What they meant by "Kill Your Idols"

These are not my idols. I once admired them, but then I found out that my parent's generational idols and ideals need not be my own. These people must be stopped, for their and our own good:

Billy Joel.

John Mellencamp.

Eric Clapton.

James Taylor.

Mike Love.

Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watt, and whatsisname.

The list is endless.

These people will not go away, and frankly I bet they wish they could. I've seen Eric Clapton on TV commercials lately, but I'd be hard pressed to hum a few bars of his latest "tune." In fact, I'd be hard pressed to point out one truly significant, transcendent, or magnificent moment from this man's entire career since the dissolution of Cream. "Tears In Heaven," I guess. Yeah, it is transcendent, in fact, but christ, the man's kid fell out of a twenty-story window.

I just saw Billy Joel on Conan O'Brien, and it was one of the truly sad moments I've ever witnessed. Here's one of the most successful recording artists in history, pushing a "career-spanning box set" that, poor guy, has to compete with a three-volume greatest hits set that already exists. At one point he would have commanded the entire show, but tonight he got second billing to, umm, I don't remember who, although who was on only ten minutes ago...but anyway here's Billy Joel, more known these days for crashing ridiculously expensive and fetishisticly rare collector cars whilst hopped up on sleeping pills than he is for crooning "bottle of reds, bottle of whites." And he couldn't look more bored or aware of his own pathetic irrelevance.

A contrasting list.

Jimi Hendrix.

Janis Joplin.

Jim Morrison.

Richard Manuel and Rick Danko.

Brian Jones.

John Lennon.

Who knows how it would have turned out for them. But we're painfully aware of the decaying and declining arc that is the careers of their contemporaries. Really, people, just let it come to an end. Somebody has to fire the first shot. Retire. Quit. Get thrown in jail. Or....or worse things that I'd better not list here. This is the generation that wasn't ever gonna die, and by god, they sure as hell ain't dyin'. Although they are joining the American Association of Retired Persons. So there you go, retirement isn't just for old people anymore, O ye eternal youth. Go away, sip cocaine-laced mimosas in Santa Barbara. Allow us to miss you.

pps: Honorable Mention is served to Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Brian Wilson, and Levon Helm. Hell, even Neil Diamond. But Robbie Robertson can just go to hell.

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