Who Said Rock Musicians Had to Be Young?
These male rock musicians are still rockin' even as they approach the age most people will consider retiring. They have had influential careers that have lasted since the 1960s and 70s. Needless to say, they worked very hard to stay in good shape and health in order to entertain us! Here's the top 10 list of male rock musicians over the age of 65.
No. 10 Eikichi Yazawa
Born on September 14, 1949 (age 73), Eikichi Yazawa is one of the most influential and long enduring musicians from my native Japan! Yazawa's career began in 1972 where he formed the band Carol. After the breakup of the band in 1975, he flew to the U.S. to start a solo career. He is known for his nick name "Ei-chan."
Aside from writing all of his songs, he has produced 33 original albums, 11 live albums, and 53 singles. He tours year-round and as of 2012, has performed in more than 1,800 live performances. He was selected to perform in the Songs and Visions Rock Festival at London's Wembley Stadium in 1997, commemorating twenty years since the passing of Elvis Presley.
He was one of several rock stars to perform, including Rod Stewart, Jon Bon Jovi, and Robert Palmer. After Yazawa's performance in front of an audience of 80,000, Rod Stewart complimented him backstage and suggested that "they tour together." (This tour has not happened yet).
Nowadays, he is frequently seen in TV commercials for Premium Malts (beer) and Nissan (hybrid car). I have to tell you, he looks amazing for his age!
No. 9 Rick Springfield
Rick Springfield, born Richard Lewis Springthorpe on August 23, 1949 (age 73) is an Australian musician, singer, songwriter, actor, and author. He started his career as lead guitarist and vocalist in the pop/rock group Zoot, in which he was a member from 1969 to 1971.
He moved to the U.S. in mid 1972 and finally had a top 10 hit "Jessie`s Girl" in 1981 for which he received a Grammy Award for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance. His other top 10 hits include "I've Done Everything For You" (1982), "Don't Talk to Strangers" (1982), "Affair of the Heart" (1983), and "Love Somebody"(1983).
He has also enjoyed a career in acting, starring in the movie Hard to Hold and as Dr. Noah Drake in the soap opera General Hospital to which he returned in 2013 after more than two decades of absence. His memoir Late, Late at Night (2010) was a good read! To date, he has produced 19 original albums and 38 singles. He has received a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame for his contribution to music.
No. 8 Steven Tyler
Steven Tyler, born Steven Victor Tallarico on March 26, 1948 (age 74), is a singer-songwriter best known as lead singer of the Boston-based rock band Aerosmith. In the 1970s, Tyler rose to prominence as the band released milestone hard rock albums such as Toys in the Attic and Rocks.
In 1986, upon completion of his drug rehabilitation program for his drug and alcohol addiction, he launched a remarkable comeback with the multi-platinum albums Permanent Vacation, Pump, Get a Grip, and Nine Lives. He served as judge in the highly popular TV show American Idol for two seasons before announcing his departure from the show in 2012. ( I have to say he was a good fit as judge!)
Tyler has continued to record music and perform with Aerosmith after more than 46 years with the band and has sold more than 150 million albums. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and his debut solo album We're All Somebody from Somewhere was released on July 15, 2016. He performed in Osaka and Tokyo, Japan in April 2017 with the Loving Mary Band as part of the tour promoting this album.
No. 7 Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen, born September 23, 1949 (age 73) is an American singer-songwriter best known for his work with the E Street Band. He debuted in 1964 and has sold more than 64 million albums in the U.S. and more than 120 million records worldwide, making him one of the world's best-selling artists of all time.
Nicknamed "The Boss," he is widely known for his poetic lyrics dealing with the working class and sometimes political sentiments centered on his native New Jersey. His stage performances are lengthy and energetic, running up to four hours in length.
He has earned 20 Grammy Awards, two Golden Globes and an Academy Award as well as being inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999. In 2016, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
No. 6 Keith Richards
Keith Richards, born December 18, 1943 (age 78) is an English guitarist, singer-songwriter, and founding member of The Rolling Stones. He and Mick Jagger, lead vocalist of the Stones, have written numerous songs for the band, fourteen of which are listed among Rolling Stone Magazine's "500 Greatest Songs of All Time."
Richards is also ranked 4th on Rolling Stone's 100 Best Guitarists as "rock`s greatest single body of riffs." Richards and Jagger began their songwriting partnership in 1963. In 1993, Richards was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
In February 2016, the Rolling Stones embarked on their Latin American Tour. One of their most memorable performances was in Havana, Cuba in March 2016 where diplomatic relations with the U.S. were normalized in 2015.
No. 5 Mick Jagger
Sir Michael Philip Jagger, born July 26, 1943 (age 79) is an English singer-songwriter and actor, best known as the lead singer and co-founder of the Rolling Stones. Jagger's career has spanned over 50 years, and he has been described as "one of the most popular and influential frontmen in the history of rock 'n' roll.
