Roger Daltrey, lead singer of the legendary “THE WHO” sang the anthem “Hope I die before I get old”
At the time of this writing, he is 70. Is that old? Apparently not, cause also at the time of this writing “The Who” are planning a world tour. Mick Jagger from the band “The Rolling Stones” just came off a hugely successful world tour… He’s 71 Paul McCartney? 72.
The list goes on, and on. For the uninitiated, touring, even at the highest level of Rock n Roll royalty, is hard. It’s REALLY hard. Harder than what most of you reading this, do for a living despite what you may think. For those interested, there is a great article by Christopher Knab outlining a fake but reasonably “typical” one month tour for a “nationally known alternative band” it gets into some day to day detail of what’s expected. Here is that link:http://www.musicbizacademy.com/knab/articles/tourschedule.htm
For the record, I perform exponentially more times than what’s listed above, probably ten times more. Where all of the above mentioned scenarios are doing it with full crew, funding, tour busses and sponsors… I do it all myself in a 2001 PT Cruiser that usually has a busted something or another (Most often it’s the damned A/C) and when they play for an hour and a half, I play for four hours at my gigs. But this article is not about me, it’s about you.
Why do you figure people do this? You think it’s the money? Mick, Paul and Roger certainly are behind on their bills, I guarantee you that. That Alternative band, quite possibly made a few scheckles but after paying for the entourage, trust me , they were not going out and buying homes after THAT tour. I can tell you from my level of things it isn’t the money or my A/C would be fixed. It’s for YOU!
Most musicians do what they do for their audience. That one person who is moved by what they do. At my gigs, I hear both sides of the too old argument. “Oh, we don’t get out much anymore ‘cause we’re too old but we really enjoyed you” and then there’s the “We go out all the time to see live music now that the kids are gone, it feels like life gave us an act two” As far as I’m concerned, at age 51, forget about “over the hill” I’m gonna push that hill up the road a little further all by myself cause #1 I’m not ready to go “over it”, and #2 simply because thank goodness… I can.
When was the last time you went out to see live music? It’s still out there you know. Only it’s better now. Better technology, more genres, lot’s of choices. Remember how it used to feel when you saw a great band or artist perform up close? Remember the chills? Remember the connection? It’s out there. THIS I know. I’m very proud to be doing it. Don’t let your paradigm keep talking you out of it cause you think you’re too old. You’re not. Just ask Paul McCartney. Besides, to quote a wise old rocker (who by the way is still out there touring in his 60’s) “You can come back baby, rock n roll never forgets”