Rock star and The Who guitarist Pete Townshend isn't just concerned about his generation any more, warning new iPod users that they could go deaf if they play their tunes too loud - as he has.

Speaking to the Times, the musician - famed for such classic tracks as 'I Can't Explain', 'Substitute' and 'The Kids Are Alright' - and responsible for unleashing a generation of parka-clad scooter-riders upon UK South coast resorts, revealed years of headphone use in recording studios to have permanently damaged his hearing.

He revealed that he has been unable to complete the recording sessions for a new Who album because of the "irreparable hearing loss he has suffered", the Times reports.

"I have terrible hearing trouble," he said. "I have unwittingly helped to invent and refine a type of music that makes its principal proponents deaf," he said.

Townshend blames the earsplitting sounds of the studio headphones he's used across years of recording, warning iPod users: "My intuition tells me there is terrible trouble ahead. The downside [to downloading] may be that we use earphones at almost every stage of interaction with sound."

"Hearing loss is a terrible thing because it cannot be repaired. Music is a calling for life. You can write it when you're deaf, but you can't hear it or perform it."