Jagger's distinctive voice and performance along with Keith Richards' guitar style have been the trademark of the Rolling Stones throughout the career of the band. He has also released a solo album, She's the Boss, in 1985. In 1989 he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and in 2004 into the UK Music Hall of Fame with the Rolling Stones.
In 2003, he was knighted for his services to popular music. I have always wondered how he stays so slim, having witnessed his performance with the Rolling Stones in Super Bowl's halftime show in February 2006.
On August 24, 2021, Charlie Watts, the drummer of The Rolling Stones passed away at the age of 80. He was one of the original members of the Rolling Stones along with Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. The band gave a tribute performance in late September 2021. Mick and Keith look and sound amazing!
No. 4 Daryl Hall and John Oates
Daryl Hall (born Daryl Franklin Hohl on October 11, 1946, age 76) and John William Oates (born in New York City on April 7, 1948, age 74) are an American pop-rock duo formed in Philadelphia in 1970. Daryl Hall is generally the lead vocalist, while John Oates primarily plays electric guitar and provides background vocals.
Between 1974 and 1991, the duo reached the U.S. Top 40 with 29 of their 33 singles. Six of these reached number one, the most well known being "Private Eyes" (1981), "I Can't Go for That (No Can Do)" (1981), "Maneater" (1982), and "Out of Touch" (1984).
In 2003, Hall and Oates were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. In 2013, they were announced as inductees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's Class of 2014.
Daryl Hall started his monthly web series Live from Daryl's House in 2007, which features Daryl jamming with various guest musicians in his house in the woods, which he specifically built for the live sessions. The guests have included Smokey Robinson, Robby Krieger from The Doors, Cee-Lo Green, and Todd Rundgren, among others.
John Oates was the first guest of the live sessions. He has since shaved off his iconic mustache, but he and Daryl are still going strong and have continued to perform live, although they are well into their 70s!
No. 3 Elton John
Sir Elton Hercules John (born Reginald Kenneth Dwight), born on March 25, 1947 (age 75) is an English singer-songwriter, musician, and composer. He has worked with lyricist Bernie Taupin as his songwriting partner since 1967. They have collaborated on more than 30 albums to date.
In his five-decade career, Elton John has sold more than 300 million records, making him one of the best-selling musicians in the world. He has more than fifty Top 40 hits, including nine No. 1 hits. For 31 consecutive years (1970-2000) he had at least one song in the Billboard Hot 100. Having been named Order of the British Empire in 1996, John was made a Knight Bachelor by Elizabeth II for "services to music and charitable services."
He came out as gay in 1988 and in 2014 married David Furnish, a filmmaker originally from Toronto, Canada, with whom he had been in a relationship since 1993. John continues to be a supporter of gay marriage and champion for LGBT social movements, as well as a respected musician.
No. 2 Paul McCartney
Sir James Paul McCartney, born on June 18, 1942 (age 80) is an English singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and composer. With John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr, he gained worldwide fame with the rock band The Beatles, the most popular and influential group in the history of pop music.
After the band's break-up, he pursued a solo career and formed the band Wings with musician Denny Laine and his first wife, Linda. McCartney has been recognized as one of the most successful composers and performers of all time.
He is a two-time inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (as member of the Beatles in 1988, and as a solo artist in 1999), and a 21-time Grammy Award winner. He has written or co-written 32 songs that have reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100. He was knighted in 1997 by Queen Elizabeth II for his services to music.
No. 1 Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan, born Robert Allen Zimmerman on May 24, 1941 (age 81) is an American songwriter, singer, artist, and writer. He received the Nobel Prize in Literature for 2016. Although Dylan is not the best selling musician of all time, he has definitely had a strong influence in popular music and culture for five decades.
Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s when his songs chronicled social unrest. Early songs such as "Blowin' in the Wind," "The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll," and "The Times They Are A-Changin'" became anthems for the American civil rights and antiwar movements.
Backed by a changing line up of musicians, he has toured steadily since the late 1980s on what has been dubbed the Never Ending Tour.
Since 1994, Dylan has published seven books of drawings and paintings and his work has been exhibited in major art galleries. As a musician, Dylan has sold more than 100 million records. Note that he does not seem to be making great efforts to "look young," hence he looks about his age!
© 2016 Takako Komori
Takako Komori (author) from Yokohama, Japan on March 08, 2020:
Thank you! It truly is amazing that they have been going strong for all these years, despite the ups and downs they`ve experienced.
Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on March 08, 2020:
This is such an interesting article, and it is amazing how long these rocker have kept in the limelight. I like the pictures of the young and older versions of these rockers.
Takako Komori (author) from Yokohama, Japan on February 09, 2020:
James, I appreciate your comment!
James A Watkins from Chicago on February 05, 2020:
Thank you for this marvelous Hub. As a rock musician myself, who is still playing at 65, I enjoyed seeing the stories of those even older than me who are still going at it. You also gave me interesting information about each one of them that I did not know before, which I appreciate. Well done.
quicksand on December 05, 2016:
Thumbs up for Mick Jagger! Keith Richards too.
(Charlie Watts and Bill Wyman included!)