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Columns > Mike Gruenberg - In My Life

Published: 2011/12/29
by Mike Gruenberg

Retire, Don’t Think So!

In My Life

The current recession has affected us all. Virtually every family living in America today has suffered in some way during the current economic downturn. While the politicians endlessly argue with little or no resolution and exacerbate the problem, the populace continues to search for relief. Businesses small and large are faced with the daily challenges to find ways to cut costs to preserve whatever profit margin they can achieve and thus weather the storm.

One of the results of the recession is that older workers are faced with the decision of retiring from the workforce sooner rather than later due to a scarcity of jobs. If they can afford to do so, many able bodied workers are retiring early or finding less meaningful jobs than the ones they had before the economic downturn.

The music business, on the other hand defies those odds in relation to their older musical performers. Recently, there was a meeting in London that was attended by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, among others. When the world rings in the new year of 2012, Mick and the boys will have been together as a band for 50 years. Mick Jagger will turn 69 years of age in 2012. His writing and performing partner, Keith Richards will also celebrate his 69th birthday in 2012. And what did they talk about at their meeting? The speculation is that they are planning another world tour in the new year. Retirement does not sound like an option here.

On September 23rd, Bruce Springsteen had his 62nd birthday. Did the record company ask him to retire because he is getting older? Probably not, because there is every expectation that Bruce and the band will be touring in 2012 and will be releasing a new album, as well.

It has also been reported that the Beach Boys are planning a reunion to be followed up with a world tour in the new year. As similar to the Stones, Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys began their incredible run of hits back in 1961 with “Surfin”. If the group can settle their personal differences, you will be able to see Brian and the group at a concert hall in your town next year.

In May of this year, Michigan rocker, Bob Seger celebrated his 66th birthday. He too, marked 50 years in the business with no indication that he is planning on slowing down or is even considering retirement.

2011 saw, Brooklyn born and raised Carole King at 69 years of age tour with James Taylor, age 63 to sold out concerts throughout the country to rave reviews. Carole has just released a new album and the two long-time friends are planning to go back on the road together in 2012. So it looks like neither one of them is slowing down or being asked to do so.

For my fathers’ generation, reaching 65 meant an end to working and retirement. For my generation, reaching that age means that there is a big, new world to explore with new vistas to see and a world that needs to be visited. So, I’ll take my cues from Mick, Keith, Bob, Brian, Carole and James to actively plan the rest of my life and wish family, friends and Jambands readers a Happy Holiday!

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