No one likes to think of their own mortality or realize they have more days behind them than ahead. But one sure way to realize you’re on the back 9 is when the music you grew up with starts showing up on the “oldies” or classic rock station. Personally, I don’t have to worry about that – the music I liked growing up was wildly unpopular in its time and will never make a classic rock station. But the music Baby boomers grew up on is also what we Gen X’ers grew up with, having it forced on us by age and a requirement to accept rides from boomers, and that music is coming to an end.
The Beatles, Rolling Stones, The Who, The Kinks, etc., etc., produced some of the best music ever created. Sure, there are jerks and morons who like to be contrarians by claiming not to like them or call them overrated, but they’re either lying for attention or need to be publicly shunned for their idiocy. Those groups, and many more like them, changed music completely and for the better. And now…they’re going away.
I don’t mean to sound morbid, which is why I didn’t say “they’re dying,” but they are dying.
The other day I was listening to the radio and heard a commercial that made me think about this. It was for the farewell tour of Elton John. My first thought was it was a marketing gimmick, a way to put butts in the seats at inflated prices. Then I looked it up and Elton John is 74 years old. It’s not a marketing gimmick, it’s a necessity.
I hope Elton is in great health, as I wish the same for all the Mick Jaggers and Paul McCartneys of the world, but even the healthy die eventually. Sooner or later, the survival rate for everyone is zero, and most, if not all, of the people everyone grew up listening to, either as they were releasing new music or on perpetual repeat because the music was that good, is going to call it a day, one way or another.
I haven’t seen very many of them, mostly just Paul McCartney a few times along with a couple one or two hit wonders, but I regret not having seen more.
I don’t know if The Who will tour again, but I do wish I’d seen them. The Rolling Stones are easily the best riff band of all time and have some all-time classic songs, yet I’ve never seen them. I’ve never seen Elton John, Billy Joel, or any of the other performers who will leave the stage in the next few years.
It’s one thing to have never seen a rock star who died young – you pick any member of the 27 club and you have a ready-made excuse for having missed them – it’s another to have missed Kiss in their 50 years of touring because you never got around to it.
Whether you’ve seen these bands or missed them, time marches relentlessly on. We’re going to lose them, so take a minute and appreciate them before we do.
Crank up some Bob Seger the next time you’re alone on a patch of freeway, play some Creedence Clearwater Revival inappropriately loud next time it’s on the radio, or sing along with Bob Dylan like no one else can hear you (you can’t sound any worse than he does). The Eagles are touring, so play that drum part in Hotel California on your steering wheel like you’re Don Henley.
These people aren’t going to be around much longer, drink in the opportunity to appreciate them while you have it. It’s not a bad way to live life and treat your friends and family every day. You’re much more likely to be able to get someone you know on the phone than Paul McCartney (though I’d love to).
You can go and scream your love of Elton John on his farewell tour, and you absolutely should, if you’re so inclined. But you should do the same for the people you do know. They won’t have a farewell tour, but they will go away some day, or you will, without the benefit of a marketing team announcing it. Considering what we’ve just come through, appreciating those we have should be the top priority of everyone. Scream your love for the people who made the soundtrack of your life (unless it was Bruce Springsteen because he sucks), but let the people who were irreplaceable cast members know you love them too.
Derek Hunter is the host of a free daily podcast (subscribe!), host of a daily radio show on WCBM in Maryland, and author of the book, Outrage, INC., which exposes how liberals use fear and hatred to manipulate the masses. Follow him on Twitter at @DerekAHunter.