Jeremy Wagner's Grotesque Blessings #2
The Elder Gods
by: Jeremy Wagner
In this new installment of my Grotesque Blessings, I want to raise a toast to the Elder Gods. "The Elder Gods?" you ask. Yes, the Elder Gods, those rock / metal men and women who are at least 50 years old and still writing hard music and performing.

There's a saying in the realms of metal and rock: "If it's too loud, you're too old." For the Elder Gods, it's -never- too loud... and as for age, it seems to only be a number as the Elder Gods still tear it up and headline shows worldwide while younger bands struggle to do more than two shows in a row without feeling burned out.

I just turned 39 and still feel the hunger and drive to write and perform metal as I did when I was a teenager. But after reviewing this list of rock and metal legends, I see how far I have to go before I even consider myself "old". It strikes me as funny when I see younger guys and girls in bands who bitch and moan how sore they are after doing a show or how they don't see themselves doing music after age 30 -- as if they're gonna pack-up, grow old and gray before dying. Sheesh... the list of heroes below are still going at it, even at ages where most people are retired grandparents. You gotta admire the tenacity of these artists:

Ronald James Padavona, a.k.a. Dio: born July 10, 1942 (age 67)

James Patrick Page, a.k.a. Jimmy Page: born January 9, 1944 (age 65)

Ian Fraser Kilmister, a.k.a. Lemmy Kilmeister: born 24 December 1945 (age 63)

Vincent Damon Furnier, a.k.a. Alice Cooper: born February 4, 1948 (age 61)

Frank Anthony Iommi, a.k.a. Toni Iommi: born 19 February 1948 (age 61)

Theodore Anthony Nugent, a.k.a. Ted Nugent: born December 13, 1948 (age 60)

John Michael Osbourne, a.k.a. Ozzy Osbourne: born 3 December 1948 (age 60)

Chaim Witz, a.k.a. Gene Simmons: born August 25, 1949 (age 60)

Robert Alan Deal, a.k.a. Mick Mars: born May 4, 1951 (age 58)

Angus Young: born 31 March 1955 (age 54)

Carmelita Rosanna Ford, a.k.a. Lita Ford: born 19 September 1958 (age 50)

Up and comers worth noting:

David Scott Mustaine, a.k.a. Dave Mustaine: born September 13, 1961 (age 48)

Lars Johan Yngve Lannerb├Ąck, a.k.a. Yngwie Malmsteen: born June 30, 1963 (age 46)

James Hetfield: born August 3, 1963 (age 46)

Vincent Paul Abbott, a.k.a. Vinnie Paul: born March 11, 1964 (age 45)

Dorothee Pesch, a.k.a. Doro Pesch: born June 3, 1964 (age 45)

Kerry King: born June 3, 1964 (age 45)

David Vincent: born April 22, 1965 (age 44)

There are some people I've met who scoff at older, aging metal and rock legends, as if these influential artists should get off stage and jump into an old-folks-home. That's a crock of shit to me. As a guitarist, I love writing heavy music and performing it, and the Elder Gods have always given me inspiration.

The Rolling Stones inspire me, actually. I often fantasize about being the Keith Richards of metal in terms of "still doing it" when I'm over 60. Honestly, I have no problem with growing older. I love life. I figure as long as I still have my mental and motor skills, I can still write music and write fiction, I can still get it up and walk and talk normally, then I'd be happy to see myself turn 100 and jam on that day. By then I should have quite the catalog of metal under my belt.

(article submitted 14/9/2009)

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