Today in History: The Who Becomes The Loudest Band in the World
On May 31, 1976, British rockers The Who set the Guinness World Record as the loudest band in the world.
According to reports, the band clocked in at 126 decibels measured 32 meters from the front-of-house monitors during a concert at The Valley in London, England. For reference, a standard jet engine will clock in around 120dB, and a jackhammer registers around 130. The so-called “Threshold of Pain” is right around 120dB.
The record was previously set by Deep Purple at a concert in London in 1972, hitting 117 dB at their loudest.
The 1976 record set by The Who was broken by heavy metal band Manowar in 1984. The current record is held by Kiss, sounding at 136 decibels on July 15, 2009 during a concert in Ottawa, Canada.
Due to concerns about hearing loss, Guinness World Records no longer measures decibels for the title of loudest band in the world. Unsurprisingly, The Who’s guitarist Pete Townshend suffers from progressive hearing loss due to years of unprotected exposure,.
Rock star or not, always wear ear protection. You’ll thank us for it later.