VIP, March 1997
Not only has he been a happening rock 'n' roll player for three decades,
a local music scene fixture for 20 years playing in bands such as the
Readymades and the Dinos, he is also referred to by some as a guardian
angel. A guardian angel with one goal in mind; to teach children how to
play rock guitar without ruining their hearing. Eric Lenchner (you can
call him "Sludge") is his name, rockin' is his game and H.E.A.R.
is thrilled to honor him as the V.I.P. for the month of March.
Eric Lenchner's, early introduction to music started with piano lessons
at age 5, trumpet lessons at 7, and guitar lessons at age 10. What he
gained through all of the lessons and long hours of practice was a perfect
disposition for teaching guitar. Unfortunately what he didn't bargain
for after years of playing in many rock bands -was a combination of two
hearing conditions. Eric suffers from Hyperacusis- an overdeveloped sense
of hearing that causes pain when a person is exposed to loud noise to
the point where one must where earplugs on a full time basis, and Tinnitus
which causes ringing in the ears.
Not one to let his hearing loss sideline his love of playing loud music,
he began teaching lessons. Professor "Sludge" prefers to teach
on electric guitar because the amp off it is actually quieter than acoustic,
which has a built-in sound box. He now teaches approximately 50 students
in private lessons and holds an annual student concert where students
play in front of an audience and show off what they learn throughout the
year. Sludge admits that the concert also gives him a chance to "be
a ham on stage". He is an example to all of his students of what
can happen to rockers who neglect their hearing, and he delivers his sermon
to everyone he instructs. As Sludge puts it, "The rap is, don't end
up like your professor". Amen.