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Thread: The coming death of just about every rock legend

  1. #1

    Exclamation The coming death of just about every rock legend

    The coming death of just about every rock legend

    https://theweek.com/articles/861750/...ry-rock-legend

    August 31, 2019

    Rock music isn't dead, but it's barely hanging on.

    This is true in at least two senses.

    Though popular music sales in general have plummeted since their peak around the turn of the millennium, certain genres continue to generate commercial excitement: pop, rap, hip-hop, country. But rock — amplified and often distorted electric guitars, bass, drums, melodic if frequently abrasive lead vocals, with songs usually penned exclusively by the members of the band — barely registers on the charts. There are still important rock musicians making music in a range of styles — Canada's Big Wreck excels at sophisticated progressive hard rock, for example, while the more subdued American band Dawes artfully expands on the soulful songwriting that thrived in California during the 1970s. But these groups often toil in relative obscurity, selling a few thousand records at a time, performing to modest-sized crowds in clubs and theaters.

    But there's another sense in which rock is very nearly dead: Just about every rock legend you can think of is going to die within the next decade or so.

    Yes, we've lost some already. On top of the icons who died horribly young decades ago — Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Elvis Presley, John Lennon — there's the litany of legends felled by illness, drugs, and just plain old age in more recent years: George Harrison, Ray Charles, Michael Jackson, Lou Reed, David Bowie, Glenn Frey, Prince, Leonard Cohen, Tom Petty.

    Those losses have been painful. But it's nothing compared with the tidal wave of obituaries to come. The grief and nostalgia will wash over us all. Yes, the Boomers left alive will take it hardest — these were their heroes and generational compatriots. But rock remained the biggest game in town through the 1990s, which implicates GenXers like myself, no less than plenty of millennials.

    All of which means there's going to be an awful lot of mourning going on.

    Behold the killing fields that lie before us: Bob Dylan (78 years old); Paul McCartney (77); Paul Simon (77) and Art Garfunkel (77); Carole King (77); Brian Wilson (77); Mick Jagger (76) and Keith Richards (75); Joni Mitchell (75); Jimmy Page (75) and Robert Plant (71); Ray Davies (75); Roger Daltrey (75) and Pete Townshend (74); Roger Waters (75) and David Gilmour (73); Rod Stewart (74); Eric Clapton (74); Debbie Harry (74); Neil Young (73); Van Morrison (73); Bryan Ferry (73); Elton John (72); Don Henley (72); James Taylor (71); Jackson Browne (70); Billy Joel (70); and Bruce Springsteen (69, but turning 70 next month).

    A few of these legends might manage to live into their 90s, despite all the … wear and tear to which they've subjected their bodies over the decades. But most of them will not.

    This will force us not only to endure their passing, but to confront our own mortality as well.

    From the beginning, rock music has been an expression of defiance, an assertion of youthful vitality and excess and libido against the ravages of time and maturity. This impulse sometimes (frequently?) veered into foolishness. Think of the early rock anthem in which the singer proclaimed, "I hope I die before I get old." As a gesture, this was a quintessential statement of rock bravado, but I doubt very much its author (The Who's Pete Townshend) regrets having survived into old age.

    It's one thing for a young musician to insist it's better to burn out than to fade away. But does this defiance commit the artist to a life of self-destruction, his authenticity tied to his active courting of annihilation? Only a delusional teenager convinced of his own invincibility, or a nihilist, could embrace such an ideal. For most rock stars, the bravado was an act, or it became one as the months stretched into years and then decades. The defiance tended to become sublimated into art, with the struggle against limits and constraints — the longing to break on through to the other side — merging with creative ambition to produce something of lasting worth. The rock star became another in our civilization's long line of geniuses raging against the dying of the light.

    Rock music was always a popular art made and consumed by ordinary, imperfect people. The artists themselves were often self-taught, absorbing influences from anywhere and everywhere, blending styles in new ways, pushing against their limitations as musicians and singers, taking up and assimilating technological innovations as quickly as they appeared. Many aspired to art — in composition, record production, and performance — but to reach it they had to ascend up and out of the muck from which they started.

    Before rock emerged from rhythm and blues in the late 1950s, and again since it began its long withdrawing roar in the late 1990s, the norm for popular music has been songwriting and record production conducted on the model of an assembly line. This is usually called the "Brill Building" approach to making music, named after the building in midtown Manhattan where leading music industry offices and studios were located in the pre-rock era. Professional songwriters toiled away in small cubicles, crafting future hits for singers who made records closely overseen by a team of producers and corporate drones. Today, something remarkably similar happens in pop and hip-hop, with song files zipping around the globe to a small number of highly successful songwriters and producers who add hooks and production flourishes in order to generate a team-built product that can only be described as pristine, if soulless, perfection.

