“What a drag it is getting old.” – Mick Jagger & Keith Richards
50 years ago this week in London, The Rolling Stones performed their very first gig for what I’m sure was a throng of curious music enthusiasts sporting terrible haircuts. And despite iconic front man Mick Jagger’s protestations only a decade later that he’d “rather be dead than singing Satisfaction when I’m forty-five“ geriatric front man, Mick Jagger, was last seen singing Satisfaction just four years ago in Martin Scorsese’s Shine a Light; a concert film starring The Rolling Stones.
And if the rumors are true, the Stones are rehearsing for yet another concert tour. And, remember, it’s only the band that’s 50 years old. These cats are in their late 60s/early 70s and are still pulling it off…well, except maybe for the wardrobe.
Clothing provided by Forever Trying Too Hard
Because the Internet is magic, I went a-searchin’ for popular musicians that were born that same year (1962) the Stones first got together. Could some of these artists possibly maintain some sort of relevance and dogged longevity that Mick, Keef, Charlie, and Ronnie have? They all turn 50 this year, but could their careers last that long? Hmm…let us have a look-see.
“Psst..Old Jon. It’s me, Young Jon. Did Tommy’s union ever break their strike? I gotta’ know!”
Jon Bon Jovi - If a collection of this man’s songs ended up as the soundtrack to your middle school Spring trip to anywhere – and you didn’t know he turned 50 this year – please don’t shoot the messenger. I wasn’t pleased to have stumbled upon this news either. That said, I do think that JBJ and the rest of the band could make it to 50 years and not make it look too pathetic. I think the trick here is to stop attempting to write anything new and just cruise on the canon they’ve already created. Play the hits. And like they sound on the records, too.
Paula Abdul - Jesus, Internet, Paula Abdul turns 50 this year, too?!?!? I need a drink.
Okay, I’m back. As a musician, no, I do not believe Ms. Abdul’s career will hit the 50-year mark. Could she still be in showbiz in some form or another? Sure. She could also be judging the “What’s My Squash Look Like?” competition at the Bracken County Fall Festival in 2028, so…
“What I got is a strong an-ti-per-spi-rant!”
Flea, Anthony Keidis, and Jack Irons (or 3/4 of Red Hot Chili Peppers) - All three dudes turn 50 this year and I don’t see them slowing down one bit. If anything, Flea and Keidis look like MMA fighters. (It’s all that fine West Coast living, I reckon.) I don’t think they need to ever revisit the “socks on packages” days of yore, but I do believe the band is poised to be around for 50.
“If it makes you happyyyyyyyyyy”….then you’re probably not listening to her music.
Sheryl Crow – Half a century looks good on Ms. Crow. And, okay, I can see her having a career that lasts 50 or so years. I think her audience is there. Plus she seems to take care of herself and doesn’t seem to partake in all that cliched rock star excess. I bet she subsists on a strict diet of tempeh, chamomile, and aligned chakras.
Tommy Lee – Everyone’s favorite drummer/amateur sex boat captain turns the big five-oh this year. His penis, however, turns 350. (A rock star’s genitalia ages seven years for every calendar year its owner ages.) Could Tommy’s career be around to see 50 years? I don’t think it’ll be around by the end of this sentence, personally, but I guess he’s pretty resilient.
Surviving 50 years with the same group of people is no easy feat. Think of some of your co-workers. You think you and Ice Chewer could make it 50 years? Now imagine a band of artistic temperaments and egos. That’s why the Stones anniversary is a big deal. What bands could you foresee making it to their Golden Anniversary? U2? Pearl Jam? The Fresh Beat Band? Lemme hear you make some noise!