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How old is too old to rock?

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Dick Whitman, Dec 5, 2010.

  1. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    New York Times Magazine cover today features 67-year-old Mick Jagger:


    Earlier this year, Keith Richards indicated in his autobiography that the Stones will be back on tour within the next couple of years. Probably playing to sold-out arenas, as always.

    It also brings to mind the Super Bowl's recent lineup of one oldster relic after another.

    Yesterday, I was flipping through the channels and caught a Black Crowes concert on DirecTV. They were huge hitmakers in the early '90s and have to be in their early to mid 40s now. But they weren't playing the same old songs, and seemed more weathered than aged. I was quite impressed.

    In other professions, 40, 50, 60, 70 even, isn't considered old. Clint Eastwood is in his 80s and making classic movies.

    Is there a way to age gracefully, music-wise, and have the same sort of 50-year career you could put together in any other profession? Should the Stones have retreated to more stripped-down blues at some point and saved their dignity - the way, say, Bob Dylan has to remain remarkably relevant?

    Just some thoughts raised by seeing Jagger on the cover of NYT Mag. Sixty-seven isn't all that old. But it seems ancient when you do what he does, and when you were so famous so young.
  2. BTExpress

    BTExpress Well-Known Member

    But he's not playing Dirty Harry.
  3. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    Old age and treachery always overcomes youth and skill.
  4. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    I guess that's what I'm getting at. Is there a way for rock stars to age just as gracefully and maintain relevancy over a decades-long career? Or is popular music just a young man's game no matter what?
  5. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    In my opinion -- and keep in mind, I'm not a rock music fan -- rock is, by it's very basis, a young man's game. A musician can remain relevant, but it will involve plenty of re-invention. And that's a tightrope all its own, because you don't want to pander, or be a sellout. If the Stones suddenly started singing adult contemporary, it would alienate all their fans. But seeing a 70-year-old strut around and stick his tongue out is just ... awkward.

    Re: re-invention...Madonna has gone through plenty of versions/styles/whatever. And she, who was as big a star as there has been in music, is not nearly as relevant as she was 20 years ago.
  6. John

    John Well-Known Member

    Well put.
  7. Springsteen is now 59 or 60, and he's probably done as good a job as anyone at toeing the line.
  8. PCLoadLetter

    PCLoadLetter Well-Known Member

    I think it's definitely possible for rockers to age gracefully, but I don't think the Stones have done it. It's been years since they released an album that anyone but Jan Wenner pretended to like, and Jagger's stage act just seems kind of pathetic at this stage. What was their last relevant album, "Tattoo You"? That was 30 years ago.

    At the same time, with the money they make on tour, I'd go ahead and put on the leotard and bounce around on the giant inflatable dick if I were Mick.

    I think Neil Young's a good example of someone who has maintained his dignity. His new album's terrific. He's still working hard, working with challenging producers and finding interesting directions for his music. Sometimes he falls on his face, but he's always done that, and that's OK.

    Dylan's another one. I think some of his recent work has been kind of overrated, but not all of it. "Modern Times" was excellent.
  9. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    Springsteen is 61 and just released a double disc of 21 songs that are more than 30 years old. Given the buzz about The Promise, you can bet he'll be announcing a spring-summer tour shortly with some revamped version of the E Street Band (probably no Clarence).
  10. NoOneLikesUs

    NoOneLikesUs Active Member

    Chuck Berry still does his regular monthly gig at Blueberry Hill. He's 84. That's graceful.

    60-something KISS doing Dr. Pepper commercials, not so much.
  11. wicked

    wicked Well-Known Member

    I'm not a huge Stones fan, but admire 'em for keeping the passion. They could go off in different directions and even mail it in, but to keep that level of intensity for 50 years, that's amazing.
  12. NoOneLikesUs

    NoOneLikesUs Active Member

    He was killer with the Roots helping out on Jimmy Fallon a few weeks back.
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