No, that does not mean I am giving up on the greatest music ever made, and please pardon the double entendre. What is meant by the title of this blog, beside a blatant and cheap attempt to get your attention, is that our rock icons are aging and disappearing at a rather surprising rate.
If you have been reading the rock and roll pages of my blog, you will see I had written a few tributes to some rockers that have passed just this year. (If you haven’t, why not?) This off the heels of some of the giants in rock music who passed in 2016. (Bowie, Frey, Prince, Russell) Butch Trucks and John Wetland were the latest this year, and I thought about mentioning Steve Lang (67) of April Wine today, who passed away over the weekend, but I held that up to write this blog, and the fact that April Wine was never a mainstream band like the Allman Brothers or Asia. I’m listening to April Wine has I write this.
The fact is, these guys and gals are just getting to an age that the ailments that are taking everyone else we know and love are finally catching up to them as well. Some are just getting plain old! This was really brought home to me when I read an article over the weekend that Ian Hunter, the founder and leader of Mott the Hoople, just put out a new album with a new band. (A new band?!) It also mentioned Mr. Hunter is 77 years old! And he is still putting out new rock and roll? That means touring and late nights. I can’t hardly stay out past ten o’clock anymore and he’s out touring?!
That got me thinking of some other rockers still rockin’ on. Consider the ages of some of these folks who are still out there:
James Taylor and Elton John are 68, as is Robert Plant from Led Zepplin. (Looks to me like he might be 168!!!) Even Ozzy is now 68 – how is he even still alive?
All still touring, Gregg Allman, who had a liver transplant, is 69, same age as Carlos Santana (who recently married his drummer), Bob Weir of Grateful Dead fame, Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac, and Joe Walsh of the Eagles. So is Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull. Evidently, he is not too old to rock and rock nor too young to die.
David Gilmour of Pink Floyd, who I just saw in concert, is 70, same age as Barry Gibb from the Bee Gees.
Bob Seger, recently went back on tour is 71, same age as Eric Clapton and Carly Simon. I went to a Seger concert recently and I believe he put more energy into the first song that night than I did the whole week!
Carole King of Tapestry fame is 74. Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane fame is 75 – go to the website and take a look at what the rock and roll lifestyle has done to her! Bob Dylan mumbled he is 75…I think! You talk about a group of folks run hard and put away wet!!!
Get this - The Rolling Stones Mick Jagger is 73; Keith Richards is 72; Ron Wood is 69; and Charlie Watts is 75! They are still rocking and one of the top revenue acts! Original bass player, Bill Wyman who retired is now 80! That brings up a great quote – “there are only two things on Earth that can survive a nuclear holocaust – cockroaches and Keith Richards.”
Surviving Beatles Paul McCartney is 74 and Ringo is 76. Are you like me and wondered if they ever put a microphone on Ringo’s drumming? Or on Linda McCartney’s organ? If they did, did they turn it on?
John Mayall of the Blues Breakers Fame (with Eric Clapton) is 83 and still recording! How?
Are you getting the point? No wonder they seem to be dropping at an alarming rate. They are getting to an age when people start having illnesses that can bring about their demise. And these guys lived a life that made ours look like choir boys and nuns.
And if all that has not made you feel really old, consider this - The song Free Bird was released 42 years ago and Stairway to Heaven 45 years ago! And the next time you are singing to Hey Jude, remember that song is now 48 years old!
But, don’t ever stop rocking on to the greatest musicians and music ever made. Those songs sound as good today as they did all those decades ago.