More and more bands and musicians you grew up with are aging along with all of us. The music will always live on, but is it worth spending your hard-earned money on the concerts of aging Rockers you saw in your youth and when they were in their prime?
The golden age of rock music, in my opinion, was from the late 1960s to the 1990s. I was always drawn to the move heavier side of Rock, bands like KISS, Alice Cooper, UFO, AC/DC, The Scorpions, Deep Purple, Grand Funk Railroad, Ted Nugent, Aerosmith, Led Zepplin, Lynard Skynard, The Who, The Rolling Stones, Black Sabbath, and others. These bands ruled the music scene of the 70's and some are still at in 2023.
If you were lucky enough to see some of these bands in their prime, you know that those concert experiences are etched in your memory for life. Fast forward to now, where are these bands today? Believe it or not many of them are still on the road touring. Do they really need the money, or just doing it for the love of the fans and performing? The answer is probably a combination of both.
Everybody gets old, nothing we can do to keep the years from rolling by. It is unbelievable to think that these bands are still at it 50-plus years later from their start. Many of the original members have left the band, some band members retired and were just tired of the life of a touring Rock band or the death took a founding member.
There are bands now that tour in name only they do not have one single original member in the band, at this point, they are a tribute band. Lynard Skynyrd, Foreigner, The Guess Who, Quiet Riot, and many others to name a few, not one performer who has been in the band since the beginning. They charge the ticket price as a headline act, not a tribute band.
You cannot expect a 70-year-old rocker to have the same energy and charisma they had when they were in their twenties. That rebellious spirit of Rock and Punk they were all about does not come across when the aging Rocker can barely get up the stairs to the stage.
Gene Simmons of Kiss had to play a show sitting down in Australia on their End of The Road Tour. You can look at like, the show must go on, great effort on his part, or you can say he should have hung up his demon costume years ago. Their Farwell tour was plagued with canceled tour dates due to Simmons and Paul Stanley's constant fatigue and illness problems during the tour. Many fans flew in from other cities, states, and even foreign countries to attend a particular show, only to find out the show was canceled and not to be rescheduled. OK, you will get a refund for the ticket, but what about your travel expenses? Basically, you are screwed out of that
So many bands have done their final tours over the last couple of years. When a band announces it is the final tour, a lot of them see it as their final big pay day. The fans see it as one last time to see the band live that was part of the soundtrack of their youth. Two or three years later, the band gets back together for another tour. To me, this is just bullsh!t, and one more money grab from their loyal fans. In most cases, the new tour is the exact same as the Farwell tour a couple of years ago that they charged you top dollar to see. Motley Crue is a perfect example of announcing they would never unite again a few years ago, only to come back and do a world tour this year minus one original member retired due to illness. Their singer, Vince Neil cannot sing anymore, forgetting and mumbling the lyrics. The departed guitarist accused his former bandmates of using backing tracks for the vocals, bass, and drum parts. There are videos online showing the drummer, Tommy Lee not even sitting at his drum kit and the drums for the next song already started. At this point, they are just going through the motions and ripping off their fans.
Aerosmith was charging big bucks for their farewell tour this year. They sidelined their original drummer a couple of years ago. The band said the touring was too much for him, but the drummer, Joey Kramer, said they kicked him out of the band. You spend over $500 bucks to see the Aerosmith final tour, to have it cancelled after only four shows. The singer, Steven Tyler injured his vocal cords while performing, and other band members said they are doubtful they will finish the tour.
AC/DC lost their founding member Malcolm Young, who passed a few years ago, but the band decided to continue. The tour ground to a stop when the singer, Brian Johnson, suffered hearing loss and left the tour. To give them credit, the band recruited Axel Rose to do the vocals for the remainder of the tour. I saw their show with Axel at Madison Square Garden in New York City and they blew the roof off the place. Brian Johnson got a state-of-the-art hearing aid and the rumor is they will tour in 2024. At 76 years of age, do you think this next tour for Brian is going to be easy?