    This is music created by committee and consensus, actively seeking the largest possible audience as an end in itself. Rock (especially as practiced by the most creatively ambitious bands of the mid-1960s: The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, and the Beach Boys) shattered this way of doing things, and for a few decades, a new model of the rock auteur prevailed. As critic Steven Hyden recounts in his delightful book Twilight of the Gods: A Journey to the End of Classic Rock, rock bands and individual rock stars were given an enormous amount of creative freedom, and the best of them used every bit of it. They wrote their own music and lyrics, crafted their own arrangements, experimented with wildly ambitious production techniques, and oversaw the design of their album covers, the launching of marketing campaigns, and the conjuring of increasingly theatrical and decadent concert tours.

    This doesn't mean there was no corporate oversight or outside influence on rock musicians. Record companies and professional producers and engineers were usually at the helm, making sure to protect their reputations and investments. Yet to an astonishing degree, the artists got their way. Songs and albums were treated by all — the musicians themselves, but also the record companies, critics, and of course the fans — as Statements. For a time, the capitalist juggernaut made possible and sustained the creation of popular art that sometimes achieved a new form of human excellence. That it didn't last shouldn't keep us from appreciating how remarkable it was while it did.

    Like all monumental acts of creativity, the artists were driven by an aspiration to transcend their own finitude, to create something of lasting value, something enduring that would live beyond those who created it. That striving for immorality expressed itself in so many ways — in the deafening volume and garish sensory overload of rock concerts, in the death-defying excess of the parties and the drugs, in the adulation of groupies eager to bed the demigods who adorned their bedroom walls, in the unabashed literary aspirations of the singer-songwriters, in mind-blowing experiments with song forms marked by seemingly inhuman rhythmic and harmonic complexity, in the orchestral sweep, ambition, and (yes) frequent pretension of concept albums and rock operas. All of it was a testament to the all-too-human longing to outlast the present — to live on past our finite days. To grasp and never let go of immortality.

    It was all a lie, but it was a beautiful one. The rock stars' days are numbered. They are going to die, as will we all. No one gets out alive. When we mourn the passing of the legends and the tragic greatness of what they've left behind for us to enjoy in the time we have left, we will also be mourning for ourselves.



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  3. #2
    Its gonna be a sad day when all of them are dead.
    "Perhaps one of the most important accomplishments of my administration is minding my own business."

    Calvin Coolidge

  4. #3
    Truth is Fallacy, Fallacy is Evil.

  5. #4
    My website: https://www.theherbsofthefield.com/

    "No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” ~ Charles Dickens

  6. #5
    Behold the killing fields that lie before us: Bob Dylan (78 years old); Paul McCartney (77); Paul Simon (77) and Art Garfunkel (77); Carole King (77); Brian Wilson (77); Mick Jagger (76) and Keith Richards (75); Joni Mitchell (75); Jimmy Page (75) and Robert Plant (71); Ray Davies (75); Roger Daltrey (75) and Pete Townshend (74); Roger Waters (75) and David Gilmour (73); Rod Stewart (74); Eric Clapton (74); Debbie Harry (74); Neil Young (73); Van Morrison (73); Bryan Ferry (73); Elton John (72); Don Henley (72); James Taylor (71); Jackson Browne (70); Billy Joel (70); and Bruce Springsteen (69, but turning 70 next month).
    Seen a few of those (in bold). Including Ray Charles, James Brown, Lou Reed, Tom Petty, BB King, Eric Burdon, Smokey Robbinson, Allman Brothers. Mick Jagger looks like he could make it to 100.
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    The quality seems to have dropped significantly since I came here, I guess you get what you pay for.
    "There is always a tweet. That has become accepted fact in the Trump presidency: For every pronouncement the President makes, there is at least one tweet from his past that directly contradicts his current view." -CNN

    I am Zippy and I approve of this post. But you don't have to.

  7. #6
    Just give me one show in the states Zeppelin.
    "It's probably the biggest hoax since Big Foot!" - Mitt Romney 1-16-2012 SC Debate

  8. #7
    Many great artists have passed since I've considered myself an adult, but I was most deeply saddened with the deaths of Rick Wright, Merle Haggard, Butch Trucks, Gregg Allman, Ray Price, Levon Helm, Glenn Campbell, & Joe Cocker.
    "It's probably the biggest hoax since Big Foot!" - Mitt Romney 1-16-2012 SC Debate

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by tfurrh View Post
    Just give me one show in the states Zeppelin.
    I saw them at that disaster of a Live Aid performance in Philly.

    The O2 Center Atlantic Records Tribute was awesome though, with Jason sitting in for dad.

    I'd camp out in line for tickets to that.

