|Beach Boys 2012: Happy Hour is Nap Time|
I know this because I happened to pick up the June 21st issue of Rolling Stone magazine.
And I have to tell you, Rolling Stone is beginning to look an awful lot like Modern Maturity or the AARP Newsletter.
The magazine -- once considered must reading for the cool and the wannabe cool -- now seems like it would be right at home on the coffee table of a geriatric clinic waiting room.
It seems hellbent on appealing to readers who are as afraid of losing their hips as they are of losing their hipness.
|Madonna: No Spring Chicken Anymore|
Look at who Rolling Stone profiled in this issue: a grey, balding Neil Young (someone ought to tell him that a day's growth of white facial hair is not cool), a granny-looking Madonna, Mick Jagger (who in his 70s is beginning to look an awful lot like Barney Fife) and, of course, the septuagenarian Beach Boys.
It also featured pictures of a quite shriveled Bob Dylan receiving a medal from Obama and looking like he is impatient for the waiter at the diner to bring his soup -- and semi-shriveled Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood doing some creepy old head butt greeting from their Faces days.
|Mick Jagger: |
Looking more like Barney Fife?
And the cover of the Rolling Stone doesn't seem to be the cover of the Rolling Stone anymore.
This one featured that young whippersnapper, Charlie Sheen. Not really known for his clean living and health food obsessions, the years have not been kind to young Charles.
On the cover, Charley, 47, face pock marked and lined, is puckering on a Marlboro and sporting a sagging t-shirt. He could readily pass for a 57 year old grammar school janitor, not exactly everybody's idea of young, hip.
|The years have not been kind to Charley|
But anyway, this edition devoted a full 7 page photo spread to the ongoing Beach Boys anniversary tour (they played 2 nights at the Chicago Theater in May) and I have to say it was kind of sad.
The Beach Boys, to my mind, captured and epitomized the youthful energy of the 60s, more than just about any other musical entity.
And today they are pictured, sitting in a diner over cheeseburgers, like so many Seal Beach retirees at the early bird special. They look really old and it is sad.
The Beach Boys actually promoted their reunion tour by performing on a QVC shopping network show -- their performance on the small set was pretty bad and the mere fact that they were at such a low-life venue was really sad.
What? Do these guys really need the money that badly?
When crooners like Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett continued performing well into their golden years there was nothing odd or incongruous about it. They were adults who always had performed adult music.
But rock and 60s/70s pop were the anthemic music of youth. Energy was the hallmark. And when the over-the-hill gang hangs on after much of the energy has dissipated and the youthful looks have faded, it just seems kind of wrong.
Two years ago, the Swedish pop supergroup ABBA was offered a cool $1 billion to do a reunion tour. At the insistence of the 2 girls, Agnetha and Anna Frida, they declined.
|ABBA in their prime|
ABBA passed up all that cash, because to them it was better to stay fixed in the popular mind -- like Garbo -- as they were in their beautiful prime.
If economic necessity isn't an issue, it would be nice if more of the old rock 'n roll greats would be so prudent.
In fact, I heard that during the Chicago stop on the Beach Boys tour, a groupie went up to Brian Wilson, took one look at him and said: "I'd invite you to come upstairs and have sex with me, but I doubt that you could manage either."
Here is the Beach Boys QVC channel performance from May 2012. These guys look like their idea of "Happy Hour" is nap time: