On the subject of longevity:
I'm watching the Rolling Stones Havana Moon on Starz right now. It's a movie of their concert in Havana in 2016; their first concert there ever. Mick and Charlie Watts look AMAZING. I mean, not Mick's face, which looks like a decayed Easter Island monument. But he's dancing and whipping around and running and skipping -- oh, and singing. He looks healthy and vital and energetic. Watts looks exactly like he's looked for the past 30 years, drumming his steady swing beat, effortlessly, for hours, smiling and laughing the while. These guys are in their mid-70s.
Keef of course looks like death in a bandana. But he moves great and looks happy as hell, and confident. And he is playing the shit out of that guitar. Ronnie & Keef occasionally exchange quips and crack each other up. Then bust out killer licks. All the performers are laughing and smiling and fist-bumping with each other, including keyboardist and backup singers and sax, etc. Looks like a bunch of people who, there's nothing they'd rather be doing.
So here's my question: Is there something about music
? You look at classical musicians: either the first-chair violin in your local orchestra, or the travelling virtuosi who play the lead in concerto's around the world. Those guys are routinely still performing in their 60s, and a crazy number of them into their 70s. Slava Rostropovich played a concert when he was 78; Vladimir Horowitz played his last public recital at age 83. Obviously those guys aren't typical; but classical music guys seem to go old. And I wonder if their workaday life is just better than most of ours. We have TPS reports, and they have Mozart.
I'm not trying to overgeneralize. Obviously rock & roll's magic longevity power didn't help Janis Joplin or Jimi Hendrix or Kurt Cocaine. The lifestyle should have killed Richards decades ago. But there is something different about the Stones. Jagger & Richards have always admired and emulated the old blues singers -- I mean the OLD blues singers. They seem to regard themselves as keepers of a tradition, like classical musicians are keepers of a tradition. And those old-time blues guys keep singing and playing until they drop dead.
You see something similar in NFL assistant coaches. Not head coaches, who burn out: but the career assistants, say for example the O-line coaches. Dante Scarnecchia of the Pats is 68. Joe Bugel is retired now, but he was still coaching when he was 69. Joe D'Alessandris of the Ravens graduated college in 1976, so he's around age 62. Dick LeBeau is the defensive coordinator of the Titans. He's 79. Here's a pic:
He was an NFL player in 1959 at age 22 -- played for 14 years -- so obviously he has always been crazy fit and gifted. Still, 79
Those Japanese martial arts guys, the head instructors of the big associations like the Shotokan head and the Judo head: those guys seem to age great. They're still active and teaching at an old age, and still pretty capable.
Maybe it's not music specifically. Is there something to doing a thing that you love and that you're dedicated to? Having that be your day-in/day-out job? And maybe it helps that the thing requires physical dexterity (musicianship, martial arts) or high levels of activity and engagement (coaching pro athletes).
I guess good genetics probably doesn't hurt, either.
“War is the remedy our enemies have chosen. Other simple remedies were within their choice. You know it and they know it, but they wanted war, and I say let us give them all they want.”
― William Tecumseh Sherman