Rolling Stones, The Who, Aerosmith
Media critics poking fun of "grandpa rockers" should be told music never ages
By Judi McLeod
Monday, August 27, 2007
Of rockers on tour in Europe, Harold Peters, culture editor and music critic for the newspaper, Welt am Sonntag says: "The question is `why are they bothering?' Some of these groups are just plain burned out' (and get this:) "old and boring."
Only a culture editor could get away with criticizing entertainment legends for being "old and boring".
"They're getting torn to shreds in reviews. I'm not saying all of them should have stopped at age 40. But with some, it's so bizarre and you wonder why. Do they need the money? Didn't they get an education? Can't they do anything else for a living," Peters continued.
The answer in a question: Could it be Europe's ever-growing and grumbling throwaway society, Herr Peters?
Here in not so tragically hip North America, music legends from the 50s, 60s and 70s continue to perform to sold out houses before adoring fans.
PBS specials bring the Golden Oldies performers from yesteryear back over and over again.
Have German critics ever watched the finale in one of these PBS specials? The crowd is on its feet. No one wants the special to end.
According to Reuters, "Rock stars from the 1960s and 1970s have been hitting Germany's lucrative concert circuit but many of the "grandpa-generation" acts have disappointed fans and provoked withering reviews in Europe's biggest music market.
"The Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, Genesis, the Who, the Police and Black Sabbath are among the acts appearing this summer in arenas between the Black Forest and the Baltic, in Europe's richest nation with a wealth of top-class concert venues." (Reuters, Entertainment News, Aug. 26, 2007).
Reuters smugly refer to the performers as "wrinkly rockers".
Ageism is not part of reality for fresh-faced writers who sound tough on paper, but who secretly throw hissy fits when their 30th birthdays are imminent.
Many cultures teach respect for the elderly.
Media types rarely mention the ages of over-the-hill politicians who seem to dominate the global elite.
Young, skinny bimbos doing cocaine are not everybody's ideal of sexy.
"Some people should retire at 30," Mick Jagger, 64, was quoted as telling Kirsten Szastrau of the newspaper Allgemeinze Zeitung Mainz when she asked him bluntly when he was going to quit.
Like a lot of young journalists, Szastrau finds it too boring to keep her personal views out of interview questions.
Proving himself more well read than some of the journalists quizzing him, Jagger had this reply: "I know that there's a lot of talk about that (retirement). But those are rules bureaucrats make. If you're an artist, poet or musician, other things matter. We have the feeling we're still a very good band and we love what we're doing. Besides that, I'm a terrible plumber, there's nothing else I could do."
The quick-witted rocker could have added bureaucracies like the European Union, which bans both God and individuality.
Canada Free Press question: How long can anybody stay young under the soul-killing rigidity of the EU?
Others performing in Germany this year included Meat Loaf, who turns (Heaven forbid!) 60 next month, Lou Reed, 65, and Peter Gabriel, 57. The latter needed a teleprompter to help him remember the words.
"Sueddeutsche Zeitung critic Sebastian Gierke said it was "almost tragic" to see Ozzy Osbourne, 58, at a "farcical" concert.
"He kept screaming `I can't f---ing hear you!' over and over again, you felt like shouting back `buy a goddamn hearing aid and maybe you'll realize you're singing everything off key."
Yes, Sir, they like the fast pace in Europe, where instant gratification is the order of the day.
Meanwhile young toffs in the journalistic entertainment writer category come a dime a dozen and rarely realize they're part of Europe's burgeoning throwaway society.