In a recent Wall Street Journal article, the reporter examined the appropriate time for an aging musician to retire – specifically music legend Bob Dylan. The piece brought up some thought-provoking questions: Should an aging rocker go out on top? Or, should he/she keep going to the very end – despite losing fans and perhaps, respect in the process?
Fans pay good money to see music performances, and if they shovel out $80 to see a top billing and that artist can’t even sing – is that fair to the fans? Is that fair to the musician? And when is enough, enough?
For this very reason, I continue to refuse to shell out $100+ to see Van Morrison in concert. The reports say that it’s just not worth the money – he just doesn’t have it anymore. As much as I would love to see him, I just can’t visualize spending that kind of money for a show that just isn’t good.
This isn’t to say every artist’s talent expires with age. In fact, some musicians can still belt it out and continue to have successful careers throughout the golden years. Roger Waters anyone?
So who makes the decision? If the musician is still making money from touring, I can only assume the manager won’t say anything. So how does an artist decide when it’s the right time to hang up the guitar strings? It’s not like there’s “Retirement Idol,” where aging musicians can perform before judges and a live audience to determine if they should continue on or retire. (FOX if you would like to steal this show idea, please contact me as I am willing to discuss).
Of course, one could argue that in the end, it’s really up to the fans. If people are still willing to pay money to see an artist, then why would that musician give it all up? If a rock star has been popular for so long, I can only imagine how difficult it would be to wave goodbye to the spotlight and money. However, if folks stop turning up to see their beloved aging rock star, then perhaps it’s time to consider retirement.
Photo by F. Antolín HernándezRead More