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Monday, December 9

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Transmission
« And still more yet to do... Smoke Signals »

Artist Sat Mar 03 2007

Ears Ring

Ten years ago, Princeton Scheide Professor of Music History and Gregorian chant expert Peter Jeffrey went to a rock concert for the first time in his life to watch/pick up his son. Eight years ago today, he went to court to sue the Smashing Pumpkins, Fountains of Wayne, the Frogs, the New Haven Coliseum, Virgin Records, and earplug manufacturer Siebe North for 150,000 dollars, claiming the single performance, even as heard through the protection of the earplugs, had caused irreparable damage. His lawyer stated Mr. Jeffrey "has chronic tinnitus and also suffers from sleep deprivation". At one point he even appeared on the Today Show - you think he was trying to make a point about that loud rock music?

Mr. Jeffrey's earplug of choice is hard to research these days - a sale in 1998 resulted in Siebe's North Safety Products changing hands to Norcross Safety Products. Norcross was then sold to Oak Brook-based Odyssey Investment Partners in 2005. Long story short, who knows what's happening to those earplugs nowadays, but they were probably not much better than foam.
Curiously enough, the Chicago area is also home to one of the today's most popular producers of professional-grade ear plugs - Sensaphonics. Founded by Michael Santucci (who used to work sound at the Metro), the company can claim Common, Prince, The Rolling Stones, and oh, NASA as clients. Who knows? If Mr. Jeffrey had equipped himself of a finer quality ear-plug, perhaps he would have entirely less expensive ways to complain about kids and their rock and roll music. Then again, if experiences like the Thermals show at SubT the other night are any indication (the bass amp blew out and my beer can became a powerfully vibrating amp of its own, god knows what was happening to my ears) the music could stand to come down a little too.

 
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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »

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Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
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