“Today I have good news und I have bad news. Die erste Hörster das nicht verstehen was ist jetzt eben gesagt haben; und die zweite Hörster weiss noch immer nicht was ein Earschplittenloudenboomer ist.” And so goes the introduction to the Steppenwolf song, “Earschplittenloudenboomer,” which is anything but an assault on the eardrums.
Yes, it’s real. The rock band Steppenwolf preceded the the song with John Kay saying silly stuff, the beginning of which was English. “Today I have good news and I have bad news.” Then he broke into German, the translation of which is (roughly) “The first listener doesn’t know what’s being said right now, and the second listener doesn’t know what an Earschplittenloudenboomer is.” And yes, it’s a real song, but as I mentioned before it’s pretty mellow for a hard rocking band like Steppenwolf. So, speaking of IMAX. Weren’t we speaking of IMAX?? Well it’s in the title, right?? Pay attention!! Oops… sorry I’m grouchy but my ears still hurt from das IMAX Earschplittenloudenboomer!!
There we were, minding our own business, going to the IMAX in Grand Rapids to enjoy Moonage Daydream, the new film about David Bowie. We went to the 12 noon show to avoid the Covid crowds, and that was very successful as there was only one other couple besides us in the whole theater. So here come the commercials. Pretty loud. VERY loud. Ouch with the ears awreddy. Then come the previews. OH MY THAT’S TOO DARN LOUD!! I was sure the speakers in the place were about to spew their innards at us!! I called the theater on my smellphone and asked them to please remove the auditory anguish from our ears. The (not) happy theater employee grudgingly said she’d tell the projectionist, who apparently listened to our plea.
I know we are old retired people, but hey, we are Officially Receipted Volume Veterans (O.R.V.V.). All you have to do is take a gander at our album full of concert tickets. We’ve seen loudenscreamers like Slade, Joe Walsh, Hollywood Vampires, Foghat, and even David Bowie (twice times). And that’s just a small fraction of the list. So it’s not like we’re wusses or anything. We’ve had our cochlear hair cells flattened lots and lots of times.
For whatever reason, this time was different. Maybe it was the lack of bodies… previous noise kabooms could have been absorbed by the crowds around us to some degree. Maybe it was that we’re not getting any younger. Or maybe it’s just because the IMAX audio was just too damn loud! Lately, my Beautiful Girlfriend and I have asked each other to repeat things while we’re trying to converse; then both of us lament that our ears are still in shock. Typical conversations have been dismantled into nonsensical exchanges. For example:
“I’m going to the store, do we need any cheese?”
“Not sure why it matters but I brushed my teeth a few minutes ago!”
On the other hand, one of us will say something that is completely incomprehensible to the other. Solution: we get closer and face each other to watch lips move, then ask, “WHAT??”
Ah well. We very much enjoyed Moonage Daydream. We might go back to the IMAX some day, but we might also bring some ear protection. At least until I can call and ask for them to turn down the audio to avoid another Earschplittenloudenboomer.
This video has nothing to do with the film, but it’s quite an imaginative way to associate video with David Bowie’s Moonage Daydream.