/ The coming death of every rock legend
On top of the icons who died horribly young decades ago, Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Elvis Presley, John Lennon, there's the litany of legends felled by illness, drugs, and just plain old age in more recent years: George Harrison, Ray Charles, Michael Jackson, Lou Reed, David Bowie, Glenn Frey, Prince, Leonard Cohen, Tom Petty.
Those losses have been painful. But it's nothing compared with the tidal wave of obituaries to come. The grief and nostalgia will wash over us all. Yes, the Boomers left alive will take it hardest, these were their heroes and generational compatriots. But rock remained the biggest game in town through the 1990s, which implicates GenXers like myself, no less than plenty of millennials.
All of which means there's going to be an awful lot of mourning going on.
Behold the killing fields that lie before us: Bob Dylan (78 years old); Paul McCartney (77); Paul Simon (77) and Art Garfunkel (77); Carole King (77); Brian Wilson (77); Mick Jagger (76) and Keith Richards (75); Joni Mitchell (75); Jimmy Page (75) and Robert Plant (71); Ray Davies (75); Roger Daltrey (75) and Pete Townshend (74); Roger Waters (75) and David Gilmour (73); Rod Stewart (74); Eric Clapton (74); Debbie Harry (74); Neil Young (73); Van Morrison (73); Bryan Ferry (73); Elton John (72); Don Henley (72); James Taylor (71); Jackson Browne (70); Billy Joel (70); and Bruce Springsteen (69, but turning 70 next month).
But we will still have the likes of Biffy Clyro so stop being so morbid, life continues to move on, we grow old and make way for the young
Oh for goodness sake don't be so morbid!
We all die, its a fact of life. but the ages you quote in your predicted tidal wave of mourning are still relatively young. I'm in that age range but I am not living from day to day worrying about approaching death. I'm just planning what I'm going to do over the next 20 years or so. If I should die sooner than later so be it, but I've had a good life and wouldn't have missed it for anything.
People die all the time, including "legends" but their music will live on, and that's what matters.
Get a grip and go out and have some fun
> All of which means there's going to be an awful lot of mourning going on.
Put em all onto a plane and fly it into a mountain a la "Day the Music Died"
Get it all over in one fell swoop ;-)
No, I like this anticipatory melancholy ... what Celt isn't happiest when miserable?
> But we will still have the likes of Biffy Clyro
Lord help us.
Hey, Vera Lynn is still going strong at 102. Not every rock and roll icon dies before they get old.
Wasn’t it 2016 that wiped out vast numbers of aging entertainers? Maybe it’s like a sudden cold snap - those that survived it have another ten years left in them.
There is a photo somewhere of her and Dave Brock! Rock and Roll
Rock legends? OK, Lemmy died, but Leonard Cohen? Then again, I seem to vaguely remember the thundering double bass and screaming guitar solos in Suzanne.... Or maybe not.
* I like LC, but rock legend?
Ozzy, of course, even though hes been diagnosed as indestructible, or something.
How long till the cheeky girls shuffle off their mortal coils do you reckon?
> How long till the cheeky girls shuffle off their mortal coils do you reckon?
Off their what ?
Dave, when I said 'have you got any Vera Lynn's...'
Surely "legend" infers age or time served. Whether that's themselves, legacy or a function of both.
On that basis. All legends were either outstanding beyond others, or have been around for a long time. Are we suprised that legends are long in the tooth?
The next legend may be Taylor Swift or ed shearan, not legends yet though are they? But if they keep going as they've started..... In popularity.... or whatever other measure, they will in time become legendry too. And older, and more likely to pass away.
Being a legend and closer to death when compared to the new cohort is logical....
> but the ages you quote in your predicted tidal wave of mourning are still relatively young
Relative to what?
I think a lot of people have unrealistic expectancies on this, e.g. the average male life expectancy in Scotland is 77 (so plenty die quite a bit younger); I'm not sure what it is for Western rock and roll legends who may not have looked after themselves all that well in their youth...
As you say, there's not a lot of point in wasting time worrying about when it'll happen - but Cú Chullain does make an interesting point about what's coming up, the end of an era and all that.
In fact, I saw the Cure play a couple of weeks ago - they're a particularly fine example of music that benefits from, as dgbtyan calls it above, anticipatory melancholy.
If you believe the theory proposed by William Burroughs in the last chapter of The Soft Machine it's likely that Keef will live to be about 205.
But yes, the world is moving beneath our feet.
It is worth therefore heeding the words of another famous dead rock star, Jim Morrison, "I'm gonna get my kicks before the whole shithouse goes up in flames" <cue Roadhouse Blues..>.
Paul McCartney's been dead for decades, haven't you seen the covers of Sgt Pepper's & Abbey Road?
