In the great 80’s comedy, “This is Spinal Tap,” character Nigel Tufnel celebrated his music equipment, because as he said, it’s one louder. If you’re unfamiliar with Christopher Guest’s portrayal of the movie, here’s a quick bit of dialogue to catch you up.
Nigel Tufnel: The numbers all go to eleven. Look, right across the board, eleven, eleven, eleven and…
Marty DiBergi: Oh, I see. And most amps go up to ten?
Nigel Tufnel: Exactly.
Marty DiBergi: Does that mean it’s louder? Is it any louder?
Nigel Tufnel: Well, it’s one louder, isn’t it? It’s not ten. You see, most blokes, you know, will be playing at ten. You’re on ten here, all the way up, all the way up, all the way up, you’re on ten on your guitar. Where can you go from there? Where?
Marty DiBergi: I don’t know.
Nigel Tufnel: Nowhere. Exactly. What we do is, if we need that extra push over the cliff, you know what we do?
Marty DiBergi: Put it up to eleven.
Nigel Tufnel: Eleven. Exactly. One louder.
Marty DiBergi: Why don’t you just make ten louder and make ten be the top number and make that a little louder?
Nigel Tufnel: [pause] These go to eleven.
The movie and that scene are part of pop culture (Many of the movie’s fans paid tribute in 11/11/11 celebration of the movie scene last November.)
And music fans simply like it louder. We’ve all been next to a car at a stoplight where that driver had all the windows (and the moonroof) open and music was echoing through the intersection. We’ve probably all stood next to someone who was wearing earphones, but we heard their music loud and clear. And most people will recall a neighbor playing music that invaded their home sanctuary.
Now, researchers say they’ve proven the old adage of sex, drugs, and rock and roll to be more of a factual relationship, than a myth of mindset.
Researchers in The Netherlands found that teens and young adults who crank up the volume — already risky because of the long-term chance of hearing loss — were also more likely to smoke marijuana, binge drink and have sex without a condom.
Researchers at Erasmus MC University Medical Center in Rotterdam surveyed nearly 1,000 students between the ages of 15 and 25,.
They focused on subjects that listened to music, at a level equivalent to a lawnmower, for more than an hour.
About one-third of the participants were risky MP3-player listeners and close to half were exposed to music at risky levels at clubs and concerts.
Young people who often listed to loud music on MP3 players were twice as likely to have used pot in the last month, compared to non-risky music listeners.
And those who were frequently exposed to music at clubs and concerts were six times more likely than people who weren’t to binge drink and twice as likely to have risky sex with inconsistent condom use.
Club- and concert-goers also happened to be less likely to smoke pot than other youths.
The study can’t say anything about whether listening to MP3 players makes people feel like smoking marijuana — or vice versa, she said.
And a more critical question, Levy said, is whether young people are listening to music that glorifies risky behavior and making decisions about drinking, drugs or sex based on that.
The study was published in Pediatrics today.