July 14, 2015 – 10:25 am


Picture by Robert Scheer, posted at

The road.

You gotta hand it to BB King. Rockin’ to the end albeit near the end, some of the shows were quite a hoot due to his illness.

But from rock’s past were many bluesmen who journeyed singing and playing to a ripe old age. Muddy Waters, Sonny Boy Williamson, Johnny Shines, John Lee Hooker to name a few. While their stars may have faded, still they put on a good show.

Can the same be said of today’s multi-million dollar superstars? Why is it so hard for rock to age “gracefully”? Clue from Frank Zappa: We’re only in it for the money.

Give these sample tracks a listen.
Click on the respective links to download the tracks.

Track 01. Mick Jagger (The Rolling Stones) - You Can’t Always Get What You Want
[Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indianapolis, Indiana; July 4, 2015]

Track 02. Roger Daltrey (The Who) - Picture Of Lily
[Glastonbury, Pilton, Somerset, UK; June 28, 2015]

Track 03. Bob Dylan - Autumn Leaves
[San Daniele del Friuli, Campo Base, Italy; June 27, 2015]

Track 04. Robert Plant - Rock And Roll
[The Mann Center for Performing Arts, Philadelphia, PA; June 17, 2015]

Track 05. Paul McCartney - Got To Get You Into My Life
[Nippon Budokan, Tokyo, Japan; April 28, 2015]

Track 06. David Lee Roth (Van Halen) - Running With The Devil
[White River Amphitheatre, Auburn, WA; July 5, 2015]

So, should they stay or should they go?

Your no B.S. comments will earn you a pass to free music.


More B.S. Contest No. 1 (click here)
More B.S. Contest No. 2 (click here)
More B.S. Contest No. 3 (click here)
More B.S. Contest No. 4 (click here)
More B.S. Contest No. 5 (click here)
More B.S. Contest No. 6 (click here)
More B.S. Contest No. 7 (click here)

Contest No. 01 / Contest No. 02 / Contest No. 03 / Contest No. 04 / Contest No. 05
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Contest No. 26 / Contest No. 27 /

  1. 40 Responses to “THE MORE B.S. CONTEST No. 8”

  2. There are many prolific modern Day bluesmen filling concert halls these days. Very finished, very polished and technically brilliant. They obviously adored the Blues greats, BB King, Hooker, Waters etc and studied and learnt from them. It is easy to spot their influences when you hear them play covers and original songs, but sadly, on the whole, their playing is soulless, no feeling, bland. Whilst I can admire the prodigies’ efforts, they lack the heart and soul that the masters experienced for themselves when they originally planned their classics.

    By Daijj on Jul 15, 2015

  3. theres an argument to be made where one side would say this is art or that isnt. the blues is something that it isnt too inconceivable for us to imagine an aging old man sitting on a stool groaning and bellowing and moaning out from the 20s thru today. even when it was new and fresh nearly 100 yrs ago the people who did it best were 40 50 60 70 yrs old. for the blues or jazz there seems to be no age limit. and clearly theyre not in it for the money it may offer. sure many musicians got into it for the money in the 50s and 60s with the advent of rock n roll. but as muddy said the blue had a baby and they named it rock n roll. perhaps it was rock that created the monster that inspires musicians to seek that mighty dollar. or maybe it inspires people to find a way to get other things they want.. sex fame power attention..etc.
    once they get where they want to be.. they can become creative and actually say what they wanna say. i think that at a certain point they dont know if they should quit or if they need to keep giving to their fans. how many of us get the chance or have the nerve to ask them why theyre still doing it at 70 or 80 yrs old when they probably should have stopped? i certainly wouldnt suggest asking these musicians that question. first of all theyd probably hit me. but 2ndly its rude and mean. who am i to suggest they shouldnt do what they wish. i dont have to listen to it.. buy it or go to the shows. people who dont realize how bad it is.. can certainly keep tuning in if they wish. its their money. lol.
    granted some kept their abilities til the end or near it. others surely didnt even tho they kept on keeping on. and still others knew when to stop. but again who am i or who are we to say when?? unless of course we are so educated that we are in the know. personally i feel i am. but then dont we all think that about ourselves?
    i think rock ages badly because it is less emotional and more physically demanding than other styles of music. i mean there are variations of blues where our musicians surely put their entire bodies and hearts and minds into their performances so surely those perfs wouldnt be the ones i mean. anyone who saw stevie ray in 83-88 or so.. knows that he lost weight at every show. perhaps not as much as meatloaf did from 77-90 but its a totally different world of music as i say.
    some musicians have to stop with what they do earlier on. its just wrong to envision a 60 yr old punking out. and while there are teenagers screeching out the blues and pretty f’n well i might add.. i just dont buy it. they cant feel it like bb or jl hooker did. i still love my musicians from the 60s and 70s. and i like my musicians to be my age or older.. with a few exceptions. but they really do need to know when to stop.

