Does raunchy, power-chord rock music kick and wail no matter how old the performers, the audience and the guy shooting the concert documentary are? Screw the calendar — rock is a state of mind. But there’s something creepy about grey-haired, turkey-necked, pot-bellied rock musicians getting down on-stage with a sea of AARP fans stompin’ and hootin’ and whatnot. There’s something just “not right” about this.
Part of the solution (and I know this sounds shallow) lies in dieting, daily workouts, hair dyes and face-lifts. You’ve got to try and look the part of a rocker or a rock- music fan, and by that I mean a person who doesn’t look too sedate or retiring or anesthetized by too much wealth or food. Someone with a passing acquaintance with the biological vitality of life…who takes walks, gets around, owns a bicy- cle and is out there plugging, etc. Someone who doesn’t look like an escapee from a managed-care facility.
The only older rocker who hasn’t creeped me out is Mick Jagger, who was fantastic when he gave a brief live show at L.A.’s El Rey theatre in ’01 — rail-thin and dark-haired and throttling the entire room with the energy of a 20 year-old. (His performance of “God Gave Me Everything (I Want)” was legendary.) I’m asking this because a few days ago Martin Scorsese, 64, shot a Rolling Stones concert at Manhattan’s Beacon Theatre with Jagger, 63 and Keith Richards, 62, blasting away and Bill Clinton, celebrating his 60th birthday, hootin’ and yellin’ in the orchestra.
Bottom line: rock out in the privacy of your own home (or inside your IPod earphones) until you’re dead, but rock is a young person’s game and there’s just something not cool about rocking out in public if you don’t exude at least a semblance of the elan of youth. I think that’s putting it fairly…no? Roger Daltry, cool. David Crosby…liposuction.