THE SHOCK OF THE OLD – I SEE ROCK STARS AS FOREVER YOUNG
Mortality is a subject close to my ever weakening heart – at 66 I spend more time looking back than looking forward, and a good deal of my leisure time is spent watching and re-watching my favourite musical performances by those bands and artists that have become legends.
The list is long, including Frank Zappa, Genesis, Joni Mitchell, Yes, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Simon & Garfunkel, and The Beatles, to name a few.
The problem is I am watching them at the height of their powers, when their youth shone brightly. The stunningly restored film of The Beatles “Get Back” is so clear and vibrant it looks like it was filmed last week, and the shock of seeing how much someone like Paul McCartney has changed is considerable. It shouldn't come as a surprise, but it is still disconcerting.
I watch so much from the distant past that I start to think these people are immortal, that the high definition footage of them is how they are still, or at least how I want to remember them.
It was an emotional night for me seeing the recent Genesis reunion gig, with Phil Collins having to sit for the whole performance, and have his vocals boosted by two backing singers, it wasn't ideal but it's the best we can expect.
As these giants of popular music slip into the past, we must rely more and more on those precious recordings of when they were younger to celebrate their genius.