What does age have to do with live gigs? Age shouldn’t have anything to do with musical playing ability, image, or friendship, should it? Maybe not, but playing in a band is usually no different than any other tight knit group of people involved in the same activity.
Way back in 1975 I was interviewed by Robert Hilburn, the major music critic for the LA Times. He was writing a story entitled “Rockers Turning 30”. Up until then, just about everyone in a rock band, famous or not, was still under 30, so he wanted my opinion about when I thought “the end” would be 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 25 can’t play as well? No, it’s simply because they feel they have more in common with another 40 year old.
But thankfully, there are exceptions to this. It’s refreshing to see a band feature an 18 year old singer, her dad playing bass, and the sax player is her grandfather. I see this more in Midwest groups – it seems rare on the coasts, where bands seem 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 weird. Trouble is, most 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 teenage 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……….