When does the time come for old rock stars to hang it up? I can only assume that Mick Jagger dyes his hair. He is approaching seventy. Should a man approaching seventy be singing songs that are geared towards the sexual experiences and desires of someone in their twenties? Or prancing about the stage? I wonder if he reaches 80 and is still touring with the Stones if he will need a walker? The Stones are truly one of the great bands of all time, but I wonder, when is it time for them to fold up shop? They just finished their latest U.S tour. Or are they simply too iconic to ever quit? After all, they recently made over twenty million dollars in just a few shows. If so, if the crowds still enjoy seeing them, perhaps their next songs should be about viagra and adult diapers.
I believe it was Johnny Ramone who said that a man should no longer perform rock songs after forty. Even Robert Plant has said that he does not want to be prancing about the stage as if he were still some teen idol. There is just something undignified about it.
As far a great rock stars/musicians who have aged gracefully, and who have stated their desire not to fall into absurdity of trying to be perpetually twenty, Eric Clapton fits the bill. Also, I find a lot of the blue musicians, especially of the older school, kept their dignity well into an advanced age, while still being able to sing great songs about the sexual and seedier side of life. Howlin Wolf is a good example.
Then again, there is just something inherent in those old blues musicians, many unknown and mostly African-American from the Mississippi Delta region or Chicago, that spoke of a dignity and bad ass attitude born out of true suffering and life long deprivations. Living in an broader society that was basically hostile to you because of your skin color has that effect on people. This makes their music, and their characters, endlessly fascinating. It is an essence born out of the American experience that their later and much more famous and financially successful imitators, like the Rolling Stones, can never really achieve.