Everyone old is new again

15 Oct

I just got a little trophy icon from WordPress congratulating me on my third anniversary of being a blogger. I’m not sure how to celebrate this sort of milestone, other than toasting my success in the same way I do my writing: alone. That said, if you are looking for ways to mark the occasion, the traditional third anniversary gift is leather, which connects nicely to the rock theme in many, many ways.

Here's a 3rd anniversary present idea, in case you need ideas ...

Here’s a third anniversary present idea, in case you need one …

I started this blog because aging rock musicians fascinate me. The genre was built by rebellious teenagers and iconoclastic outsiders who became historical figures despite their best efforts. Every few years a new performer grabs the headlines and the old guard carps that she’s too vulgar/ talentless/ tasteless to be taken seriously … and the new kid crows that she is in on the joke … then the newbie becomes an oldie, the bar for crassness is raised (lowered?) and the cycle begins again.

Yet the classic rockers rarely go quietly. This month brought the latest albums from Elton John and Cher, with Paul McCartney’s new disc (named, uh, New) coming out this week. Sir Elton is coming to Detroit on tour soon, and his billboards promise “all the hits.” Cher makes “If I Could Turn Back Time” the centerpiece of her shows. And Sir Paul is famous for marathon concerts (in baseball stadiums, still), exhausting his audience as well as the Beatles catalogue. They’re all still here to prove that they’re still here.

Here’s what Cher thought she and her fellow divas Elton John, Bette Midler and Flip Wilson would be doing in their twilight years, in spectacular Bob Mackey fashion:

And here’s what they’re doing in reality. Cher is trying to recapture the magic:

And Elton is trying to go back to his roots:

I admire them. I am glad that they are still in the world. I can’t wait to read their memoirs, should they ever write them. But it’s unlikely I’ll ever buy another one of their songs. The sparkling, shocking flamboyance of their earlier careers that jolted me every time I heard them on AM radio during my childhood can’t be replicated, least of all by them. That’s because their stiffest competition isn’t the Mileys and the Gagas and the Biebers. It’s their younger selves.

Instead, my new favorite band is one my British friend at Every Record Tells a Story turned me on to – and if you add up the ages of all four lads they would still be younger than either Cher or Elton John. Ladies and gentlemen of America, I give you The Strypes:

Who do they remind you of: The Kinks? The Box Tops? Maybe a bit of Beatles? They sing without AutoTune and play their own instruments scarily well … how shocking is that nowadays?

Thanks for making the first three years such a great ride – keep those comments coming, and

See you on the flip side …

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13 Responses to “Everyone old is new again”

  1. jsa October 15, 2013 at 7:22 am #

    That might be your best post ever. Your writing (and the thoughts behind them)–stellar.

    • lpon45 October 15, 2013 at 9:23 pm #

      Thanks, Jen – I’m so glad you liked it!

  2. Pam Houghton October 15, 2013 at 8:44 am #

    What, are those kids like 12? They are so young! But definitely talented. Kind of hear both Kinks and the Beatles in them (John Lennon’s voice). Regarding the aging rock stars…I actually kinda’ like the new Cher song. But I am more interested in Cher-the-personality than Cher-the-singer.

    • lpon45 October 15, 2013 at 9:28 pm #

      The Strypes are about 16 or 17 years old a piece … makes me wonder what I did with my childhood.

      I like Cher’s music in small doses, too – and she is a great interview. She had a piece on CBS Sunday a few weeks back that was truly entertaining … it’s online somewhere.

  3. marmaladefille October 15, 2013 at 12:06 pm #

    Sweet quote from one of these “kids”:

    “Music just feels like music, from wherever it’s from, whether the person making it is alive or dead, whether you can go see them now or they’re in a nursing home, music just seems eternal,” says Evans. “I don’t know why people are so surprised by it. I think a year before you were born, and a hundred years before you were born, it’s the same thing really. Cause either way you weren’t there.”

  4. Every Record Tells A Story October 15, 2013 at 5:10 pm #

    Congratulations on your third anniversary and thanks for the shout out! My 2nd anniversary coming up soon…
    Glad you enjoyed The Strypes – always enjoyable when someone else picks up on a band I like too.

    • lpon45 October 15, 2013 at 9:36 pm #

      I am happy to bring new eyes to your site. I’ve owed you a note to thank you for yet another great band referral. (I wonder if the Strypes are old enough to travel to the States unaccompanied yet …)

      Happy Cotton Anniversary to you!

  5. marmaladefille October 15, 2013 at 6:24 pm #

    And just for fun…in response to your Joey action figure: http://vimeo.com/50268931

    • lpon45 October 15, 2013 at 9:42 pm #

      This is GREAT!!! (Why did it take me until the final verse to realize everyone was wearing a motorcycle jacket???)

      • marmaladefille October 16, 2013 at 2:36 pm #

        Um. Me too. In fact, I didn’t notice until you mentioned it. I was too distracted by the scenery.

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