There comes a certain point in life where retirement is inevitable. Most civilians have to wait until their 60’s before they can even think about retiring from work. Conversely, most major sport athletes are not expected to continue working past their 30’s or 40’s. If only some well-established musicians decided to retire from music, fans would not have to turn away due to “washed-up” artists.
Of course, there are exceptions as with any other theory ever logically constructed. For instance, Paul McCartney will be 72 years young this June. While he may be far past his “prime,” he continues to properly perform to his celebrity level standards, not to mention he put out a solid set of new material in the form of New in 2013. With that said, his type of music does not require much movement to maintain an enjoyable concert atmosphere. Sir Paul has also perfected his brand of stage presence without exerting too much energy on stage. Considering his age, that is a key skill to possess. No fan wants to see their favorite music idol drop dead on stage from a heart attack.
Continuing with that last point, it is only a matter of time before Ozzy Osbourne and the rest of the Sabbath gents permanently retire, willingly or not. Ozzy aimlessly bounces around on stage, missing vocal notes and keys in almost every line while performing live. The Prince of Darkness is not what he used to be, considering how much toxicity he has ingested over the years. As for the others, Tony Iommi is currently fighting cancer. Geezer Butler seems to be healthy, at least in comparison to his band mates. In terms of age, all three are in their 60’s and not getting any younger. It is actually surprising how excellent 13 turned out. That would be a phenomenal departure release once they complete this grueling world tour.
To clarify, I love Black Sabbath, but they are not honoring their legacy if they keep going until fate takes them.
Another example is The Rolling Stones. Although they have not been in the limelight recently, that Super Bowl performance several years ago should never have happened. Old Mick Jagger prancing around in tights is a disturbing image burned into millions of viewers’ eyes for eternity.
While “washed-up” musicians may be ruining their respective legacies by continuing until they physically cannot, we should respect their wishes, as fans. They won’t be around forever and if they don’t keep doing what they love, how will they keep busy? What would keep them wanting to live if not their lifelong passion?