You need to start listening to those albums in reverse mate, it's all in there...
It'd be much worse if any of them had done anything of note in the past 40 years.
I very much enjoy some of their music but does it really matter? They're not putting anything good out now, and if you go see them live they're just a depressing shell of their former self (maybe the Stones being an exception?).
The way I see it, they're already dead. I have no connection to them outside of the music they produce and they won't be putting anything out that I want to hear whether they die tomorrow or in 25 years time. Would be much more of a loss for someone current to pop their clogs.
It would be nice if they spread themselves out a bit though, so we can get separate weeks of mourning and prime-time tv documentaries.
Gary Glitter is 75 as well. Be a sad day when he passes. I mean if are you gonna include MJ and Pete Townshend, why not GG?
What a depressing OP. I try to find the positive.... I take great comfort from reminding myself that Bono and Chris Martin aren't getting any younger.
It's probably not going to happen all at once, so all the people who've never known them personally will manage I reckon.
What gets to me more, is the people I hear about who die from smoking. friends of friends, distant family friends, or other people I come across.
Dying of aging is no bad thing in the end, a long life to be celebrated by everybody else. A privilege not everybody has.
> Paul McCartney's been dead for decades, haven't you seen the covers of Sgt Pepper's & Abbey Road?
That would account for his singing voice these days!
Richard Thompson (70) and Ian Anderson (72) aren't in the first flush of youth either.
Not forgetting that bloke who sang Stairway to Heaven.
*That* bloke is 89, I believe.
Can't believe Debbie Harry and Bob Dylan are only 4 years apart in age. For someone my age their music seems generations apart. Mind you when you are 11 years old 4 years is a very long time.
Life expectancy for a 75 year old male in the UK is another 12 years.
Are they all booked on the same flight or something?
For me, Debbie Harry will forever be the age she was as a poster girl in the cafe where I often went (always that cafe) to play Space Invaders when I was 17 or so.
In real life, she and her band have just been a tribute act to themselves for years (unless I have missed oodles of notable new stuff), so rock and pop won't notice their passing, beyond the range of reactions we have when people we admire but don't know die.
That will depend a lot on where in the UK.
And probably on how much of a rock and roll lifestyle they had in their youth.
The trick is to be around yourself and able to mourn them.
Iggy Pop has still got a six pack, and will probably see us all off
That's a Whillanesque statement. Nice one.
Neil Diamond, Melanie Safka.
You missed out Brian Pern on your list btw!
> What a depressing OP. I try to find the positive.... I take great comfort from reminding myself that Bono and Chris Martin aren't getting any younger.
How old is Chris deBurgh?
Beethoven, Bach, Mozart - won't it be absolutely dreadful when they die and no-one will ever be able to listen to their music again.
yeah, i reckon it could be 15-20 years before the last rock star of the '60s passes on. ozzy is only 70;)
So this isn't about ageing climbers then ?
> That's a Whillanesque statement. Nice one.
He had an unusual gift for words
'It's a good life, so long as you don't weaken.' 'What happens if you weaken?' 'They bury you'.
I've grown to realise it's about trying to stay connected with people who are positive/helpful, and develop a life which enriches, along with the inner strength.
> ozzy is only 70;)
... and he is so pickled in drugs that he will live to 150. Every bacterium or cancer cell trying its luck will just die.
I’ve liked loads of Artists over the years, but keep going back to anything Ian Anderson and slowhand himself have done, only watching Clapton last night on U Tube playing with Steve Winwood, absolute perfection. Can’t imagine them not being around
> How old is Chris deBurgh?
> ... and he is so pickled in drugs that he will live to 150. Every bacterium or cancer cell trying its luck will just die.
That reminds me of a comment made by I'm sure it was Dauphin on here a few years back during a debate on which rock star was the heaviest drug user and someone said Iggy Pop to which Dauphin said Keith Richards would snort the ashes of Iggy Pop.
At some point our descendent should will have to think about what kind of planet they are going to leave for Keith Richards.
That’s quite a list.
I’m not sure it will hit the baby boomers very hard. Im a GenXer and already my friends and people my age are starting to die. Not sure it’s mourning or rather a realisation of our own mortality, these people remind us of our teenage years, but by now the baby boomers should be well aware of their mortality.
Given that every death is an excuse to explore their music again, from a purely music appreciation perspective, it is nothing to get too upset about.
Maybe not a rock legend in the sense of your OP, but the influential and inspirational Daniel Johnston died in the past few days. He was 58
Bryan Ferry ... Pro fox hunting knobhead, no loss to music.
Eight-year-old Griff Near has become one of the youngest people to climb the 15 highest mountains in Wales in under 24 hours. He's also one of the youngest we've ever interviewed!