A good thing about getting old is that you might have more money to devote to seeing your musical heroes play live. With millions of ageing rock fans out there, serving their wants has become big, big business. The New York Times takes a look at this generation.
Pete Townshend of the Who struck a nerve with rock ’n’ roll rebels in 1965 with the line “I hope I die before I get old.”
But something has happened in the five decades since he wrote “My Generation”: The boomer generation got older, yet continued to love rock ’n’ roll. Now, as many of those early fans enter retirement, they are still boarding buses and trudging through muddy fields to see their favorite bands.
“It used to be that when you retired, you went to Leisure World or the old retirement complex,” said Mark Hover, a 65-year-old who lives in Moreno Valley, Calif., and retired in 2004 after 30 years working for the United Parcel Service. Now, he said, other options are more appealing to him.
“What you’re supposed to do in your golden years is more of what you love,” he said. “What I’ve loved all my life is going to see live music.” He attends more than 100 shows a year, spending thousands of dollars traveling to concerts and multiday rock festivals like Bonnaroo, in Manchester, Tenn., which he plans to attend in June. He finds that he is far from the only “old guy” — his term — rocking out.
Concerts aimed at old guys are big business.