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How To Take Rock Stars Off Their Pedestals (that is, in your mind)

I recently figured out how a person can stop their bad habit of worshiping a rock star. Or any celebrity, really.

Hit the age of forty.

Okay, so that’s not a trick you can just pull out of a hat. If you’re twenty-five, you’ve got to wait fifteen more years. Or, maybe you can just live vicariously through me and believe what I’m about to say.

The rock stars I “fell in love with” as a teenager are all either old or dead.

The Journey To Hip Replacement

My thoughts on this issue began a year or so ago, when, for some odd reason (maybe I heard the song in a store? I don’t listen to the radio) Steve Perry’s ‘80’s song “Oh, Sherry” started going through my head.

And it wouldn’t go away.

So I found the music video of the song on YouTube and watched it. The music video in which Steve Perry, former lead singer of the band Journey, was about thirty-five years young. Maybe a little younger, but not much.

I did the math and realized that he would be well into his sixties by now. Was he even still alive?

Ever since Michael Jackson died, I’ve been asking that question a lot about celebrities whose entertainment I enjoyed as a teen.

The answer: yes, Steve Perry is still alive. Still performing, too, I gathered. But here’s what shook me: the dude has had a hip replacement.

Aren’t hip replacements for old people? At least, for people over the age of sixty?

Wow, they’re only human beings, after all!

Newsflash: Steve Perry (and Rick Springfield and Cyndi Lauper and a whole lot of other ‘80’s rock stars I could name) are now over the age of sixty. Some haven’t quite made it there yet, but they’re well over fifty, anyway. I know because I know how old I am, and I know about how old they were when I was sixteen, and I can add.

Now, I know at forty-seven I shouldn’t be referring to someone in their sixties as “old.” But Steve Perry had a hip replacement! Rick Springfield is pushing seventy! (I think Cyndi is, too). Rod Stewart was already “old” (in his forties) to me when I was fifteen, so he’s already surpassed the 7-0 mark.

Wait, is he even still alive? Let me go look it up.

Yes! As a matter of fact – get this – he’s on a tour with Cyndi Lauper! I need to find clips of that on YouTube. Once they both stopped singing rock they both started sounding really good. I mean, Cyndi has a BEAUTIFUL voice (when she’s not trying to convince her dad that girls just wanna have fun, or warn us that money changes everything)!

You wanna hear something else crazy? Rod Stewart is only four years older than Rick Springfield. So why I thought Rod was old and Rick wasn’t is beyond me. Chalk it up to teenage bias, I guess – you’re old if you’re over forty, but still young if under. LOL.

Then there’s the lead singer of Aerosmith, Steven Tyler. He had to have surgery on his vocal cords a few years ago because he’s been screaming, “Dream on!” for the last forty years. (Did you even know he was still performing? Did you know that all the other people I mentioned above are still performing?)

I’ve already mentioned Michael Jackson. Both the Artist Formerly Known As Prince and the artist always known as Whitney Houston are also no longer of this earth. Their fame brought them no special favors to help them live longer lives. They’re bodies are now in a state of decay, just like yours and mine someday will be.

I don’t mean to be morbid. Really, I don’t. I’m just trying to take rock stars down off their pedestals. And movie stars (R.I.P., Patrick Swayze; sorry about your condition, Michael J. Fox) and sports stars.

I hit my forties, and suddenly faced with my own mortality (that happens when you hit your forties), I realized that when it comes down to brass tacks, we are all on the same level playing field. We were all born, we will all age, and one day, our earthly bodies will die. Including rock stars.

Which is really cool, because I sure look forward to meeting some of them in heaven one day!

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