Young people flock to see septuagenarians perform because they are rock stars. But aren’t all 70-somethings rock stars in some one’s mind?
Asking if Ageism is dead might seem like a funny question. We see ageism every day. But last week I was fortunate enough to go to a sold-out Billy Joel concert at Madison Square Garden. I was expecting to see an average age close to 60, since most of Billy Joel’s hits were from the 1970s, back when I was a teenager. And I remember them well. But I was shocked to see so many people in their 20’s, 30’s and 40’s. For one 20-something I met, it was his fifth time seeing Billy Joel.
He played all his hits, from the 1970s, and when they finally let the crowd move up and surround the stage, I could swear I saw Lori Alford, Mandi Hogan and KBG dancing around, and possibly Rick Matros and the ubiquitous Scotto Stewart. I just know they would have been there. So I guess my question is, how does ageism exist in a world where so many “younger” people crowd in to watch a bald, overweight 70-year old perform. And boy does he does perform.
If we can revere aging rock stars, why can’t we revere plain older people, who maybe were just rock stars to their families? Next up for me is Elton John in the New Year. He will be 73 when I see him, and he still rocks it. Ageism may not be dead, but maybe there is something to learn from this.