Sunday, April 6, 2008

Aging Rocks Stars May Leave Something to be Desired

Every review of Martin Scorsese's documentary on the Rolling Stones, "Shine a Light," pays homage to Mick Jagger's amazing energy.

Check out the Wall St. Journal's lead paragraph: "Almost in his mid-60s when the movie was shot, he [Jagger] could still teach the Energizer Bunny a thing or three. He sweats and struts and runs around the stage as though in medal contention, pumps the air with his arms and makes communing with the audience an aerobic activity. He's caught coming and going -- and you are there.")

Or check out the New York Times' lead: "As you scrutinize the aging bodies of the Rolling Stones in Martin Scorsese’s rip-roaring concert documentary “Shine a Light,” there is ample evidence that rock ’n’ roll may hold the secret of eternal vitality, if not eternal beauty."

But that's not the point I want to make about aging rock stars. But first some context. Trying to make a point, I told a colleague (via instant message) I'd rather hear the Captain & Tennille sing "Muskrat Love" -- probably the worst rock song, along with "We Built This City" by Starship (formerly Jefferson Starship and Jefferson Airplane). Problem was: I couldn't remember how to spell Tennille.

In Googling Tennille, I came across to Toni Tennille's blog. (It available here, if you must look it up).

Okay, so now to make the point from the title of this posting. In her blog, Toni talks about a new house they're building, but that at 67, she needs to think about features that will enable her and the Captain (yes, after all these years, he's still just a captain) to live in the house for the rest of their lives. Her solution: "We are installing grab bars and high-boy toilets in the new house...not because we need them now, but because we know we will need them down the road." (I didn't feel the need to click onto the link for more information on high-boy toilets.)

How practical of them.

Which, of course, goes against the rocker sensibility.

While clicking to find something on TV, I came across an oldie rock special, filled with reconstituted/reunited bands -- often, I bet, with only one or two original members -- singing the hits that once made them famous. During the nanosecond I stopped on the channel, Iron Butterfly, best (or only) known for their 1968 hit "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" was performing. They sounded about the same, I guess, but, dressed in rock 'n' roll clothes, were these old dudes...who really should've been wearing something less, um, revealing.

I mean, even the New Kids on the Block, who this week announced their reunion tour (I call these the Mortgage-College-Tuition-Payment Tours), updated their look.

The lesson here: not everyone can be Mick.

It's okay to sing, "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction." Just don't try to sing (I Can't Get No) Medicare Reimbursement."


Unknown said...

Robert Plant proved he can still strut his stuff. So "aged" is to some extent a state of mind. But when you're in the entertainment biz and you start blogging about grab bars and high-boy toilets, one wonders whether you've lost your mind. Sheesh! What was Toni thinking?

Norman Birnbach said...

I kept thinking, what's next: Would Tennille complain about early-bird specials and the fact that drafts can kill (as my wife's grandmother did)? Maybe the explanation is that she's off her (soft) rocker.