There is a global problem with young people being unemployed. In comparison baby boomers have done very well. Should older people step aside and leave the young people to set the trends? Some apply this to old rockers like the Rolling Stones saying that they’re taking the limelight and denying many young musicians a chance to showcase their creativity – see this recent op ed by social commentator Will Self. I disagree with his argument for three reasons:
1. The music industry does not have a finite carrying capacity – there is plenty of scope to impassion everyone to get into music and for the industry to grow. The arts are rarely limited by top-down authorities.
2. If anything the older you get the more skilled a musician and songwriter you become. We can learn from and admire old masters, and this can inspire younger people to strive harder.
3. The only musicians who are worth their salt can play well live. To hang up your performing shoes, “retire”, and simply sell records is a cop out. Real musicians play their songs live to an audience, and don’t rely on computers and touch ups after recording to make themselves sound good.
You might have your own reasons for not liking bands the Rolling Stones, but don’t let the length of their careers be one of them.