In case you haven’t noticed lately, there has been an alarming “rash” of losses among many of our great musicians and performers lately. Some are even great ones I have teamed up with, such as Levon Helm, Earl Scruggs, Doc Watson, Jerry Reed, Doug Dillard and many more…some quite elderly, and some way too young to die.
It all has to give everyone food for thought about making sure you see the greats before they pass on. There are so many great performers these days who are really getting up there. All you have to do is mention certain “elderly” greats such as Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Dion, Pete Seeger, B.B. King, Glen Campbell (who is sick), and even the older bands such as The Stones, etc.. Everyone is “getting up there”, and it certainly proves that Rock n’ Roll, even though a “young” medium, has also grown up along with many of its creators. The Blues artists have always grown quite old, and played deep into their lives, usually due to the fact that they were “rediscovered” so late in life. They simply had to come back to life, so that all those Blues fans of the 50s, 60s and onward could see these legendary heroes they had only heard about, or seen only in photographs!
Well, it never stops being true, as all our great rockers, Blues greats, Country legends and more are aging, we must get out and see them, and support them, and support the live music we so need to hear and to keep those traditions alive. In the end, we all may end up as elderly musicians, and one great and happy thing I have to report is that certainly from my standpoint, I have found that my creativity has done nothing but grow, the older I get! I think if someone comes out to see me now at the age of 59, they’d be getting a more interesting show than if they’d seen me when I was say, 22 years old. It just seems to work that way, and it’s definitely good news for us players who intend to stick around for awhile!
So, I certainly encourage you, one and all, to go out and see the “greats” before they are gone! It’s doing the right thing, and most of all, you will forever be enriched by the experience! It’s the best learning you can do!!