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Too old to rock & roll?


Crustee

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This thread

 

http://acapella.harmony-central.com/showthread.php?t=2614408

 

...got me thinking....

 

The last few bands I've responded to ads for have quickly disappeared when they found out how old I am (more than 40). Even though I have great vocal/guitar skills, stay in shape by hitting the gym at least 3 times a week, and am not afraid to dress the part, as well as play what's current whether I like it or not if it's what the crowd wants to hear.

 

Do we as musicians come with an expiration date tattoo'd on our foreheads?

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Some people will care; some won't. :idk:

 

Hell, I see adds specifying no one older than their 20's. Makes me feel old at 33. :o

 

I see a decent number of guys over 40 (not to mention a few ladies) in gigging bands around here, and I'm not even talking about covers.

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It depends... your username is "Crustee" is that how you view yourself. :thu:

It really depends on the project.

 

Seriously, we've had guys that have looked their age... and guys that look 10 years younger. You can look the part without having to act the part. Unless there is a huge generational gap in terms of age and attitude I think that talent will prevail sometimes.

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I guess it depends on the band. Some are younger folks who just don't want to hang out with older folks. I see those ads in CL all the time - "looking for good-looking awesome shredder between 18-25". Some older folks putting together bands do much the same thing - "looking for a bass player with a day job and loves playing (insert your decade here) music". Some don't care - they're hiring talent. I've got two - an acoustic group where the musicians are 52-55 and the singers are 25-26, and a classic rock band with players 35-55.

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It's all relative. When I was playing in a big-hair rock band in the 80s we hired a drummer whom we had admired for years and felt lucky to get. He was 27. We worried he was too old for us. (We are all about 23 at the time). We found later he was lying and was really 34. (Which helped explain why he didn't look 27). There WAS an age difference problem. He didn't enjoy hanging us the rest of us---he thought we were immature; we thought he drank too much. (Southern Comfort! Like my granddad). In fact, we called him "old man" and "grandpa" behind his back. Monster player though. But it didn't work out and we parted ways after a few months.

 

Seems completely ludicrious now but that was the reality at the time. I'm sure you dated girls when you were young that were a few years younger or older than you and the age difference seemed tremendous but now you look back and think "it was only five years difference. How could that POSSIBLY have been a big deal?"

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I'm 38, our drummer's 42, our bassist is 35 and our singer is a 21 year old female. And it works great. We hang out and have a lot of fun together. It's all about attitude. In general I'm more suited to hang with 25 year olds than 40 year olds, but that's cause I'm an immature boob :D

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I'm 38, our drummer's 42, our bassist is 35 and our singer is a 21 year old female. And it works great. We hang out and have a lot of fun together. It's all about attitude. In general I'm more suited to hang with 25 year olds than 40 year olds, but that's cause I'm an immature boob
:D

 

Yeah, but that's the opposite situation: a hot young singer willing to risk her reputation by working with a bunch of geezers. :poke:

 

Would you be as likely to find a gig with a bunch of 21 year olds looking for a guitar player?

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I equate it with shopping for shoes or clothes. If you can't ever seem to find something that fits you right in a style you like - my bet is you're looking in the wrong place. As a 54 year old professional guy - I don't waste my time going to the mall. Why? Because I've been around the block enough times to know that the mall is filled with "kids shops" catering to trendy youngsters.

 

Bands that post that they're looking for musicians that they describe as "experienced", "dedicated", "committed", etc .... followed by age range that caps out at 25 - simply don't know what they don't know yet.

 

Look in the right places - and you'll find something that fits you.

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It's all relative. When I was playing in a big-hair rock band in the 80s we hired a drummer whom we had admired for years and felt lucky to get. He was 27. We worried he was too old for us. (We are all about 23 at the time). We found later he was lying and was really 34. (Which helped explain why he didn't look 27). There WAS an age difference problem. He didn't enjoy hanging us the rest of us---he thought we were immature; we thought he drank too much. (Southern Comfort! Like my granddad). In fact, we called him "old man" and "grandpa" behind his back. Monster player though. But it didn't work out and we parted ways after a few months.


Seems completely ludicrious now but that was the reality at the time. I'm sure you dated girls when you were young that were a few years younger or older than you and the age difference seemed tremendous but now you look back and think "it was only five years difference. How could that POSSIBLY have been a big deal?"

 

 

My experience was completely different. We were a college band who's ages ranged from 19 to 25 (I was the old guy just starting school after 4 years of army). We had been together for roughly a year - and were making a transition from a "frat party band" to a 5-6 night a week gigging dance band. Our original drummer wasn't up for the workload - so we found ourselves looking. We talked to one of the guys who was in middle of the local scene for help in finding a drummer - who in turned refered a 45 year old drummer our way. He walked in during our 1st song at a local show, sat himself down at a table next to the dance floor, pulled out a small notepad - and was jotting stuff down throughout the set. We had visions of the guy being with the IRS. At our first break, the guy jumped up and made a beeline for the bandstand and walked straight up to me introducing himself with business card in hand.

