Roxanne Tellier: Getting older sucks. But consider the alternative.

rox lolas May 2014 3

The whole process of growing up seems to take forever when you’re at the start of it. It feels like years, not months, between Christmases, and there’s always a milestone you’re looking forward to – getting into high school, getting a driver’s license, getting old enough to legally drink.

Then there’s a spate of years where you frantically attempt to mate and procreate, followed by a couple of decades of middle age, where hopefully, you work at whatever it is that you trained for, and raise a family, if you’re so inclined.

wheels of life

Then one day you wake up, a little stiffer than you were ten years ago, and wonder who that stranger is that’s looking back at you from the mirror. Mission accomplished! You gone from zero to sixty, and with any luck, you’ll be watching that face in the mirror keep on changing for a couple more decades.

If you’re blessed with a decent constitution and a good attitude, getting older doesn’t have to be a slow decline. In fact, some consider the retirement years a return to teenage form; you don’t have a job, you have less responsibility, and you can wear or say whatever the hell you want to without much consequence.

purple jesus

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!”  (Hunter S. Thompson)

“Hope I die before I get old,” he wrote when he was 19, but at the age of 69, Pete Townshend is still kicking butt and creating, performing with his Who band mates at the 2012 Summer Olympics closing ceremony in London.


Former President of the United States Bill Clinton (68) appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart recently to discuss his work with the worldwide Clinton Global Initiative and how it is helping to contain and eradicate the Ebola virus in western Africa. I think a smart man is inherently sexy, but Clinton still looks dangerously good enough to scare an intern. \

bill-clinton jon stewart

It’s all about attitude. You can be “old” at any age. You can buy into society’s image of aging, or you can create your own reality.

Heard of these crazy kids? “The amazing hit from the world’s oldest rock band and most unlikely global superstars – The Zimmers – with a 90-year-old lead singer and a combined age of more than 3,000. This cover of The Who’s My Generation is filmed in the Beatles’ studio at Abbey Road. This is the band that showed the world that you’re never too old to rock…”

Editor’s Note: The ability to embed this video has been disabled. Click on the link below to see it.

(and then they took it on the road, trashing dressing rooms, hitting the talk show circuit and taking the world by storm …)

And then there’s the marvellously testy and wacky Ginger Baker. Came across this gem yesterday, and I’m still reeling from his antics. I was particularly blown away by how complete and inclusive this documentary was, taking us along on a young man’s journey from the 1950’s to the present day. I wouldn’t call him a particularly nice fellow, but there is no question about his impact on modern rock. “Beware of Mr. Baker” indeed.

I like the attitude in “Touch of Grey,” the 1987 single by the Grateful Dead. The music video (their first ever, for that matter) was a hoot, showing the band in a live performance – with and without skin, as life-sized skeleton marionettes danced across the stage. ‘Oh, well, a touch of gray, kinda suits you anyway.”

Or the Traveling Wilburys, no spring chickens, and soon to be down two members. End of the Line
recognized that we are all getting older but hey, stuff happens. Rock it anyway. “Well it’s all right, even if you’re old and grey. Well it’s all right, you still got something to say.”

Country’s “Man of the People” Toby Keith released “As Good As I Once Was” in 2005. It’s a fun track about getting older. Toby rises to the occasion when a pair of hot twins proposition him. Thanks, Viagra!

When he was only 16, Paul McCartney was already wondering if there’d be love and sex “When I’m 64.” The Beatles released the little novelty tune in 1967, but they’d had it on their shortlist for years as a song to perform when the amplifiers broke down or the electricity went off.

Paul had a hand in another song about aging, when he co-wrote “Veronica” with Elvis Costello. The song was inspired by Costello’s grandmother, who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease.

This tune is the most funnily evil song I’ve ever heard about aging. Tom Lehrer tells us how he feels about his loved one getting old and gray. Let’s just say, it wouldn’t get the toes tapping at your local retirement home.

When I first heard this song, back in 1980, it didn’t occur to me that Donald Fagen would have only been 30 when he wrote it.  “She thinks I’m crazy, but I’m just growing old.” Talk about feeling your age! From the “Gaucho” album, Steely DanHey 19

If you’re lucky, you’re going to get old. If you’ve prepared for it by keeping a good attitude and the right people around you, it can be a wonderful ‘last act,’ where all of the experiences and knowledge you’ve gained comes together. There’s no stopping the train, but it’s up to each passenger how they enjoy the ride.

conductor on train


Roxanne’s column appears here every Sunday 

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DBAWIS ButtonRoxanne Tellier has been singing since she was 10 months old … no, really. Not like she’s telling anyone else how to live their lives, because she’s not judgmental, and most 10 month olds need a little more time to figure out how to hold a microphone. She has also been a vocalist with many acts, including Tangents, Lady, Performer, Mambo Jimi, and Delta Tango. In 2013 she co-hosted Bob Segarini’s podcast, The Bobcast, and, along with Bobert, will continue to seek out and destroy the people who cancelled ‘Bunheads’.

2 Responses to “Roxanne Tellier: Getting older sucks. But consider the alternative.”

  1. another gem from the amazing miss roxy! xx

  2. Go Roxanne. You nailed it! Every day can be a new adventure, age is always a problem at every age.

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