First posted on Mark Is Cranky:
The famous and influential master of the Sitar is now 85 years old (pictured at right with wife Sukanya).
Man, it's been a long, long time since I discovered my first Ravi Shankar record. My sister went out on her own at 18 or so, leaving behind (why, I'll never know) a whole pile of cool and current records.
In amongst the Beatles (White Album, Magical Mystery Tour), Cream (Wheels of Fire) and The Who (Tommy) there was an album by Ravi Shanker. I remember thinking that it was weird that the 'songs' were so long. And what the heck is a 'raga' anyway? No matter, since I was still immersing myself in this other music (and totally grooving on Ginger Baker's excessive drum solo on "Toad") I didn't think Shankar's music was all that out-there.
Shankar has gone on to enjoy a long and fruitful career. And, at 85 years, he's still got quite the tour schedule. (Check out tourdates at his website).
I hope I'm that productive at that age!
(There's also a cool story about Shankar over at Morning Edition)