Just a brief musical interlude: David Bowie, now 66, released a haunting new song and video, “Where are we now?“, which rapidly reached the 6th place in the UK charts. Bob Dylan, at 71, has just released “Tempest”, an album that is being considered by critics as one of his best; here one of the catchiest songs, “Duquesne Whistle“, which also has a strange video. Leonard Cohen is right now on a world tour at 78 years of age promoting his latest album.
Rock’n’roll is not dead, it’s just very old.
Whatever happened to “live fast, die young”? Many of the singers of the 60s died from drug overdose or suicide or choking on their own vomit. The smartest ones, however, seem to have realized that their audience would grow old too, and if they slowed down on the drugs and booze, they would manage to extend their careers for much longer.
But will current artists manage the same long careers? I can’t imagine Justin Bieber at 70 still on the stage.
Maybe what is happening is that we as a culture are not creating many new interesting things, and that is why these older artists still remain relevant and popular. And that goes for all aspects of contemporary culture: in commercial movies, for instance, the most popular franchises are Batman and Superman and Captain America and other superheroes; characters that are almost 60 years old.
I for one like it that way. I think that I prefer Bowie and Dylan and Cohen to anything that came up in the new millenium.