When one thinks of old fogies who still get out onstage many years past the time when they should have retired and traded the guitars for wheelchairs, one band comes to mind more than any other. That’s right, kids, those British invaders, the Rolling Stones.
But of late, there have been a number of bands that have taken up the “We’re old, but we still rock” creed–Kiss, the Doobie Brothers, etc. But at least Kiss and the Stones have their original membership intact, or as close to it as they can get without holding sÃ©ances. What’s the point of going to see Bachman Turner Overdrive when neither Bachman nor Turner is in the band?
Which brings us to a triple play of old dudes who don’t know when to quit: REO Speedwagon, Styx and Survivor. That’s “Can’t Fight This Feeling,” “Come Sail Away,” and … that song from Rocky, respectively. They’ll be bringing their wrinkled selves to the Asheville Civic Center this Monday in support of their grandchildren’s college funds.
Now, I can’t sit here and blast these bands. I have to admit that I love all of the songs above, plus others like, “Riding the Storm Out,” “Mr. Roboto,” and … well, I guess Survivor was a one-hit wonder. They had talent–I can’t fault them on that account. But there comes a time when every young man realizes that he’s an old man and that the young pretty girls that used to be in the front row have turned into what a friend of mine calls “old rock chicks,” whose only delight in life is lifting their tubetop to reveal some stuff that nobody wants to see but the other old rock guys who came with them.
That was a long sentence, and I hope everyone stuck with me through that because I’m going to melt it all down for the members of these bands: There’s a thing known as a prime, and you all had yours years n’ years ago. And while there are some people who can rock well into their old age, like Bruce Springsteen or Steve Miller, there’s a reason why they can do that. I don’t know what that reason is, but I’m pretty sure you guys ain’t got it.
The aforementioned friend, referred to only as ‘Batsford,’ wants to make sure that I throw in the fact that no band likes groupies who have kids, especially kids that were sired by other members of the band who are long gone.
And in writing this, I just realized something. What if the bands who we listen to today decide to pull an REO on us when we’re in our 50s? What if Weezer, Pearl Jam and NOFX reunite for an all-out old folks bash?
Here’s hoping it doesn’t happen. Or, better yet, here’s hoping that they do a better job of it than Kiss did.
For anyone who’s still interested, tickets are available through Ticketmaster for $19.50 – $42.50 minus service charges, and the show is at 7 p.m. on Monday, January 29.