When is a performer really, as Jethro Tull puts it, "too old to rock n roll?"


Eric Clapton performs at "12-12-12" Sandy relief concert (Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Clear Channel)

Eric Clapton has announced that he’ll stop touring when he turns 70 on March 30 2015 because he says getting from show to show is such a pain.

As the classic rockers continue to age, the question now comes up as to when is enough enough? Do you really want to hear a 70 year old Paul McCartney singing “She was just seventeen?” There comes a point even where hair dye and plastic surgery doesn’t cut it anymore and the performer looks more like a mutant than a rocker.

Rock n Roll was always a young people’s medium and it’s been great as we age to still be able to go and see the people who made the music that we love. It makes us reconnect with the time we first heard it, but will seeing them in their seventies make you feel young or remind you that you too are getting older?

The secret I think if a rocker is going to continue on is to write and sell new music for his generation. When John Lennon and Yoko Ono released Double Fantasy he said he hoped that the 16 year olds like it, but it was really written to the forty year olds that he himself was.

Bruce Springsteen is a perfect example of writing and performing to his current fan base which spans all ages. As we move into the septuagenarian years of these performers, it’s going to be interesting to see not only how long they can go, but how long we will pay exorbitant prices to see them.

At what age do you think a performer should stop performing live?