One Direction have some of the best and most dedicated fans in the world. They’re also apparently among the loudest.
Band member Louis Tomlinson recently revealed to UK paper The Mirror that he has experienced hearing loss as a result of exposure to prolonged loud screaming by their fans.
“I am going slightly deaf in my right ear,” Tomlinson said. “It’s tinnitus…something like that.”
The star reportedly suffered three days worth of headaches after being exposed to screaming fans while performing in Liverpol.
“All our fans are always very loud, especially Scousers,” he said, invoking the slang name for residents of the northern British city.
While Tomlinson hasn’t been officially diagnosed, Web MD describes the disease as, “an occasional ringing (or roaring, hissing, buzzing, or tinkling) in their ears. The sound usually lasts only a few minutes. Ringing in the ears that does not get better or go away is called tinnitus.”
In the long term, untreated tinnitus can cause deafness. So this begs the question: could One Direction’s screaming fans stop them from touring or performing live?
It’s not unprecedented — in fact, another British boy band, who happened to hail from Liverpol, quit performing live for the very same reason: the Beatles. Their screaming fans were said to be so loud that the Beatles couldn’t hear themselves on stage. The band stopped touring in 1966, after Lennon, Harrison and Starr agreed in a band vote that it was a waste of time. You can get a sense of how loud Beatles shows were in this 1964 live clip from Washington Coliseum.