December 2020 editorial

The incredible story of Mr. Ian Trainer, jailed (and dead in prison) for playing classical music too loud

[Ian Trainer]

Author: Lucio Cadeddu - TNT Italy
Published: December, 2020

We audiophiles love loud music, right? It gives us goosebumps and chills down our spine, and there's nothing we can do about it! And we do know how annoying our neighbors can become. Would you believe that an 82 year old man has died in prison while being jailed for playing Classical FM too loud? Believe or not, that's what happened to poor Mr. Ian Trainer, of Aintree, a small village in the County of Merseyside, UK.

Mr. Trainer had been jailed in February, released and then jailed again for a period of 24 weeks, because he breached the conditions of a restraining order that was given to him in 2019. The reason? He used to listen to Classic FM, an FM station that broadcasts just classical music, at a level considered too high by his neighbor. That level was, hear hear!, above 65 dB during evening/night hours (between 9 and 10 p.m.). You know quite well that 65 dB is the normal level of a conversation, nothing too annoying indeed (well, that depends on the kind of conversation!). It was just classical music, not something like a Megadeth live album played at 100 dB!

The point is that Mr. Trainer seemed not to care much for his neighbor's moanings. Moreover, because of some kind of medical treatment, he couldn't use headphones and, what's worse, his hearing was far from being perfect. Hence he told court he liked playing music “at a level I enjoy”. A statement reported in court said Mr. Trainer was suffering from a bad cold and could only hear in one ear.

Just some personal remarks:

  1. it could be that Mr. Trainer suffered from some kind of mental disorder and this, together with his inpaired hearing, could have made things worse. That said, I believe an 82 years old man should be helped, not jailed. After all, he wasn't a criminal, just an old man who loved his music, which could help make his days slightly better and easier.
  2. If I was his neighbor, I would have invited him round to play some classical music at 100dB!!!
  3. A warning for my neighbors: before putting me in jail, let's discuss it!
Unfortunately this is not the fairy Christmas tale I was planning to tell you, quite the contrary, it is just another horrible story of this crazy 2020! This one is for you Mr. Trainer, I'm sure you'd have appreciated it!

Copyright © 2020 Lucio Cadeddu - -