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Why Rock Stars Should Die Young

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If Elvis were still alive, he would have turned 71 today. The photo above is a computer simulation of how an older Elvis would appear. Maybe that is why it’s a good thing rock stars aspire to “live fast, die young and leave a good-looking corpse.” Who can imagine a 62-year-old Jim Morrison or 63-year-old Jimi Hendrix getting senior discounts at the multiplex?

Sure there are aged icons like Mick Jagger (62) and Paul McCartney (63) but everyone knows their glory days were years earlier. That’s because youth is the alchemy behind popularity. It drives what breaks big, beginning with teen fans finding heroes in performers not much older than themselves. Those artists in turn invent a new style that belongs to their generation, like The Doors did with the psychedelic set of the 60s or Kurt Cobain wrought with the 90s grunge movement. The same applies to celebrities and other notables now past whom we can only imagine as figures of a particular era. JFK shot dead in 1963 is forever young, never the 88-year-old he would be today. Same for his rumored paramour Marilyn Monroe, dead since the early 60s instead of a 79-year-old alive in 2006.

Here is list of famous dead stars and how old they would at this moment:

Elvis Presley (71)
Jim Morrison (62)
Jimi Hendrix (63)
Janis Joplin (63 next week)
Richie Valens (64)
Buddy Holly (69)
John Lennon (65)
Bob Marley (60)

Bruce Lee (65)
Pres. John F. Kennedy (88)
Sen. Robert Kennedy (80)
Marilyn Monroe (79)
Martin Luther King, Jr. (77 next week)
Peter Sellers (80)
James Dean (74)
John Belushi (57 next week)
Andy Kaufman (also 57 next week)
Sid Vicious (48)
Cliff Burton, former Metallica bassist (43)
Randy Rhoads, Ozzy’s former guitarist (49)

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About Chip Ross

  • Kudos for remembering Cliff Burton and Randy Rhoads, two really good musicians.

    Brian Jones would have been 64 this year.

    Frank Zappa would have been 66.

  • You picked some great ones here, Chip. We can look at McCartney or Jagger and say they should just give it up, but we will always wonder what Lennon and Elvis and the rest might have done.

  • I’m sure the boys of Green Day love you. 😉

    Anyway, interesting food for thought.

  • Bob Dylan turns 65 this year. The idea that rock belongs exclusively to youth is a lie he disproves every day.

  • Elvis could have eased into country stardom as he aged, since that genre is more forgiving of gray hair and wrinkles. Sad to say, it’s not like he left a good-looking corpse anyway.

  • I took a cheap shot at Elvis in my previous post and I apologize. Came out harsher than I intended. Rest in Peace.

    Find A Grave is an intriguing site. You can leave notes and virtual flowers (or crosses, angels, etc.) for the deceased.

    I wondered if people left negative notes, so I looked up Hitler and found that “The Virtual Flowers feature has been turned off for this memorial because it was being continually misused.” The little flower icon has a sad face – surreal.

    You can also vote on how famous the deceased was. Richard Nixon, whose birthday is today, has 4.6 stars. Hitler has 4.2.

  • I dont think you were harsh Sister Ray. When Elvis died at age 42 (I think) he was considered “fat” and over the hill. People regarded his younger days as his better ones (even voting so on the decision for the young Elvis vs. old Elvis stamp). It proves my point that in his youth he was of the young generation, shocking older folks, but by age 40 he had become the older generation. Superseded by hippies, acid rockers and eventually disco queens before his death. Breakthrough, emergence and edginess belongs to the young. Young Dylan had it, older Dylan may still rock but he is not forging a new scene any longer.

  • Nicker

    What about Ozzy he is getting old .. ?

  • kelly

    hey thats cool the photo of elvis how he would look now.. can you do hank williams and stevie ray vaughan?

  • jim jim

    elvis is no dead!!!!!!!!

  • Indrit

    Here is not the name of the greatest man :

  • and now Michael Jackson died young too .