I am starting to feel old. Why you might ask? Well, I will tell you and it is not that I turned 50 last year. It is not that my kids are growing up too fast. Okay, that is part of it. The main reason is that all the musicians I grew up listening to are now starting to die. Not by drug addiction or overdosing. Nope, those are generally younger rockers and although sad, it doesn’t make me feel old. The musicians are now dying of natural causes due in part to old age. They are getting cancer or having heart attacks…you know…normal things that tend to happen when you are older.
Recently, we have seen the deaths of Eddie Money and Ric Ocasek who were both in their 70’s when they passed. Let that sink in. They were in their 70’s. When I listened to them growing up, their music was mainstream. Not today. They fall under the Classic Rock category. I loved both Eddie Money’s and The Cars’ music. I remember sitting in my basement watching MTV and seeing Eddie scream out “Take Me Home Tonight” and The Cars “You Might Think” video which is one of the most innovative music videos ever done (at least at the time).
Their deaths brought to light a real issue that the world is facing. The heroes of the classic rock era of the late 60’s, the 70’s & the 80’s are getting a lot older and won’t be around much longer. Soon, we won’t be catching these acts on tour or won’t even have any new material be released. The iconic music makers will be dying and the music of generations will start to fade away. When that happens, how many radio stations will play Classic Rock anymore? Think about it…there are no stations specific to the 40’s, the 50’s or even the 60’s music (ok, maybe unless you have Satellite Radio). Some of the 60’s will fall under Classic Rock, but not the early 60’s music. Gone. Classic Rock’s days are numbered.
In the past couple years we have lost other legends who were getting older including David Bowie (69) and Lemmy Kilmister (70). Most recently, Ginger Baker passed away and he was 80. It is a reality that is staring at us directly in our face. What is my point? If you are a fan of a band from that time period of the 70’s, 80’s or heck even from the late 60’s and they are touring or putting out new music, go out and see them while you still have a chance. They won’t be around forever.
I have taken that advice over the last couple years and gone out to see some of the older bands. I recently caught Queen with Adam Lambert (Brian May is 72 & Roger Taylor is 70) along with Kiss on their End of the Road Tour (Gene Simmons is 70 & Paul Stanley is 67). I saw Bryan Adams (ok, he is young at 59) and Alice Cooper (71). I have realized I might not get another chance so I got off my ass and out to a show.
Admit it, time is running out so you better head out and catch them while you can. What about the ages of other bands still going strong?
Aerosmith – they are all late 60’s and early 70’s
The Rolling Stones – they are all in their 70’s (ok, Keith will never die, but the rest probably will). They are touring and Mick Jagger just had heart issues.
The Who – they have a new album and a tour coming and Roger Daltrey is 75 and Pete Townsend 74.
Led Zeppelin – alright, they don’t tour or put out music together but they are both still active individually…Robert Plant is 71 and Jimmy Page is 75
Whitesnake – really I’m talking about David Coverdale who is now 68 so he is starting to push 70 and is actively touring and releasing new music. Go support.
The Beatles – well at least Paul McCartney (77) & Ringo Starr (79) are still around.
And have you seen some of the 80’s acts? They don’t look like Spring chickens anymore. As we get older, so do our musical heroes except they were already older than us to begin with so they are getting older faster. And only yesterday, it was announced that Toto was calling it quits. It is going to be a very common theme over the next few years as artists are getting up there in years and won’t be touring anymore.
I’m barely scratching the surface of aging artist, but I think you understand. I will repeat it…Go out and see the bands you grew up loving one more time if they come to your town. It could be the last time. Soon all that will be left are our memories, our music collections, tribute bands (the horror) and Keith Richards along with Willie Nelson – they will never die.