AEROSMITH have just cancelled gigs due to 75-year-old Steve Tyler’s vocal cord problems. Fair enough, but are you noticing bands and their fans are increasingly old – and you might be one of them?
Screamadelica feels strangely recent, possibly because it was compulsory to like it in 1991. However Bobby Gillespie is 62 now, and even if you’re not that old yet you’re headed there sooner or later. In a few years old folk’s homes will probably be rocking out to Primal Scream, although you may have difficulty persuading the staff to put on Swastika Eyes.
Bananarama are in their early 60s now and still gigging, due to yet another mysterious timeslip between your youth and now. Fans seeing them live face the double kick in the teeth of being reminded that you and the rest of the audience are actually quite old, and also noticing that the band, Keren in particular, appear to have drunk the Elixir of Life. Also they’re playing in Dubai, so f**k that.
You’d expect them to be pretty old, but Roger Waters is f**king 80. Dave Gilmour is 77. Theoretically, their oldest fans who got into them with The Piper at the Gates of Dawn could be over 100. Still, you won’t be confronting your own mortality at a Floyd gig soon because Gilmour’s wife called Waters a ‘Putin apologist’, so there’s not much danger of them reforming, or even sending each other an insincere Christmas card.
The Stone Roses
It only seems like yesterday you were enthusing about the Roses’ dance-influenced 60s retro, so it’s deeply disturbing to learn that they’re all 60 now (except young whippersnapper Reni, aged 59½). Actually the album probably only feels recent because they’ve done f**k all of note since, and that includes The Seahorses. The lesson to bands wanting immortality is clear: release one classic album, then get into bullshit Covid conspiracy theories.
The Jam/Paul Weller
The Jam sensibly split up when their creative arc ended, but lived on as Weller entering a more mature (ie. slightly boring) phase. He’s now 65 and even 20 years ago his gigs were full of blokes with advanced middle-aged spread bulging out of their Fred Perrys and parkas. After a certain age it’s probably best to ditch the fashions and just listen to All Mod Cons. And not be one of those bellends who does up their mobility scooter to look like Jimmy’s Vespa in Quadrophenia.
Guns N’ Roses
At 61 Axl Rose is actually quite comforting for ageing rock fans because he can wow Glastonbury while looking like a middle-aged dad who’s let himself go. That’s exactly what you look like, so therefore you are still rock and roll too. These days he’s probably really cut down on the heroin and Jack Daniels, so there’s no excuse for you not cutting down on the takeaways as well. Yes, Axl’s a great role model, apart from the ‘immigrants and faggots’ bit.
You’re probably a quasi-Abba fan by default, either remembering them from the late 70s as a kid or just because they’ve been played constantly ever since. They’re genuinely old now with Benny born in 1946 and Frida in 1945 – not a great year for her dad, or indeed the rest of the Wehrmacht. Abba fans have to be realistic and prepare for the worst – more of those crappy holograms.