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Topic: Getting Good Vibes About Aging Stones' Tour Return to archive
05-17-02 12:30 AM
Jaxx Getting good vibes about aging Stones' tour
Providence Journal

Now that the Rolling Stones have announced a new tour, they're getting a lot of advice. The advice comes down to this:


Many commentators have made a good case for this. At their best, they say, the Stones symbolized youthful defiance. Mick Jagger would ruin that by prancing onstage near age 60. In short, great performers should know when to retire.

They may have a point.

But I'd like to offer a different view.

Personally, I'm against graceful retirement.

If you still have the ability, and the guts, I say rage on.

I especially like the idea of the Stones going for another round. Pop music's an arena where most superstars are in their 20s, or younger. It's nice, for a change, to see an older act dominate the field.

Those who want the Stones to retire would insist they don't feel this way about all 60-year-old rock stars. Few have questioned Paul McCartney, who recently launched a big tour. The Stones, though, are said to be different because they have a defiant, energized act that supposedly doesn't work when you're 60ish.

I'd argue that touring at that age is itself an act of defiance that will give the Stones a compelling edge.

And even if it doesn't, what law says you have to step aside after you pass your peak? If a great group can still put on a decent show that tens of thousands want to see, why not bring it on?

I'm not sure what it is about American culture, but people seem to have a personal stake in seeing stars end their careers "gracefully." Part of it, I think, is that we like to idealize the eras of our lives. Since heroes largely define those eras, we prefer to remember them at their best.

That's why many folks focus on sports notables retiring at their peak. We want to idealize them only as superstars, rather than semi-stars who have begun to slow down.

Sandy Koufax is said to have done it just right, leaving baseball at age 30 while perhaps the best pitcher in the game. Same with Jim Brown, who left football at 29.

I have no problem with those who choose that path. If it's right for them, fine.

But I happen to think it can add to the greatness of athletes and others if, against age and time, they have the drive to stay in the game.

Take Muhammed Ali. Well past his peak, as he approached 40, he tried to reclaim the title. George Forman did the same thing at the ancient boxing age of 45. Then there was Gordie Howe. At age 51, he played a full season of hockey in the NHL. Many criticized them for it, saying they would tarnish themselves.

It's true that they weren't at their peaks at the end. But I think they enhanced their images by showing they were tough old lions determined to fight on.

Perhaps no one got as much advice as Michael Jordan. He left basketball at age 35, and when he began to hint at a return three years later, many were against it. He could never be as good as when he led the Chicago Bulls.

That was true. But so what? Just because you were once the best does that mean, in America, you're no longer allowed to merely be very good?

I'm not a big follower of the NBA, but was drawn back to it this year while Jordan was playing. Yes, part of it is that this was Michael Jordan. But a lot of it was that I liked seeing an aging star prove he could still stay in the game.

That's why I'm glad the Rolling Stones are touring, in defiance of critics.

Years from now, if the Stones need walkers to dance across stage, perhaps even I'll admit it's time. But if you can still play the game, there's room in this culture for those who choose not to retire gracefully.

Rage on, Mick.

2002, The Providence Journal.
05-17-02 02:42 AM
Happy Motherfucker!! Now that's more like it!
05-17-02 02:51 AM
FPM C10 That was refreshing to read.

I'm gonna repost that over at Gas X3, if ya don't mind. I'd like to see this angle played up more. I read it right after watching Jay Leno tell some really lame Stones jokes - "Mick is still hip at an age when most people worry about breaking one" - and it offered a nice counterpoint. The sports simile is apt for Mick. It's not really his SINGING that's a concern, it's the fact that he's made his name being a hyperactive whirlygig and he demands it of himself.

