In 1976 The Who lay claim to the title of the Loudest Band In The World after being measured at an earth-shattering 126dB* but these days guitarist Pete Townshend prefers a more reasonable volume. According to a report by Classic Rock Magazine, Townshend actually walked off the stage near the end of a show in Sunrise, FL last week because it was too loud. The guitarist apparently became quite angry with the sound techs during the performance of “You Better You Bet” and promptly marched off the stage without saying a word when the song was over.
After the show, guitarist Simon Townshend tweeted an explanation for his older brother’s abrupt exit: “Pete walked off tonight because it was too loud. Was a good show but had some technical problems.” The show was the first of 36 concerts on The Who’s Quadrophenia And More North American Tour.
Pete Townshend has experienced hearing problems ever since The Who’s memorable appearance on Smothers Brothers’ Show in 1967 where Keith Moon blew up his drumkit. Though he has considered retiring because of his tinnitus, he has recently found a monitoring system that he is happy with and that allows him to keep performing.
*a level of more than 80dB can damage hearing and cause pain. Modern health and safety rules forbid exposure to 115dB for more than 15 minutes per day.