    ETA - If you watch nothing else...watch 1:39:30




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  11. #9
    A gen-xer wrote that? Must be taking whining lessons from a millennial.
    I mean FFS it started with Mr Hooper when we were kids and by the time Dimebag was shot all we could manage was a collective yawn.

    If there is one thing my generation learned early on, it's that nobody cares. People die. Play their old records and then put on some Melt Banana. There is always something new, and 99 percent of it is going to suck, and it was the exact same way in the 60s and 70s.
    There are no crimes against people.
    There are only crimes against the state.
    And the state will never, ever choose to hold accountable its agents, because a thing can not commit a crime against itself.

  12. #10
    Is the writer aware that all of humanity has had to face mortality since the dawn of time? I like rock, but it's absurd to place these "God's of Rock" above all as if they are the pinnacle of mankind.

  13. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Anti Federalist View Post
    I saw them at that disaster of a Live Aid performance in Philly.

    The O2 Center Atlantic Records Tribute was awesome though, with Jason sitting in for dad.

    I'd camp out in line for tickets to that.

    ETA - If you watch nothing else...watch 1:39:30

    I saw Robert Plant open for the Who the summer John Entwistle passed . Very , very good . Figured it would be my last chance to hear anything that good that was not the Stones .
    Do something Danke

  14. #12
    If you were 20 yrs old by 1965 or '66 you would be 80 by 2025 . Which describes a lot of great rock artists .
    Do something Danke

  15. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zippyjuan View Post
    Seen a few of those (in bold). Including Ray Charles, James Brown, Lou Reed, Tom Petty, BB King, Eric Burdon, Smokey Robbinson, Allman Brothers. Mick Jagger looks like he could make it to 100.
    You do know Mick had heart surgery, right?

    https://www.heart-valve-surgery.com/mick-jagger.php
    If the stampman tells you to kiss his ass, shall he get away with it and live? Don't let your courage cool, or a few bullies scare you. We've nothing to fear but slavery. Love your liberty, and fight for it like men who know its value. Once lost it will never, never be regained.
    -Hugh Ledlie, 1774.

  16. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Mach View Post
    You do know Mick had heart surgery, right?

    https://www.heart-valve-surgery.com/mick-jagger.php
    Seems to have recovered pretty well- six weeks after surgery:



    Tour resumed in June. Playing in Miami just this week- performing Gimme Shelter as Hurricane Dorian approaches:

    Last edited by Zippyjuan; 09-02-2019 at 01:09 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    The quality seems to have dropped significantly since I came here, I guess you get what you pay for.
    "There is always a tweet. That has become accepted fact in the Trump presidency: For every pronouncement the President makes, there is at least one tweet from his past that directly contradicts his current view." -CNN

    I am Zippy and I approve of this post. But you don't have to.

  17. #15
    Truth is Fallacy, Fallacy is Evil.

  18. #16
    RIP Ginger Baker
    "It's probably the biggest hoax since Big Foot!" - Mitt Romney 1-16-2012 SC Debate



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  20. #17

  21. #18
    Some claimed Rock died with Buddy Holly. Or when Jimi and Janis died. Yet, somehow it survives. But seeing the heroes of our youth getting old and passing away can remind us of our own mortality.

    Last edited by Zippyjuan; 10-09-2019 at 07:36 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    The quality seems to have dropped significantly since I came here, I guess you get what you pay for.
    "There is always a tweet. That has become accepted fact in the Trump presidency: For every pronouncement the President makes, there is at least one tweet from his past that directly contradicts his current view." -CNN

    I am Zippy and I approve of this post. But you don't have to.

  22. #19

    Don't need a weather man to know which way the wind blows

  23. #20
    I lucked out and saw Glenn Frey on his final tour with the Eagles. Great show.

    Last edited by Brian4Liberty; 10-10-2019 at 04:21 PM.
    "Foreign aid is taking money from the poor people of a rich country, and giving it to the rich people of a poor country." - Ron Paul
    "Beware the Military-Industrial-Financial-Corporate-Internet-Media-Government Complex." - B4L update of General Dwight D. Eisenhower
    "Debt is the drug, Wall St. Banksters are the dealers, and politicians are the addicts." - B4L
    "Totally free immigration? I've never taken that position. I believe in national sovereignty." - Ron Paul
    “They are what they hate.” - B4L


    The views and opinions expressed here are solely my own, and do not represent this forum or any other entities or persons.

  24. #21
    Also saw Walter Becker on his final tour with Steely Dan.
    "Foreign aid is taking money from the poor people of a rich country, and giving it to the rich people of a poor country." - Ron Paul
    "Beware the Military-Industrial-Financial-Corporate-Internet-Media-Government Complex." - B4L update of General Dwight D. Eisenhower
    "Debt is the drug, Wall St. Banksters are the dealers, and politicians are the addicts." - B4L
    "Totally free immigration? I've never taken that position. I believe in national sovereignty." - Ron Paul
    “They are what they hate.” - B4L


    The views and opinions expressed here are solely my own, and do not represent this forum or any other entities or persons.

