H.E.A.R. is a non-profit organization dedicated to preventing hearing loss, mainly from loud rock music. The acronym stands for Hearing Education and Awareness for Rockers. It was founded in 1988 by rock musician Kathy Peck and physican Flash Gordon, M.D. after Kathy suffered tinnitus and hearing loss after playing with the band The Contractions. Kathy often carries earplugs in her purse and works to distribute them at rock concerts.
The initial funding for the organization's formation was provided by guitarist and songwriter for The Who, Pete Townshend, who also suffers from tinnitus as a result of loud volumes at Who concerts, and a particular incident during a live performance of My Generation, when drummer Keith Moon set off some explosives inside his drum kit right next to Townshend.
In 2007, H.E.A.R, largely through the efforts of Kathy Peck, was the principal organizer for DirkFest, a two-day concert event in San Francisco at Slim's nightclub and the Great American Music Hall that memorialized the life and legacy of Dirk Dirksen, a legendary punk rock promoter at Mabuhay Gardens and the On Broadway in SF. Dirksen died on November 20, 2006, and was a close friend and advisor to Kathy Peck and H.E.A.R.