Everyone knows Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones is still performing well into his sixties. One of my very favorite musicians, Darryl Hall is sixty-five years old. And the voice is still strong and amazingly distinctive. His more than thirty-five year collaboration with bassist John Oates is one of the most enduring in the music industry.
A friend and colleague told me he and his wife had seen them this fall and they sounded as good as ever. There is so much great material, Hall and Oates cannot play it all in one show. I saw them eight years ago and had the same experience. The same can be said for one of my favorite bands Steely Dan who did not tour when I was a young fan but who tour regularly now, and both Donald Fagen and Walter Becker (who really are Steely Dan) also are in their sixties.
There are many opportunities today to see the stars of the 1960’s and 1970’s perform. I wonder if that’s what artists like Hall and Oates and the Rolling Stones envisioned back in their heyday?
It got me to thinking how today’s musical artists will stand the test of time. Forty years ago the choices were much more controlled and limited. Radio airplay was carefully guarded by record promoters and disc jockeys and payoffs to get airtime were standard.
What has to be frustrating for musicians is that forty years after they have recorded their hits, fans really do not want to hear their new stuff, preferring to relive old times and memories through covers of the band’s or performer’s most popular hits. Still it is difficult for me to envision seeing Kanye West, Lady Gaga or Katy Perry reprising their hits of the 2010’s in 2052.
I’m not sure why I feel that way – what do you think?