It would be awesome if his ear went out in a blaze of glory, but the sad truth is actually closer to the use of headphones. Whatta way to go.
Townshend suffers from partial deafness and tinnitus believed to be the result of extensive exposure to loud music through headphones and in concert, including The Who concert at Charlton Athletic Football Ground, London, on 31 May 1976 that was listed as the "Loudest Concert Ever" by the Guinness Book of Records, where the volume level was measured at 126 decibels 32 metres from the stage. It is also possible that Keith Moon's exploding drum set during The Who's 1967 appearance on the The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour contributed to the musician's hearing loss. In 1989, Townshend gave the initial funding to allow the formation of the non-profit hearing advocacy group H.E.A.R. (Hearing Education and Awareness for Rockers).
I've always loved that recorded backing track, cleaner punchier (yeah shorter) than the original.
Anyone know when they recorded the audio?
I'll see if I can look it up.
I have a great book that's a log of all the live gigs the Who ever did.