The Zen of Aging Rockers

No, not that kind.

Last night I was sifting through some old Sex Pistols and Stooges videos on Youtube.  Yeah, I do stuff like that sometimes.  While I was going through the hundreds of results, I stumbled upon this:

It’s the Sex Pistols on David Letterman, in 1996 when they reunited (for the first time?) for a tour and some appearances.  I love the Sex Pistols; they’re a unique brand of music that’s simultaneously musically energetic and painfully offensive, and shouldn’t be heard by 99% of the population.  If you listen to Nevermind the Bollocks Johnny Rotten sounds like a decaying, sneering version of some sort of demon.  He’s a voice I wouldn’t want to meet in an alleyway, or even a brightly-lit room while protected by ninjas (that might be an over the top description.  I’m sorry.).  If you see him in the some of those 1970s television appearances he looks like a good punk-rocker should, whatever that really is.  Now, he looks like a clown and seems to be a little bit of a money/attention/fame whore.  That’s very unpunk of you, Mr. Lydon.  You’ve turned into a joke and a silly mime of what you used to be and your music suffers because of it.

On the other hand you have a guy like Mick Jagger, who, while some deride the Stones as a pack of old dinosaurs (which they are), I think has aged pretty gracefully.  He’s 94 years old, still looks pretty good, takes good care of himself and has a classic look about him.  He’s an elder statesman of rock and roll, having lived the lifestyle for all of his 103 years.  Unlike John Lydon, he’s not trying to be the same rocker he was in 1974, or 1912, or 1889.  Even while lacking a truly great release in the past decade or so, Jagger’s not hanging on by a thread trying to recreate his glory years of the early 1920s.  Not bad for a 118 year old.  Not bad at all.

To the point:  John Lydon, get over yourself, you look ridiculous.  What a joke.

I’d still go see The Sex Pistols if they came to Philly.


About Brian

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