Touring - it's not just for youngsters anymore

Not hitting The Wall at 63
Not hitting The Wall at 63

There was a time when senior citizens eyed summertime as a chance to settle back into the rocking chair, sip some iced tea and crack open a book. But that was before baby boomers ruled.

This summer, musical lifers like Joan Baez, BB King, Leonard Cohen and Roger Waters are putting down their issues of AARP and are cranking it up. Retirement age and bona fide seniors are taking to the road in unprecedented numbers this summer festival season - you might even say the golden yeared-ones are giving the likes of Man Man, Vampire Weekend and Hot Chip a little old-fashioned schooling.

Cohen, 73, reemerges after a long hiatus from touring to face the mud-caked throngs at Glastonbury. Baez, 67, Buddy Guy, 72, and Solomon Burke, 68, all join him at Glasto, while Willie Nelson (he turned 75 last month) and BB King, 83, hold down the stage at Bonnaroo.

Following 63-year-old Waters's lost-inflatable pig appearance at Coachella, he presses on with roadwork. Rod Stewart and Neil Young,
also mere tykes at 63, will turn up at Rock in Rio, Lisbon and Madrid, respectively, among other stops.

So how do they do it? Mega-vitamins and doctors-on-call? Soulman Burke has this sage advice: "Prayer and faith and knowing that if it's God's will, I'll make the dates and I'll return."

By Joe Bosso


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