Introduction: We are about to enter a period of time and space never before ventured upon. A dimension unlike no other to the Rock & Roll masses. A place that long ago, only one's imagination could take them. We are witnessing first hand the inevitable passage of Rock Star's into their Twilight Zone. The very symbols of youth are now entering into their golden years.
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Article by: Billy Parker
Like cancer from cigarettes, it's seems like this day would never, ever come. Didn't fame, fortune, platinum records producing seas of loyal fans freeze time for the lead singer at the age of 25?
The time seems so fleeting. Wasn't it just yesterday that uttering "Swan Song" was merely reference to a record label. A TV family with Rock & Roll teenagers was Ozzie and Harriet, not Ozzie and Sharon. And having "A momentary lapse of reason" simply meant you owned the album?
We certainly haven't reached the day where "Shady Acres Assistance Home for Musicians" is not accepting anymore application. But the grass roots are there. It's been almost 10 years since Bill Wyman (66 this Oct.) retired from the Stones. It's almost 15 years since Grace Slick (63 this Oct.) first retired, where now she spends a lot of time (gulp) painting!
Can't be! A quick review of some of the major candidates for a "Mt. Rockmore" proves vitality stronger than ever. Mick, (59) Keith, (58) Paul (60) Eric (57) Elton (55) Dylan (61) Pete (57) Roger (58) Jimmy (58), all with monster schedules.
Trading microphones for Miracle Ears? Keyboards for cribbage boards, Fenders for walkers, Les Paul for less salt? Make no mistake though; father time will march on bringing a whole new meaning to the phrase, "The Sixties." When asked about it the venerable musician replied, "Actually I feel great! I've been sober for years, I watch what I eat, excited about the new alb---Oh, you were referring to the psychedelic era."
As those who dominated the chart's head into uncharted waters, it challenges one to question how far beyond the music the Rock & Roll experience fuels its popularity. Is sex and drugs and Rock & Roll only sold as a package? Are its rebellious overtures an intricate part? Mature Rock Star sounds like an oxymoron.
The Godfathers of Rock mostly appear in the press because of their music, not their maniacal rampages anymore. The best anecdotes are ancient. Maybe the parallels between our lifestyles into AARP memberships only serve to forget why we embraced them with such passion in the initial claim to fame days. They did everything we hoped, feared, dreamed of, to the nth degree.
Perhaps there is an acceptable balance between the fans of old antics and the music of new. Race up and down the hotel hallway in a moped. Throw a palm pilot out the window to watch its LCD smash on the pavement. Light your guitars pick on fire. Bite the head off a Batman action figure. Something to let us know the defiant fire still burns a little.
The next decade will lay the foundation for all into the inevitable. One must have faith that the pioneers of Rock will still clear the path far and wide for generations to follow.
Still, this could be a tough pill to swallow. Some of the giants from the early days are way up there. Chuck Berry is 76 this October! Little Richard will be 70 this December. Petula Clark will be 70 in November. All still working!
Rock stars have been many things over the years. Humanitarians, (countless) Libertarians, (many) vegetarians (several). But a septuagenarian?! No way! Sounds like a black and white episode straight out of an old Twilight Zone.
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