Unlike Michael Jordan or Muhammed Ali, Mick doesn't have any young up-and-comers snapping at his heels. Nobody does what he does. Who's breathing down his neck - Kid Rock? The guy from Limp Bizkit? I don't think so.
05-17-02 06:50 AM
Lazy Bones Thanks, Jaxx. Keeps the blood flowing; but still another week til I get my tickets (Rrrr).
05-17-02 11:09 AM
Riffhard That's what I'm talkin' about!Thanx Jaxx!It reminds me of Pete's intro for the Stones into the R&R Hall of Fame,"Don't age gracefully it wouldn't suit you."So true.
It has always irked me that the boys get shit for thier age.Meanwhile,these same pricks that dump on them are the first in line when the tickets are free.
F'em I say!I get a real thrill out of making sure that people know damn good and well that there is NOBODY that can touch The Stones live.When I'm on the air everyone knows where it's at.If I get a listener calls and asks me to play Limp Shitzkit I just have to laugh.I often do!
People give the Stones shit while at the same time they're buying Korn records!LOL!!It just goes to show,you can't teach good taste!Idiots!!!!!

05-17-02 11:55 AM
Jaxx [quote]FPM C10 wrote:
That was refreshing to read.
I'm gonna repost that over at Gas X3, if ya don't mind.

oh please do. YES. and i agree. this was refreshing. i am so sick of the geriatric jokes. when will these looser media types realize that a musician is a musician no matter how old he is. i mean nobody gives the "bluez" guys flack for jamming into their 70s and 80s. i think that rock and roll has the misleading connotation of being for the young. okay, so give the ~young at heart~ a break and let them create and perform already without all the flack.
05-17-02 12:17 PM
Cardinal Ximinez Holy Heck! It's like that Patankin guy reached into my skull and pulled out things that I've been thinking, and slapped it to paper!

Some impressions....

The writer is OBVIOUSLY a Stones fan...

The writer is OBVIOUSLY smarter than your average bear...

The writer will OBVIOUSLY be looking for work tomorrow, because music journalists can't have one of their number actually sound like they know what they are talking about...
05-17-02 01:21 PM
Scot Rocks Thanks for posting Jaxx, it is nice to see, in this ever increasing daily criticism of the "ageing" Stones still doing the depolorable thiing of still being rolling out another tour.

ROLL ON THE TOUR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

05-17-02 06:00 PM
Martha As an "aging rock and roll fan-atic I really appreciated this post. Thanks Jaxx. I'm glad to know not everyone has fallen for the "we musn't age...lie" that this culture promotes in plague like fashion. I get so sick of hearing about the grandness of youth...the beauty of it all, etc. I am happier and more alive now that i'm in my 40's than I ever was in my 20's...long live rock and roll!! Rock until you cannot walk Mick!!! Hell Yes!

There IS nothing like a live Rolling Stones show...NOTHING!

see you there!
05-17-02 06:01 PM
Scottfree I for one am a critic of this post, I still despise comaprisons with old sports stars. Comparing musicianship and athletics is an apples to watermelons comparison. A musician imo can continue to grow and age like a fine wine. Also stated that he is against a graceful retirement, who says that the Stones still can't be graceful, he also mentions that they can put on a decent show. I think they have the ability if focused to put on a show beyond comparison, far greater than any younger act. I will elaborate later, gotta run.

05-17-02 06:12 PM
Cardinal Ximinez wrote:

Some impressions....

The writer is OBVIOUSLY a Stones fan...

The writer is OBVIOUSLY smarter than your average bear...

The writer will OBVIOUSLY be looking for work tomorrow, because music journalists can't have one of their number actually sound like they know what they are talking about...

Alright. Sorry to pull the plug on this Patinkin guy, but he is a maximum weeny tot. Those who have read his lame ass column in the ProJo for years will recognize his history of anti-drug rants and pro-'Christian' values. So he likes the Stones tour? Even a blind sqirrel finds an acorn now and again. Patinkin is a 'family values' columnist for the paper--not a music writer at all--and never has been. I'm sure you could find past columns of his on 'em, you'll spew!!!

05-17-02 06:48 PM
Scottfree An assault on family values? What did they ever do to you?

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