    By darth on Jul 15, 2015

  4. btw is the paul mccartney title a joke?

    By darth on Jul 15, 2015

  5. If the audience is still there - and willing to pay money - why not? There are obviously reasons beyond the purely musical why the fans continue to show up.
    Dylan, at least, continues to write new material and work some of it into his shows. But when the audience wants to hear “greatest hits” it would be foolish not to deliver.
    Personally, I am not the least interested in 2015 versions of “Satisfaction” or “My Generation” either live or from BigO but clearly many want this.

    By Tom Jackson on Jul 15, 2015

  6. Keep on Rockin’ In The Free World was goin’ through my mind, even when Neil Young is not on his best. I’m happy to be free to choose the music I like, to go to the concerts of old aged rock musicians.

    By elke on Jul 15, 2015

  7. God bless these guys for still pushing it and giving a good show. If they were not playing, who would be there to fill the stadiums and Bruce Springsteen and U2? They are no different than Muddy Waters and the boys. The only difference is, the Stones, Who and others are making a bunch more money.

    By Bubbles on Jul 16, 2015

  8. I`m sure it hits some of these guys and gals that suddenly they aren`t 18 or 22 any longer and they`ve been doing this so long its really all they know.
    Everyone has the right to earn a living in fact I wish more people would try just that.

    By sluggo on Jul 16, 2015

  9. The Rolling Stones 2015 Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
    As many times as I’ve PAID to see the band in the past I knew this was one time too many. The Stones are on a downward spiral. They should bag it like Led Zep did with Celebration Day. This is nothing more that a crass & overblown press junket to promote reissues while taking maximum $$$’s while on the road.
    Them making a “living” and continuing their craft isn’t the issue. These characters are nothing more than re-treading on classics. The second class renditions of the songs is proof enough. Surely they can’t be on tour to need money-

    By John PMcNea III on Jul 16, 2015

  10. I actually think McCartney’s doing a good job keeping fresh. His last record was occasionally pretty good and he’s working with young talent like Kanye West and Mark Ronson. I respect that he’s still trying new things and putting himself out there. As for The Who, they’re basically just covering themselves at this point.

    By Maria on Jul 16, 2015

  11. I don’t think we should be any more demanding of iconic bands than we are of ourselves. If you don’t like the way they sound or look, stay home. I’ve yet to hear any younger bands that can take me somewhere the older ones you reference above haven’t already taken me. That said, I can understand the perspective that these guys are mostly just repeating themselves ad nausem. They make the argument, “Well, if you’re only going to see one Stones show, you’d want to hear all the hits.” Ok, sure, but doesn’t that shortchange those of us who keep coming back? Those of us who’ve heard them perform the same hits at every show since (in the Stones’ case) 1975? So I would never tell the Stones or the other acts mentioned to retire just because they’re getting redundant - and once again, I can’t honestly say that anyone new is doing anything that moves me more than they do. Here’s what I really wish - I wish acts like the Stones would get their spark back, get totally inspired again, surprise us, offend us even - play something they really want to play just for the thrill of it, and if the audience doesn’t like it, they can f**k off. Isn’t that why we loved them in the first place?

    By Jim on Jul 16, 2015

  12. They shouldn’t go!
    Though they’re in it for the money, ok, but there’s more than that, don’t you reckon? The Stones have got all the money they want, they could pack it in as simple as that.
    Long live the grandaddies of rock!

    By frank on Jul 16, 2015

  13. They should stay. They still hold the public imagination. Robert Plant is still successful following his muse into English folk and rockabilly. Paul McCartney is still making strong pop records and concerts with an energy defying his age. Even Roger Daltrey made a fine album with Wilko Johnson which was a celebration of life after a terminal cancer diagnosis. And consider the godfather of them all: Tony Bennett, on his third straight number one album of whom Lady GaGa said, “HE saved MY career.” Some are willing to blaze new trails, others want to keep the music alive. People want to keep their memories alive too. Keep that open mind in the concert hall and you are sure to “go home ‘appy.” as Pete told Glastonbury.

    By Tony on Jul 17, 2015

  14. Hey, just a couple further thoughts… I think what we really should be alarmed about isn’t that our heroes are getting old. What we should be alarmed about is that the new musical landscape is so bland and half-baked. When’s somebody new going to come up with some music that “fires my imagination”? And mostly unrelated to that thought, I saw two Hot Tuna acoustic shows last month, and they were wonderful. Both Jorma and Jack are in their ’70s, but if anything they’ve gotten better with age. The moral - just doing your thing and being happy with is bound to make at least some other people happy too.

