Pat Blythe – The productive years…..and “bewitching” music

I came across an article, Between 65 and Death, a couple of years ago, and for some reason kept it. Now that I’ve very recently earned this distinctive “honour” of attaining this magical number (and a government pension), the article popped up again when I was searching for something else. I’m not going to quote the entire piece here, but looking back at those 65 years, man I did a lot!!! A very rich life, full of ups and downs (and some of those ups were worth a whole passel of downs), was crammed into those years. Would I change a thing? In all honesty there are one or two things I’d like to go back and tweak. Do I have regrets? Nope! Well, maybe one…..I never have managed to meet Roger Taylor….yet!

I mean….come on……and he drums!!!

A study on aging and productivity, originally published by the New England Journal of Medicine in 2018, has recently been resurrected and is now making its rounds in the media once again. After extensive research, the findings are in. The years 60-70 are actually the most productive years of your life. In second place are the years 70-80, and third in line is 50-60.

Yes, we also deal with physical and mental challenges, and health issues do crop up as the years increase. But on the whole, the current baby boomer generation is the most vibrant and healthiest generation on the planet.  We are vastly different from our parent’s generation,”all still buzzing with energy, with the help of a bit of medication in some cases, and a bit of red wine in others.”

When I’m 64 – Winston Caldwell (The Beatles)

Our creative energies are freed; the willingness to try (and learn) new things increases; the ability to push forward, harnessing the experience, knowledge and lessons learned from the past, are augmented by the desire to do whatever the hell you want. There are no deadlines, timeframes or curfews, and we literally have more time on our hands.

Betty White at 99, rock on…..

So……what do we do with all that “health”? That’s up to the individuals, but the rockers keep rocking, the travelers keep travelling, those who like to stay busy start new careers, we go back to school and earn the degree we always wanted, learn to play an instrument…..the sky’s the limit. There’s an old saying, “those who can’t do, teach.” The opposite is true, “the best teachers are those who did”. The best teacher is not necessarily experience, but sometimes learning from the one who is experienced….and we have, in these “golden years” much experience to offer.

Assume the somersault position

There’s forever a small part of us, deep inside, that never really graduated beyond the age of 18(ish). No matter who you are, no matter the age, none of us feel any different on the inside than we did in our youth. Logically we know doing somersaults or cartwheels down that steep hill at 65+ might not be such a good idea, but that grinning youth inside us is already down that hill. It’s that “youth” that pushes us forward, to be creative, to be daring, to challenge ourselves, to step outside the box….but preferably without killing ourselves.

Another research study done in the U.K. suggests the age group of 60-79 is the happiest. They are less bothered by what others think, women in their 80s are having more enjoyable sex than those up to 30 years younger, and we are all more comfortable in our own skin. Most find their lives are far more exciting and satisfying.

There are two points in the Between 65 and Death article that are standouts to me:

My favourite; laugh a lot. Laugh at everything. Remember, you are one of the lucky ones. You managed to have a life, a long one. Many never get to this age; many never get to experience a full life. But you did. So what’s not to laugh about? Find the humor in your situation

My second favourite; never use the phrase “in my time”. Your time is now. As long as you’re alive, you are part of this time. You may have been younger, but you are still you now, having fun and enjoying life


All Hallows Eve or Hallowe’en is upon us. Only a few short days away and all the tiny ghosts and goblins will be out and about. It seems like summer had just started and now we’re seeing the back end of October. I’m even getting my snow tires put on this week. Once the 31st passes us by, it’s Christmas…..full steam ahead. But until then, I’m driving stick for one night….and this little beauty is on sale. Just look at those bristles…….

Today’s music selections feature songs about those bewitching ladies……

Saturn We Miss You –Trip the Witch

Season of the Witch – Donovan

Witchy Woman – Eagles

Fell From the Floor – Trip the Witch

Evil Ways – Santana

Black Light/Reclaim My Time – Trip the Witch

March of the Black Queen – Queen

Waking the Witch – Kate Bush

The Witches Promise – Jethro Tull

Rhiannon – Fleetwood Mac

Seven Devils – Florence + The Machine

This week’s podcast is Lighthouse vocalist Dan Clancy.



Pat’s column appears every Wednesday.


“Music and photography….my heart, my passions.” After an extended absence —  33 years as a consultant and design specialist in the telecommunications industry — Pat has turned her focus back to the music scene. Immersing herself in the local club circuit, attending the many diverse music festivals, listening to some great music, photographing and writing once again, she is eager to spread the word about this great Music City of ours…..Toronto.


Together for 34 years, Pat also worked alongside her late husband Christopher Blythe, The PictureTaker©, who, beginning in the early 70s, photographed much of the local talent (think Goddo, Frank Soda and the Imps, BB Gabor, the first Police Picnic, Buzzsaw, Hellfield, Shooter, The Segarini Band….) as well as national and international acts. Pat is currently making her way through 40 years of Chris’s archives, 20 of which are a photographic history of the local GTA music scene beginning in 1974. It continues to be a work in progress. Oh…..and she LOVES to dance! 

One Response to “Pat Blythe – The productive years…..and “bewitching” music”

  1. Carlynn Reed Says:

    great article — and thank you for the mention of my name …. it was a long difficult work of grief and love ….

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: