How Old is ‘Too Old’ to be Involved With Music?
Paul Cantor

Good article if you changed the title for this article by adding the word “pop” in between “with” and “music.” Article definitely doesn’t apply to all musicians or styles of music and in many cases, they got better with age (Johnny Cash, BB King, Ray Charles, even branching into EDM as Fatboy Slim and more recently Daft Punk (who are both over 40) it’s an endless list crossing many genres and styles). Then you have some iffy grey area when it comes to rock when you get to bands like Aerosmith or Rolling Stones who still rock and kinda pull it off but are past their prime, I’d even put U2 in this category personally because I wished they had gone away a long time ago. But the one and only genre where it generally just doesn’t and won’t work is true radio pop. Does anyone want to see Katy Perry in 20–30 years? How about Charli XCX, Taylor Swift or Nicki Minaj? Not to just pick on women (cause there’s another unfair aspect to that regarding society’s sexist expectations about appearance that supports Fat Elvis and Meatloaf but chides a gracefully aging Madonna or Tina Turner) How about Bieber, Jason Derulo, Maroon 5 just to pick a few at random off today’s Billboard pop charts — excited and eager to see them still around in 20–30 years? To experience the growth of their “art” into its mature form? That’s just it — it’s whether what they are doing is “Art” or “Entertainment” — it can be both, but that’s rare. And truly great bands/musicians of any genre are the ones where it is both, and where it’s easy to say a resounding “YES!!” to that question. A perfect example of this in my opinion, is to quote Bono’s take on the brilliant Trent Reznor song Hurt and it’s poignant and superior cover by Johnny Cash — “Trent Reznor was born to write that song, but Johnny Cash was born to sing it. The latter will definitely by remembered for a very long time for authoring and performing art within his genre. The former will likely be remembered but Trent is in that awkward phase of deciding whether he’ll be both an artist and an entertainer, and what lasting legacy he’ll leave behind. I think he’s a potentially brilliant artist but I’m still a little hesitant to say a loud and resounding YES!! to whether or not I look forward to hearing what he’ll be creating to in 20–30 years.

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