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Poster by Terry McGlone

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H.E.A.R. Benefit Concert

H.E.A.R., a grass roots non profit organization that specializes in hearing loss prevention for musicians and music fans announced today that they are to be the recipient of the largest grant that the Recording Academy (the Grammy's) has ever awarded. The Recording Academy is giving H.E.A.R. $30,000 over a two year period as seed money to begin collating data that H.E.A.R. has collected on musicians and hearing loss over the past ten years.

H.E.A.R. hopes to raise a total of $178,000 in order to hire a research scientist, statistician and to obtain the necessary equipment to help compile and analyze over 10 years worth of data which they will make available to the public and the scientific community. H.E.A.RÔs data is in the form of pure tone audiograms (hearing tests) and surveys which cover all aspects of hearing health for musicians and their constituency.

"This is the largest project of its kind to date as very little data exists on this huge population (mainly 18-34 year olds). In fact OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) guidelines don't even list the music industry as an occupation being at risk for noise induced hearing loss!" exclaims Kathy Peck, Executive Director of H.E.A.R. "Michael Greene and the Recording Academy are leading the Music and Entertainment Industries on these important issues."

Seeing a need for hearing health education for musicians, H.E.A.R. got its start in 1988 when Kathy Peck (then bassist for the seminal punk band the Contractions) suffered from hearing loss aggravated by noise exposure when opening up for Duran Duran at the Oakland Coliseum. She joined forces with Dr. Flash Gordon, M.D. from the Haight Ashbury Free Medical Clinic. Pete Townshend of the Who was one of the first musicians to speak out about his hearing loss and helped H.E.A.R. get started with a donation of $10,000. Since then many musicians have helped out by doing Public Service Announcements for H.E.A.R. including Ray Charles, Lars Ulrich from Metallica, Les Claypool from Primus and Lee Ranaldo from Sonic Youth.

The National Organization for Hearing Research has contributed $10,000 to aid H.E.A.R.'s efforts. H.E.A.R. is now seeking individual donations and grants to match the Recording Academy's funds in order to raise the rest of the money to complete their research. For more information on how you can help please contact H.E.A.R. at hear@hearnet.com.