We are experiencing an unprecedented phenomenon in rock music. It’s something that we all knew was coming, but that many of us have found ourselves decidedly unprepared for.
Our rock stars are getting old.
These rockers were at the prime of their lives in the 60s and 70s, and now they ARE in their 60s and 70s, and we watch as they wrinkle and gray. We are amazed at their survival skills, despite how they treated their bodies back in the day (Ozzy Osbourne and Keith Richards, anyone? Well preserved, I say).
This year, the Rolling Stones celebrated 50 years together. They have been a band for the same amount of time my parents have been married! Of course, like any good marriage, it hasn’t always sunshine and roses for the Stones, but they have persevered, and are still rocking the stage while many their age contemplate bridge games and retirement homes. To still be doing music 50 years on, is a pretty amazing accomplishment if you ask me.
Paul McCartney is the leader of the Rock ‘n’ Roll seniors’ tour. Having just turned 70 years old, he’s still lighting up stages everywhere he goes. His performance at the Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony proved he’s still got what it takes to move an audience. He had an entire stadium (and probably about a billion people around the world) singing “Hey Jude” in unison that night. To me, that makes him the undisputed king.
Pete Townshend turned 67 this year, and along with an amazing performance with The Who at the closing ceremonies of the Olympics, he’s also publishing a memoir, due out October 8th. Check out the trailer for “Who I Am”.
This is natural next step for the Grandfathers of Rock – reflection. It’s possible these guys will continue to rock for a couple more decades – they seem to have it in them. But there comes a time when we will look back on these iconic performers, and remember what they did to change the face of music in the 20th century and beyond.
I’m willing to bet that 50 years from now, they’ll still be inspiring countless young musicians the world over.
Susan Murphy is one of the heads of MyMusic's social team. When she's not tweeting, facebooking and blogging about music, she's usually listening to it or performing it. You can find her on Twitter @suzemuse too. Usually talking about music. Or Sci Fi. Or her cats.
Find my MyMusic profile and magazines here: http://mymusic.com/profile/suzemuse