Who's Too Old To Rock & Roll?

It's entirely possible that the Rolling Stones and Paul McCartney will each go on tour this year. With ages ranging from 63 to 69 among the four remaining core Stones, the band is obviously the oldest continuing touring rock act, capable of breaking ticket records almost 50 years into the game.

Macca, the most marketable surviving Beatle, is 68 years old, still recording great records and making surprisingly funny pop-culture cameos, including his "Yesterday" appearance on Jimmy Fallon.

People may scoff, but these guys are still kicking and making their mark as legends even as people their own age are supposed to be reaching for walkers, wheelchairs and canes. Robert Plant, 62, can still belt with trademark yowl, and Ozzy Osbourne, also 62, commanded the crowd like a dictator just this past week at Toyota Center. Lemmy Kilmister just turned 65 this past Christmas Eve, and he still punishes audiences with volume.

(This has been your Daily Rocks Off Lemmy Tidbit.)

These rock pioneers and country artists is that they are not aging conventionally, or going off into the dark silently. They still tour and pack houses, even if the younger set looks at them aghast as some sort gray-haired horde of zombies.

But sometimes age hasn't been kind to some of them, and the usual effects of life on humans on Earth takes it's toll. You can dye your hair, whiten your teeth, and get a facelift, but when it comes to vital organs, arms, and legs, and even your own sanity, things get harder to fake.

The first artist on our list, Jerry Lee Lewis, play's Nutty Jerry's in Winnie tonight. We should have a full report on him on Monday morning.

Let's look at the troubadors who have cleared the 65-year mark and grade their gigging ability.

Jerry Lee Lewis (75)

Shaky. He's a legend and the last of the Million Dollar Quartet, but you may be paying more for a curiosity than a musical showcase.

No. Please hang it up. Write a book, and remember to include all the dirty stuff if you can.

Ray Price (85)

All indications we have heard point to Price still being on top, with his voice in fine shape.

Yes, for sure. Hook up with Jack White and do some damage too.

Loretta Lynn (78)

The voice is all there, but she usually sits in a chair the whole set. Spry in spirit as ever, and funny to boot.

Yes, for sure. Crank out another album out while you can.

Bob Dylan (69)

Live, the voice is mutating into a croak as the years go by, but on record he's still smooth. It's the live show that seems to be bothering people these days.

Eh, we love it, but to each his own. We will take any Bob any day.

Chuck Berry (84)

He did have that health scare a few weeks back, but reports say that he returned to the stage after a respite and smoked the crowd. He plays Nutty Jerry's on March 4, so we will tell you how that goes.

Eh...not so sure. He is a pill to work with, we hear.

Willie Nelson (77)

Duh. Play on, Willie. We will be there. See you February 4. We are bringing extra lighters, too.

Light it up!

George Jones (79)

We haven't heard anything specific, but we haven't heard anything spectacular about the gray Possum recently.

Jury is still out.

Merle Haggard (73)

The Hag was on point last year at Verizon and Mo's Place.

Hook up an album with the Black Keys, Hag. Trust us.

Rod Stewart (65)

He's still young at heart and in the pants. He's been searching into pop's past with winning results for the past decade, rehashing the great American songbook. It's not always hip, but he can still make your mom get a little sweaty.

Reportedly coming back to Houston with Stevie Nicks in the summer.

B.B. King (85)

We have never heard that he's been a sub-par show, even at 85. He has survived a ton of health scares, so any chance to see him should be taken. You just never know when Jimi Hendrix gets the flu in heaven and God needs another headliner.

Shaky. At least see him to see blues history come alive.

Buddy Guy (74)

We saw Buddy Guy a few years back at House of Blues and he was lethal and fun. He roamed the room with a wireless guitar for a good 20 minutes.


David Allan Coe (71)

We heard a story about an oxygen mask that made us feel kinda sad. All indications point to Coe still being a fun live show most of the time.

Eh...hit or miss.

Eric Clapton (65)

He's past making pop albums, entrenching himself in the blues again, honing a craft that made him God. Last year's Clapton was a killer, with some of the most menacing licks in some years from the man. He's getting ornery.

Good to go.

Debbie Harry (65)

She doesn't exactly look like a punk princess anymore, more like a cool punk grandma. We hear that the highs aren't as high anymore, either.

Eh... It's not 1979 anymore.

The Who (Roger Daltrey, 66; Pete Townshend, 65)

You ask us and we will say that the Who died with Keith Moon and John Entwistle, but these two were the pretty, flashy side of the band. Seeing them would be a treat, but not a necessary trip. All that aside, they still sound great live from what we have seen and heard.

Eh... Purists may balk, but for a history lesson, these two are unbeatable.

John Fogerty (65)

You can hear all the CCR songs, along with "Centerfield," so there are no gripes. Now all the CCR cuts just sound grizzlier too.

Put him in coach, he's ready to play... er, tour.

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Craig Hlavaty
Contact: Craig Hlavaty