    By Jim on Jul 18, 2015

  15. I agree with the comments about McCartney and Bennett - they may both be past their peak, but they still sound great and have plenty left to offer.

    One older performer who should consider hanging it up is Gordon Lightfoot. I saw him about a year ago and his voice was just a shell of its former self. His longtime band still sounded great, and Gordon’s own guitar playing was rock-solid, but the rich voice that we remember from his hit recordings is just about gone.

    By MrBill on Jul 18, 2015

  16. I say rock till you drop. I love making records myself. If I was in their shoes, I would think playing in front of an audience would keep me feeling younger.

    By Phil on Jul 18, 2015

  17. Was the Stones concert at Indianapolis Motor Speedway sold out?
    Was Dylan’s San Daniele del Friuli concert sold out?
    As long as people are willing to pay to listen why should the artistes not satisfy the demand?
    Nobody is forcing you whingers to pay for tickets, and no-one will force you to listen.
    But you keep listening, Then whingeing. Why bother being boring old trolls? You’re was less entertaining than the people you criticise, so just back off and belt up. The artistes are not hurting you. In fact they’ve never heard of you and could not give a flying fuck what you think - they’re playing for people who want to hear them, not for you.
    If you don’t like something, go find something else to rub yourself up against and leave others to live how They wish to live.

    By Tony on Jul 19, 2015

  18. Just saw the Stones in Buffalo. Absolutely amazing show. They were having a blast. They don’t need the fucking money. Don’t torch them if you haven’t seen the show.

    By mezzrow on Jul 20, 2015

  19. There comes a time when one can no longer do the same routine and things one did when younger. There comes a time when one has to cede and let others take over and strut their stuff, shine in the lights and wow the audiences just as one once did.

    By Jacques on Jul 22, 2015

  20. They Should Stay. I saw Howlin’ Wolf less than three years before he passed. You could tell he was in ill health but he put on a show anyway. I saw Steve Goodman just before he passed. He, too, was in ill health but played and sang wonderfully. Even though some feel that, for example, the Stones are “not the only one(s) with mixed emotions.”, this may be a Fan’s last chance to see them Live. The best song I’ve ever heard about this quandary is Bread’s Guitar Man.

    By Britinvdon on Jul 23, 2015

  21. Rock and roll, the music of young people, is quintessentially the aural embodiment of immortality and an “in your face” to the elder generation. It is about passion, energy and what is relevant to the youth of the day. Those kinds of sentiments don’t age well. But it still “plays” to the original audience that ages with it. The music of the dinosaurs can talk to the geezers and fill the heart, mind and spirit with the memories and promises of youth even when the body can no longer fulfill the urge (to extrapolate Lowell George).

    And there’s there’s someone like Neil Young whose music keeps marching along with the concerns and sentiments of his contemporary life. He remains within his skin current and uncomfortable, talking to us not out of the past, but about today and tomorrow. The body’s a little creakier and the mind more experienced and broader in its scope. It’s less about swaying to the sensual aspect of the intellect as it is keeping the intellect sparked and owning its actions. He’s not selling the past, it seems to me, he’s selling us on our ability and need to act in the now.

    The now is all we have. And our now is both informed by memories made and by the goals we wish to be achieved. No one else’s now is inhabited by my memories nor by my goals. But my smile shines on all who may look my way. And in that lies a responsibility. It’s easier to sustain a smile by enjoying what is than by judging it.

    By Tibro on Jul 24, 2015

  22. I saw Springsteen 2 nights at Mohegan Sun last year. At 64 Bruce continues to raise the bar for the concert experience. He digs deep into his extensive catalog, reinvents old songs in a new light, covers other artists making their songs sound like he wrote them, all with just a small dose of superhuman energy.
    Bruce should stay as long as he wants. Ditto for the E Street Band…

    By TDC on Jul 24, 2015

  23. I think the old blues men kept playing because they needed the money. There were no Roth IRA’s when Robert Johnson was playing the dances around Clarksdale. There are two exceptions that I can thing of, B. B. King and Buddy Guy.They were both able to hang around long enough to get some big paydays. As for the present day old rockers, I think it is money and ego that keeps them going. Since CD sales are down for everyone not named Taylor Swift, bands found touring, even without a hit record could be very lucrative. Old rockers also need that public adulation that comes from being a rock star. What better way to stroke Bono’s Grand Canyon size ego than to step out in front of thousands and thousands of screaming fans? I took a pass on the last Stones tour. I have paid to see quite a few Rolling Stones concerts and the thing I find is that although Mick can still put on a great show, the playing lacks the intensity (or maybe fire)it once did. Keith has medical problems for sure and his playing has deteriorated. I didn’t find the 2015 concerts Bigo provided were very good, yet everyone has to say it was the best tour ever. I don’t care what The Who or any other band does, but the Rolling Stones are near and dear to my heart. I think they should stop before they take up that six month residency on the Strip in Las Vegas.