 

We set up an audition for the guy. He walked in with a tiny "cocktail" kit ... red laquer, gold hardware, spit shined cymbals. He set it up in less than 5 minutes, took 30 seconds to play a couple of rudiments to confirm it was set the he liked it - then stopped and said "I'm ready. What would you guys like to do." Based on his look, his kit and the obvious age difference - we kids were certain he was going to be a round peg in a square hole. I handed him a copy of our set list and asked him what he'd like to play ... He pulled out his notes and said "Let's play your first set I saw you play on Saturday". He then proceded to play our first set crisper, cleaner, with tighter fills and livelier rhythm than our original drummer ever dreamed of playing.

 

The guy was with us for 3 1/2 years - leaving only when the band disbanded. I learned more about the music game from him than from anybody I've ever played with before or since then. We didn't "hang out" together as buddies and he certainly never really fit with the rest of us off stage - but on stage? On stage - he was clearly the very heart of our rhythm section and somebody who was a musical leader. Here, 30 years later - I count my experience in "taking a risk" on a guy who was twice my age as one of the best learning experiences I've ever had in a "professional" setting.

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Yeah, that's cool. Our deal was we were on the road at the time and all had to live together as well as play together. So meshing off-stage was a big part of it. And back in the 80s doing the rock thing we were all SOOOOO looks obsessed. MTV and all that. Thankfully I don't think it's nearly that bad anymore, and mid-80s was probably the VERY worst of that. If somebody didn't look pretty much EXACTLY right back then, it would be very hard for them to get the gig.

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Yeah, that's cool. Our deal was we were on the road at the time and all had to live together as well as play together. So meshing off-stage was a big part of it. And back in the 80s doing the rock thing we were all SOOOOO looks obsessed. MTV and all that. Thankfully I don't think it's nearly that bad anymore, and mid-80s was probably the VERY worst of that. If somebody didn't look pretty much EXACTLY right back then, it would be very hard for them to get the gig.

 

 

My example was from my college days - 1980 through '85. Gigging full time - but as a "commuter band" (anywhere within a 90 minute radius of home was considered fair game). We were one of roughly 25 fulltime bands based in the Lansing area doing that at the time - and were working 4-6 nights a week, roughly 45 weeks a year. While we paid attention to looks - we didn't let them drive our staffing decisions.

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Do we as musicians come with an expiration date tattoo'd on our foreheads?

 

 

Not so much this.

 

Just more that people like to hang out with people their own age, as other in the thread have said.

 

Idealistically you can say "but music spans the age divide" but pragmatically this often isn't true. When a teen band is looking for a teen vocalist, it's not just a vocalist who can sing they're after, it's someone who will laugh at the same jokes, have the same financial and other constraints (parents?!) etc.

 

Mixed marriages work. Mixed bands work. But it's hardly surprising that people are looking for someone similar to them in age...

 

GaJ

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ISome older folks putting together bands do much the same thing - "looking for a bass player with a day job and loves playing (insert your decade here) music".

 

 

That was one of my actual requirements on a wanted ad I posted a few years ago: that the guy not have a night/overnight/weekend job that would conflict with rehearsals and gig. It garnered zero responses. I suppose including that was a bit harsh, but I felt it was realistic at the time.

 

When I get my own band going again, I'll be open-minded enough as far as age goes, but not experience. I need people that know what they heck they are doing. My wife is the only one I want to have in the band that will be somewhat green.

 

I have a drummer lined up already and he is experienced (and a few years older than me), but the 2nd guitarist will be the crucial find, especially because he/she needs to be able to sing harmony vocals very well in addition to playing good, tasty guitar parts.

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Do we as musicians come with an expiration date tattoo'd on our foreheads?

 

 

Back in the 80's in the band from my avatar pic we had to audition for a bass player and I remember booting geezers in their 30's or early 40's. Now I'm 53, out of shape, hair challenged, and happy to hide behind my keyboards.

 

But I'm playing better than ever. Had a well paid gig tonight downtown at the art museum playing jazz and Motown soul. Rocking with the classic rock band on Saturday for a biker party. I don't feel like my age keeps me from playing or having fun.

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Back in the 80's in the band from my avatar pic we had to audition for a bass player and I remember booting geezers in their 30's or early 40's. Now I'm 53, out of shape, hair challenged, and happy to hide behind my keyboards.


But I'm playing better than ever. Had a well paid gig tonight downtown at the art museum playing jazz and Motown soul. Rocking with the classic rock band on Saturday for a biker party. I don't feel like my age keeps me from playing or having fun.

 

 

If I played keys, I wouldn't have had to start this thread, as a good keys player is as rare as hens teeth around here.

 

Unfortunately, I'm a guitarist, and we're a dime a dozen.

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You're never too old to rock but be yourself. In other words, don't be a 45 year old guy pretending to be a 20 year old guy. Just own it... be 45 just a badass 45.

 

yes! We don't try to be 21 cuz none of us are even close!!! but we can still bring the good time feeling to our shows! We just try to be fun! Age is just a number for me. I am the youngest guy in the group at 36. The other guys I play with may be older (some are in their 50s) but they are MONSTER players!!! I wouldn't want to change 'em out just for a younger guy.

 

 

They do sometimes wonder about the popularity of this "NEW MUSIC" :lol:

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If somebody asks me my age before they've met me and played with me, I'm not going to give them any answer other than: "let's just say I'm not fat, i don't have gray hair, I move around on stage and I play my ass off. If you wanna give me a shot, let's put something together"

 

That's how I'd handle it.

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