What does AGE have to do with performing at live gigs? Most would agree that age has little to do with actual playing ABILITY. Playing in a band is no different than any other tight knit group of people involved in the same activity, they simply enjoy being with others close to their own age. Back in 1980 I was interviewed by Robert Hilburn, the chief music critic for the LA Times. He was writing a story entitled “Rockers Turning 30” and wanted my view on this subject.
Up until this time just about everyone in rock bands, famous or not, was still under 30, so he wanted my opinion about when I thought “the end” would be happening for these players. I told him I foresaw “no end” and I believe time has proven me correct!
When a band of players all in their 40’s seek a new member, chances are they will pick someone close to their age. They think a guy who is 20 can’t play as well? No, it’s because they feel they have more in common with another 40 year old. But there are exceptions. It’s refreshing to see a band feature an 18 year old female singer, her dad playing bass, and the sax player is her grandfather. We notice this more with Midwest groups – it seems rare on the coasts, where bands desire to be around the same age for their “image”.
But why can’t their “image” be having members of completely different ages? Remember the band Spirit? (I Got a Line on You). The drummer, Ed Cassidy, used our service several times. He was the guitarist’s father, completely bald, when the other members, all in their 20’s, had long hair. Years ago, this was very different. Trouble is, some would still consider it weird today. But why?
How cool would it be to see a group of 25 year olds fronted by a 55 year old singer, or a group of 60 year olds backing a young vocalist? Would this be considered a gimmick? I don’t think so, I think the public would perceive it as unique, not weird. Moral of the story: Be adventurous, be different! Age CAN work as an advantage, and in this day, bands need all the advantages they can use………
Your thoughts are welcome – throw them at us so we can publish them in our next blog.