Old Rock Stars

The Rolling Stones

When I saw the Rolling Stones in 1981, Mick Jagger was 38 years old. I was 20 and he seemed ancient. I remember our saying, “Look how old they are!” They had been out for 19 years by then and that seemed forever, especially since I was born a year before they began in 1962.

Rolling Stones 1962
Getty Images

The Stones just finished touring Europe as a celebration for their 60th year together.

Mick Jagger is 78 years old. Keith Richards is also 78, and Ron Wood is 75.

Rolling Stones 2022

For fuck’s sake, they are more spry than I could ever hope to be! Especially considering the lifestyle they all participated in for a few decades.

Queen

When Queen began in 1970 (I was 9 years old), Freddie Mercury was 24, Brian May was 23, Roger Taylor was 21 years old , and John Deacon was the youngest at 19 years old.

Queen 1970

Brian May is now 75 years old and Roger Taylor is 73 years old. John Deacon is now a mere 71 years old. (I will have no older pics of Deacy than from 1997 because that is when he retired from public life and I want to respect that.)

Brian May at 23
Brian May at 23 years old.
Brian May
Brian May at about 75 years old.
Roger Taylor early 1970s
Roger Taylor early 1970s.
Roger Taylor early 70 years old.
Roger Taylor early 70 years old. (And still yummy as ever.)
John Deacon 197s
Array of John Deacon pics over the years.
John Deacon 1997
John Deacon 1997 at 46 years old.

And of course, our precious Freddie Mercury died at the incredibly young age of 45.

Freddie at 24
Freddie Mercury at 24.
Freddie at 42
Freddie at 42 years old.

Queen is now Roger Taylor and Brian May and they are still performing in 2022.

My (NSH) Thoughts on Older Bands Touring

Because I heard the crowd of people around me, and thinking it myself when I was younger, I thought older bands should just stop presenting themselves on stage. I thought they were old farts and why not just go away for the newer bands like Van Halen and Styx. Little did I know Van Halen would end up touring for 43 years and Styx would still be on the road 52 years later.

Who cares if they have to spread their gig dates out. Who cares if Roger Taylor isn’t as fast on the drums as he used to be. Who cares that health challenges crop up and tour dates have to be adjusted.

They are out there. They are fucking out there.

And that means the world to me.

Van Halen 1972
Michael Anthony, Alex and Eddie Van Halen, David Lee Roth in 1972.

Van Halen 2015

Wolfie, Eddie, and Alex Van Halen in 2015.

Who Is Still Out There?

What amuses me from this 61-year old vantage point is how many bands I saw way back in the day that are or have toured for 40+ years.

  • Queen – formed in 1970
  • Aerosmith – formed in 1970
  • Styx – formed in 1970
  • Eagles – formed in 1971
  • Van Halen – formed in 1972
  • Def Leppard – formed in 1977

I would pay giant bucks to see any of them again. They were all amazing.

Why Not?

So why shouldn’t they be out kicking ass in their 70s? Fuck growing old!

It’s an attitude I am working hard to adopt.

Even More Bands Out on Tours

These bands (and the year they were formed) have been out on tour for over 40, and some even 50, years.

  • Blue Oyster Cult – 1967
  • The Doobie Brothers – 1970
  • KISS – 1973
  • Blondie – 1974
  • Iron Maiden – 1975
  • U2 – 1978
  • The Cure – 1978
  • Metallica – 1981
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers – 1983

Go On, You Bad Asses!

Note: I got edited by YouTube! The video I had up was taken down. I have arrived!

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