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Is There Such A Thing As 'Too Old To Rock?'

Growing old in rock 'n' roll is uncharted territory.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Leonard Cohen. Leonard Cohen. (Nicolas Maeterlinck/AFP/Getty Images)

According to Billboard editor Joe Levy, one of the weirdest things going on in rock and roll right now is that so many musicians in their 60s and 70s are having banner years. In the last 12 months, we’ve heard from the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, David Bowie, and more. And the reviews have mostly been good.

Levy holds up the example of the Rolling Stones. “Fifty years ago,” says Levy in his blog post, “at the start, The Rolling Stones represented a sort of freedom almost impossible for most of their audience to achieve, the freedom to live exactly as they wanted. Fifty years later, they still do, in ways far more poignant and pointed than before.”

Read more from Joe Levy here. And, listen to his discussion with John Schaefer -- and Soundcheck listeners -- about whether there is such a thing as 'too old to rock.' What do you think? Tell us below.


Joe Levy

Comments [4]

Evelyn (Muffinz) Mendoza from Clifton

No one is too old to rock, but it depends how the music is executed. As you mentioned before, Leonard Cohen does well with music today and people love going to his tours. Or Iron Maiden! They are very energetic and somehow they still manage to do well. Whereas Aereosmith, those grandmas should just stop (Especially Steve Taylor)!! Now we have new musicians reaching the fifth floor, like Trent Reznor! In my opinion, as he got older, his music became much better...And maybe the key to their success is their lyrics, sound, and performance. Lately, there are too many mainstream musicians singing meaningless lyrics, female singers singing and posing half naked, men singing about how they have in their wallets, etc. Anyway, it would be nice to see Woodstok's first performers on stage in this upcoming summer and have an ultimate Woodstock Senior Reunion.

Jan. 30 2013 09:58 PM
Brice Faller from Croton-on-Hudson, NY

Randy Newman said it best: "I'm Dead - but I Don't Know It"

Here he is at the Paramount in 2008:

Jan. 30 2013 09:49 PM

I saw Morrissey at CW Post's Tileys center 3 weeks ago and he rocked the house. The middle aged soccer moms were swooning when he ripped his shirt off..

Jan. 30 2013 09:24 PM
suzinne from Bronx

Joel Levy, you guys @ Rolling Stone are drinking the kool-aid. Sure, the Stones can bring it, but their stage show is so tired, and I don't want to see an almost 70 year old jumping around like a monkey. Tried to watch "Shine a Light," but I couldn't. Saw them three times in '81 and twice in '89.

And no Joel, Mick does not look like a 20 year old, and their new songs are awful. The Stones need a transition, but obviously they don't see it that way.

Leonard Cohen has a stage presence without being inappropriate.

Jan. 30 2013 09:09 PM

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