  25. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian4Liberty View Post
    I lucked out and saw Glenn Frey on his final tour with the Eagles. Great show.
    I got that beat. I lived in California's San Fernando Valley in the 1990s. We had a neighborhood party and I sat around a campfire with a group of people. A few joints were passed around. One of the guys excused himself and left. The guy next to me said about the man leaving the circle, "that's Glenn Frey."

    So I got stoned with Glenn Frey.

  26. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by RJB View Post
    I got that beat. I lived in California's San Fernando Valley in the 1990s. We had a neighborhood party and I sat around a campfire with a group of people. A few joints were passed around. One of the guys excused himself and left. The guy next to me said about the man leaving the circle, "that's Glenn Frey."

    So I got stoned with Glenn Frey.
    Nice. Guess he wasn’t talking about his business then.

    Only time I actually partied with a rockstar, he drank most of my beer and ran off with my bottle of tequila. Can’t name drop though...
    "Foreign aid is taking money from the poor people of a rich country, and giving it to the rich people of a poor country." - Ron Paul
    "Beware the Military-Industrial-Financial-Corporate-Internet-Media-Government Complex." - B4L update of General Dwight D. Eisenhower
    "Debt is the drug, Wall St. Banksters are the dealers, and politicians are the addicts." - B4L
    "Totally free immigration? I've never taken that position. I believe in national sovereignty." - Ron Paul
    “They are what they hate.” - B4L


    The views and opinions expressed here are solely my own, and do not represent this forum or any other entities or persons.

  27. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian4Liberty View Post
    Can’t name drop though...
    In fairness, there were about twenty to thirty people there. I basically only exchanged a hello, and honestly can't say if I even saw him drinking a beer, but it's fun telling it.



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  29. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian4Liberty View Post
    Nice. Guess he wasn’t talking about his business then.

    Only time I actually partied with a rockstar, he drank most of my beer and ran off with my bottle of tequila. Can’t name drop though...


    Well everytime that I come home nobody wants to let me be,
    It seems that all the friends I got just got to come interrogate me,
    Well, I appreciate your feelings and I don't want to pass you by,
    But I don't ask you about your business, don't ask me about mine.

    Well its true I love the money and I love my brand new car,
    I like drinkin' the best of whiskey and playing in a honky tonk bar,
    But when I come off the road, well I just got to have my time,
    'Cause I got to find a break in this action, else I'm gonna lose my mind.

    So, don't ask me no questions
    And I won't tell you no lies
    So, don't ask me about my business
    And I won't tell you goodbye

    That's right

    Well, "what's your favorite color and do you dig the brothers," is drivin' me up a wall,
    And everytime I think I can sleep, some fool has got to call,
    Well don't you think that when I come home, I just want a little peace of mind,
    If you want to talk about the business buddy, you're just wastin' time.

    I said don't ask no stupid questions and I won't send you away,
    If you want to talk fishing, well I guess that'll be OK.

  30. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by shakey1 View Post
    The remaining members will be in San Diego this week. Saw them on their first tour without Keith Moon.
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    The quality seems to have dropped significantly since I came here, I guess you get what you pay for.
    "There is always a tweet. That has become accepted fact in the Trump presidency: For every pronouncement the President makes, there is at least one tweet from his past that directly contradicts his current view." -CNN

    I am Zippy and I approve of this post. But you don't have to.

  31. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Zippyjuan View Post
    The remaining members will be in San Diego this week. Saw them on their first tour without Keith Moon.
    Didn’t they have Ringo’s kid drumming for a time?

    Don't need a weather man to know which way the wind blows

  32. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by shakey1 View Post
    Didn’t they have Ringo’s kid drumming for a time?
    Kenny Jones. Richard Starkey is their current drummer though. Pete's brother Simon also plays with them.
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    The quality seems to have dropped significantly since I came here, I guess you get what you pay for.
    "There is always a tweet. That has become accepted fact in the Trump presidency: For every pronouncement the President makes, there is at least one tweet from his past that directly contradicts his current view." -CNN

    I am Zippy and I approve of this post. But you don't have to.

  33. #29

  34. #30
    Keith Richards already looks like he's 100. He'll outlive them all.
    We have long had death and taxes as the two standards of inevitability. But there are those who believe that death is the preferable of the two. "At least," as one man said, "there's one advantage about death; it doesn't get worse every time Congress meets."
    Erwin N. Griswold

    Taxes: Of life's two certainties, the only one for which you can get an automatic extension.
    Anonymous

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