    By Mackster on Jul 26, 2015

  24. If you pay, they will play, don’t like the old hits past their prime, stay home and listen to a calsi

    By Liam on Jul 26, 2015

  25. classic album instead

    By Liam on Jul 26, 2015

  26. Its more than money. A lot of this has to do with ego. I imagine that most of these guys have had it stroked for countless decades that they need it stroked again & again to feel some level of self worth. Plus, regardless of how it sounds from a musical standpoint, they sound like they’re having fun (except Dylan who never sounds like he’s actually having fun or Daltry who sounds like he’s in pain).

    To answer your question, they should stay. What else are these guys gonna do?

    By Andrew on Jul 29, 2015

  27. Robert Plant sounded great in the clip you provided. That guy has always found a way to craft his changing voice around the music. I had to turn everyone else off. Utter crap.

    That said…keep on rockin’ if you want to.

    By Andrew on Jul 29, 2015

  28. They’re still putting butts in the seats and making people happy so more power to them, I suppose. I prefer to engage with the music of today (while still listening to a lot of the classics from these guys at their peaks, of course). I wrote a post about this recently, read on if you like:

    By Jeremy Shatan on Jul 29, 2015

  29. Musicians and singers should keep performing as long as they are enjoying it. It’s the public that will help tell them when it is no longer enjoyable to a wide-spread audience. Then the performers will have to determine if they want to keep doing it. There is no doubt that these performers’ “prime” days are behind them, but that doesn’t mean it still can’t be enjoyable to them and the fans.

    By Kevin on Jul 31, 2015

  30. They should stay…there’s obviously a big market for them. If the baby boomers want to pay way too much for artists past their prime…so what? And if the aging artists are willing and able to perform, so be it. Personally though, I’d say the Stones are a bit over the top playing the same old stuff. At least Dylan has evolved his sound and changed dramatically through the years.

    By steve22 on Jul 31, 2015

  31. They’re not in it for the money,
    They are in it for the groupies!

    By sking on Aug 2, 2015

  32. The Ventures (est 1958) are currently in the middle of a 32 dates tour of Japan. Suck on that!

    By Tom L on Aug 4, 2015

  33. One of the newcomers that has been working very hard for 12 years is Vermont USA Rocker Mrs Grace Potter. She leaves everything she has on stage every night. She allows us fans to take her shows home with her free form audio recording policy. People are started to notice her opening for the Stones and sitting in with Gov’t Mule and the ABB. She is also well grounded and loves the place she comes from. She still talks and hangs out with us fans after shows and greed has not gone to her pretty head!

    By Steven J Yeaton on Aug 9, 2015

  34. We are all aware that the “prime years” of these legends may have passed, but as a father of an 8 & 10 year old, the “shared experience” of seeing the Stones in Indy or Van Halen with DLR or Sir Paul at Lollapalooza with my kids is powerful.

    By Vincent Brennan on Aug 13, 2015

  35. They should stay. Sadly all of the new music is not as good as the music that the old folks are still creating. Neil Young has several great and several bad (real bad) albums since he turned 50. I would still rather hear him create crap then try to convince myself that the Black Keys or Tame Impala are great.

    By John on Aug 18, 2015

  36. Case by case basis I think. If they’re still having fun and people still want to see them, then let it be. I think McCartney still sounds good, not young, but good.

    By Peter Nixon on Aug 21, 2015

  37. “Why don’t they pack it in?” Because, musicians get better with age. They may have to adjust their voices to compensate for lack of range or tone, but the good ones do.

    By NAMoosedog on Sep 13, 2015

  38. I don’t mind them getting old, its when they get derivative or are phoning it in for the payday. that bothers me

    By Walter on Dec 23, 2015

  39. maybe the october festival in the colorado desert will be the swan song for this generation of old musicians, a great way to go gracefully into that desert night

    By Liam NSW on Sep 14, 2016

  40. If the musicians feel a passion to continue to perform, they are obligated to present a genuine and entertaining product to the paying audience.

    Simple as that

    By BGS on Jun 12, 2018

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