever. Happened after a combination of a concert and an ear cleaning. I can’t believe this can happen, I had no idea until it was to late. My life sucks now, just getting to the next day, the next month, the next year, totally hopeless. I am 46 years old, was just turning 43 on the day it happened. It happened suddenly about an hour after that stupid ear cleaning by an ENT and it was like my brain exploded and I had a stroke. Nothing shows up on any tests, MRI, blood work, etc. I had my hearing checked and have some high end hearing loss that is the same as a friend of mine who has no Tinnitus at all. Imagine looking at your 9 year old daughter and thinking Oh @#@%, what am I going to do. I would have been done with this life if not for my sweet princess, it’s that bad. Don’t be ignorant or arrogant and thank your god you at least are aware that this can happen, I had no idea. It is a living nightmare.

Posted by tullfan | November 22, 2011 2:45 PM

What a fag

Posted by SOMA | November 25, 2011 11:40 AM

Earplugs are for WIMPS, YEAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!

Posted by Anonymous | December 27, 2011 7:38 PM

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