Mick Jagger is celebrating his 73rd birthday this week. The father of seven with an eighth child on the way, the iconic rock ‘n roll symbol of the 60s doesn’t appear to be letting a number define him. He has seen his share of triumphs, and despite his fame and fortune, his share of tragedies. Life happens, but it seems that life is what it’s all about for Mick.
The 60s were a time when letting your freak-flag-fly was the norm. During its initial growth spurt, the 1960s established many recording studios that branched out in all directions. Over the decades, the tree service of the music industry – and life in general, pruned many of those germinal, nascent branches from the trunk. Only a relative handful of publicly accessed recording studios are available. Most are privately located in the homes of the artists.
The Rolling Stones were the epochal leaders for the rowdy anti-establishment multitude. The era made for great music, and there were any number of colorful characters occupying the burgeoning landscape. Now in 2016 members of the never to be forgotten generation that brought us some of the best music to date are senior citizens. Not that there is anything wrong with that – and for that matter it’s better than the alternative.
Jerry Lee Lewis is 81 years old, Chuck Berry is 90, and Little Richard is 84. It all seems totally untrue. While we all age these guys were not supposed to. They held the torch for so many others like the Beatles for example. Paul McCartney is 74 and Ringo is 76. If George Harrison and John Lennon were still alive, they would be 73 and 76 respectively.
To think that Rod Stewart is 71 and climbing is mind blowing. Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane fame is 72. We knew them when. However, in many ways that is how they will always be remembered. It’s not to say that they haven’t made important contributions since passing the 50-year marker, but let’s face it, their hay days were in their younger years.
Personally, I will go to my grave being a Bob Dylan fan. His talent for writing poignant lyrics and his unique delivery will always reign supreme with me. He brought a generation out of the dark ages musically. He allowed different to be defined. He gave voice to millions who before didn’t have a clue that there were others in the world with the deep seeded need to tell a story. He’s an old guy now, too. Bob Dylan is 75 years old. Hey, isn’t that the age our grandfathers were when we thought they were old men?
Leaving a legacy is what each musical great strives for – whether they know it or not. At the apex of their time if they made an impact on the overall consciousness, they will always be remembered for the part they played in the music game.
At Park Lane Recordings we know that rare talent like mentioned above doesn’t walk through the door every day. While there are some artists who will make a difference still yet to come, they are going to have to endure the trials of time as did so many of the icons who we still look up to today. Will Justin Bieber still be rockin’ when he’s 64? Maybe a better question is; will anyone care?
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