Guns N’ Roses are out on the road, the singer Axel Rose, once the wild child of Rock in the 80's looks like a grandma these days. He can no longer hit the high notes he was famous for. The days of him running around the stage like a wild tiger are gone. These days, he is having a hard time not tripping and falling while on stage when he does try to do his famous moves from his youth.
The singer for The Who, Roger Daltry, age 79, recently forgot the lyrics to one of his band's hit songs, he apologized to the audience and left the stage not to come back. It is sad, but they should not be asking fans to pay for a performance of just two or three songs. No refunds were given.
The audience has also aged, the days of standing from start to finish of a concert are gone two songs in and most of the crowd is seated, to the frustration of the bands. "Come on get up, get your asses out of those seats,” said Rob Zombie. He continued "Go wild put your F@cking phones away". Rob Zombie was yelling this at his New York outdoor concert at Jones Beach Theater this past Summer. He got little reaction from the crowd.
Many of the aging Rock fans leave the show before the last songs to beat the crowd and get out of the parking lot. Something you would never do as twenty something concertgoer. You stayed until the very last minute of the show only to leave when the house lights were turned back on.
What Rock bands of your youth are still out there touring? I am sure I am missing some but these are bands with at least one original member still left:
- Alice Cooper, age 75
- The Rolling Stones - average age late 70s, Mick Jagger age 80
- Paul McCartney - age 81
- Rod Stewart - age 78
- ZZ Top - original bass played passed - Billy Gibbons - age 73
- The Eagles - final tour - average age mid 70's
- The Scorpions - average age 70's
- Deep Purple - average age 70's
- AC/DC - Rumored tour in 2024 - average ages 65 plus
- Motley Crue - average age 60's
- Journey -average age 60's
- Metallica - average age 60's
- Anthrax - average age 60's
- Iron Maiden - average age late 60's
- Judas Priest - average age late 60's
- Def Leppard - average age 60's
- Foo Fighters - average age 50's
- Green Day - average age 50's
- Rob Zombie - 58 years old
- Korn - average age 50's
- Saxon - average age 60's
- Rammstein - average age 60's
- Journey - average age mid 60's
- Sammy Hagar - age 76
- Kid Rock - age 52
- Steve Miller Band - 80 years old
- Heart - 70 years old
- Joan Jett - 65 years old
- Bon Jovi - 61 years old
- Billy Idol - 68 years old
- Peter Frampton - 73 years old - can no longer perform standing up
- Sting – 72 years old
- Sammy Hagar – 76 years old
- Blondie – 77 years old
- Rodger Waters – 80 years old
- Motley Crue – average age 60’s
- Guns n Roses – average age 60’s
Then there are the bands and performers you will most likely never see again due to death or they announced they were done.
- Motorhead - Singer died.
- Dio - Singer died.
- Fleetwood Mac - Key member died.
- Jeff Beck - Died
- Black Sabbath - Retired
- Kiss - Retired - maybe performing again as AI images or without makeup
- Elton John - Retired
- Led Zepplin - No interest in reuniting with the living members by Robert Plant
- Rush - death of the drummer
- Ozzy Osborne - age 75, retired due to illness.
- Tom Petty - died after his final show
- Eddie Money - Died
- Bob Seeger - age 78 – retired
- Van Halen – Death of Eddie Van Halen
- Fleetwood Mac – Death of a member
- The Who – Seems like they retired
- Pink Floyd – Fighting split up the band
There are many more bands of our youth who no longer tour, have broken up, or just faded away over the years. There are too many to list.
The bands that do tour are still able to put asses in the seats. Younger fans are being exposed to the music by their parents, but there is not a wave of new bands building a following like the bands of our youth.
Where will these bands be in 20 years, sad to say most will be dead or too old to perform.
Enjoy the music, and if you have the money, support the bands you grew up listening to by going to their concerts. Be aware you are not going to get the same performance out of these bands when they were at their prime, it is about having a good time and having a sense of humor. I hope I am running around like Mick Jagger when I am 80!!