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Growing up, I was a big fan of Elvis. He died in August of 1977. But I have to tell you, in my opinion, without changing his ways, he died at the appropriate time. He had gained so much weight, he was on so many drugs and he just didn't sound like he used to years ago. I didn't want to see it get any worse. I've occasionally thought what he would look like and sound like today if he were still alive. It's not a pretty picture.
Then think of the others. Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Mama Cass Elliot. The list goes on. I often think of them too. What would they look like in their 70's and what would they sound like. It's not a pretty picture.
I saw clips of the 12-12-12 concert and there were quite a few old people up there performing. Some of them didn't sound so bad. Some of them did and Mick Jagger just looked like an old man trying to be a young man to me.
And have you heard the Beach Boys lately? In their day, they had some of the sweetest harmony in all of rock and roll. Now it sounds like they couldn't carry a tune if you held a gun to them.
I saw a photo of Robert Plant the other day and I just felt sad. Was this the hot young man with the mane of blond hair that led Led?
Yes there's something to be said for seeing someone who was actually part of the hey day of sixties and seventies rock and roll. But take a closer look and you actually see the imperfections of age...how they look, how their language is stuck in those decades and how they just seem old. And when you see these people step up to perform today, you expect to hear what comes out of their mouths to sound just like it did on the original record and it doesn't.
It might be cliche to say rock and roll is a young man's game. But it's a cliche because it's true. Let's face it, Rock and Roll stars age just like the rest of us and it ain't pretty.
Grace Slick may have put it best when she said, "You can do anything you want in the music business, aside from trying to look like you're 25. To me it's embarrassing."