Reporting Lisa Sigell
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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — “Rock and Roll All Night” and “Shout It Out Loud” — “Kiss” front-man Paul Stanley knows the power of music and it has always been his passion.
“I think the blessing for me is I just think I’m a lucky guy, who has a great job… I am so blessed. Every time I go out on that stage, at some point I get choked up or teary eyed,” Stanley said.
His love for music started at an early age.
“I grew up in a household full of classical music, opera, fine art, so I was exposed to a lot of great things early on,” he said.
But problems erupted when Stanley first got into rock and roll.
“They threw me out. But I bought then a house, so I got back in. It all worked out just fine,” he said smiling.
With 100 million albums sold, it certainly did work out just fine.
You may think you know a lot about the man behind the make-up, but maybe not everything. Stanley was born deaf in his right ear.
“People tend to think, ‘if you can’t hear on both sides, how can you make music?’ But you don’t miss what you never had,” Stanley said.
But his hearing was also something he never took for granted. Since he could only hear out of his left ear, he protected it no matter what, whether he was playing or listening to someone else.
“I’ve been going to concerts since kid and from the time I saw Led Zeppelin or Jimi Hendrix, or anybody, I always had earplugs in. It just made common sense to me,” he said.
Now at age 59, he is on a crusade of sorts, to warn about the dangers of hearing loss, especially to teens, who are literally attached to their music, video games and concerts with the sounds only getting louder and louder all over the place.
“Somebody who is working a jackhammer using earplugs…So you mind and your ears don’t differentiate from what the source of the noise is or the volume. So whether you are in front of a jet engine or at a rock concert, your ears are being assaulted,” he said.
You may not believe this but “Kiss” is working on their 31st album and touring. Paul Stanley is a bona fide rock superstar. But it’s not all about music now; it’s about his message to get people to protect their hearing before it’s too late.
“Anything over 85 decibels is real serious. At 85 decibels, usually you can listen to that for about a half hour and you need a break. Anything above that, if you get to 105 decibels, which is the average rock concert, after about four minutes, you are in trouble,” Stanley warned.
A rock star telling us to put earplugs in during his concert?
“Music is so loud that your body shakes, so you won’t know any difference. You can still turn your brain to jelly, but you can also preserve your hearing,” he said.
Stanley has teamed-up with the non-profit House Research Institute on a major initiative called “Sound Rules! It’s How You Listen That Counts”, with the goal of educating millions of teens around the world on preventing noise-induced hearing loss and providing simple ways to stop the noise. Paul Stanley says he is not preaching, just giving the facts, and if people listen he has done his job.
There will be an event held in Los Angeles on Thursday, May 12, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at the Directors Guild of America located at Theater One, 7920 Sunset Boulevard. For more information on how you can attend and meet Paul Stanley in person, visit soundrules.org.