I've often been known to mutter, "Life was so fun until David Lee Roth started losing his hair." With the recent announced reformation of Led Zeppelin, the Police, and Van Halen, it’s time to take a look at the relevance of our aging rock stars.
Continuing recording relevance: 7
Ability as a live act: 10
Bat crazy in his personal life, but suddenly financially brilliant, no one can match his catalog or on-stage brilliance. He’s still likely to release a six-hour record that you can’t begin to filter, but it wouldn’t surprise me in the least to see him release a new monster single.
Led Zeppelin: Jimmy Page 63, Robert Plant 59, John Paul Jones 61
Continuing recording relevance: Won’t happen
Ability as a live act: Unknown
After seeing Page in the mid-'80s, I was sure he was close to death, and he’s been a musical non-entity for years. An embarrassing Live Aid reunion performance was blamed on Phil Collins. Fans will be excited to see the one off live gig, but with Jason Bonham now 9 years older than the age his father reached, it’s hard to expect much fire.
The Police: Sting 55, Andy Summers 64, Stuart Copeland 55
Continuing recording relevance: Won’t happen.
Ability as a live act: 9
With Sting becoming perhaps the most boring man alive, it was time to give in, cash in the 401k and rejoin his fellow law enforcement officers. Luckily, they did so with their chops intact.
Van Halen: David Lee Roth 53, Eddie Van Halen 52, Alex Van Halen 54
Continuing recording relevance: 4
Ability as a live act: 4
Who didn’t want this to happen? Unfortunately, it’s ten years too late. Dave has not only re-recorded his hits with a bluegrass album, but more importantly his voice is completely shot. Eddie is about 1,000 shots of Jack Daniels past his prime and easy as it is to mock Michael Anthony’s importance, Roth’s pipes will need his soaring backing vocals more than ever. Expect a train wreck of a tour that may not even reach its final planned date.
Bob Dylan: 66
Continuing recording relevance: 10
Ability as a live act: 5
Dylan, who once seemed like a spent creative force, somehow pulled out of the nosedive and became without a doubt the most relevant aging rocker of all time. Brilliant albums, a great XM radio show, a lauded autobiography, a great Scorsese documentary, and what looks to be a fascinating upcoming interpretation of his life by filmmaker Todd Haynes, Dylan is on top of the world, and refuses to stop touring.