Artists seldom want to retire. Nobody questions actors, painters and sculptors who continue to work at old age as long as health isn’t an issue. Music, however, is an art form that seems to hold different expectations depending on the genre the artist is associated with. Classical and jazz musicians spend decades on stage and no one says they should stop playing because they are too old. Rock musicians, however, often hear that they are still playing “despite their age”.
That kind of expectation, of course, comes from the strong connection that rock has always had with youth. Energy, aggressiveness and non-conformity have always been responsible for defining the genre’s main characteristics, even more than its strictly musical features. These traits fit perfectly to this hormones-driven stage of life, when youngsters basically want to be different from their parents and their values. In this intense and short numbered years it seems that rock is more an attitude than music.
Thinking in these terms, is it possible to carry these attributes when the hair is gray, rare or non-existent?
I wrote an article related to this series for the printed zine Aparelho Produtor de Imagens #1, published in Brazil, January 2020. You can read it online at my Medium.com page.
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