50 Things You Need To Know About Mannheim Steamroller

by Noiz 4. November 2014 11:24

50 Things You Need To Know About Mannheim Steamroller

One of the best things about the holiday season is the music.  And one of the best purveyors of holiday music is Mannheim Steamroller.  For thirty years, The Steamroller has been delighting Santa’s disciples with new age renditions of “Deck the Halls” and “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen.”  That’s right, 2014 is the 30th anniversary of the group’s classic holiday debut, Mannheim Steamroller Christmas.  It’s also the 30th anniversary of the band’s annual Christmas tour and the 40th anniversary of the band’s founding.

To celebrate the milestones, Mannheim Steamroller is hitting the road.  The group’s North American tour begins Nov. 12 and ends Dec. 28.  Clickitticket is celebrating the greatest Christmas band of all-time (all apologies to Trans-Siberian Orchestra) by compiling a list of 50 things you must know about Mannheim Steamroller.  Actually, there are 51 things you should know.  The 51st item is when it comes to great Christmas music, either live or recorded, you can’t go wrong with Mannheim Steamroller. 

Mannheim Steamroller 2014 Tour

  1. This year’s trek is called “Mannheim Steamroller Christmas Tour.”
  2. To meet high demand, and to maximize the relatively short holiday season, Mannheim Steamroller splits itself into two touring bands.  For example, on Nov. 22 one Steamroller band will be in Atlanta while the other will be in Sioux City, Iowa.  On Dec. 7, one touring band performs in Minneapolis as the other rocks Detroit.
  3. In some cities, Mannheim Steamroller is scheduled to perform two shows.  For example, on Dec. 13 Mannheim Steamroller will perform at 4pm and 8pm at the Strathmore in Bethesda, Maryland.
  4. This year’s show will be directed and co-produced by Mannheim Steamroller’s founder, and its creative force, Chip Davis.
  5. During their upcoming tour, Mannheim Steamroller will play all their of big-time holiday hits.
  6. Besides the music, fans should expect an intimate setting and multimedia effects.
  7. To celebrate both the band’s 40th anniversary and their 30th year of revolutionizing Christmas music, Chip Davis is releasing Mannheim Steamroller 30/40.  The album will drop Oct. 21.
  8. Mannheim Steamroller 30/40 will be released on three different formats: a single disc with 16 tracks; a three-disc set with 50 tracks; and a double disc vinyl record.
  9. One of the new tracks from their new album is a new recording of “Greensleeves.”  The version features vocals by Chip Davis’ daughter, Elyse.
  10. Mannheim Steamroller’s sound is generally categorized as New Age music but the band draws from a number of different genres.  Comparing them to another holiday favorite, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Mannheim is more New Age-slash-symphonic-slash-pop.  While TSO is more New Age-slash-symphonic-slash-rock.

    Mannheim Steamroller History

  11. Mannheim Steamroller was founded in 1974 by Chip Davis.
  12. “Mannheim Steamroller” comes from the 18th century German musical term, Mannheimer Walze (Mannheim roller).  A Mannheimer Walze is a rising melody over a repeating bass line.
  13. Mannheim Steamroller released its first album, Fresh Aire, in 1975.
  14. Chip Davis describes Steamroller’s sound as “18th Century Classical Rock.”
  15. No major record label would touch Mannheim Steamroller’s first album so Davis created his own music label called American Gramophone.
  16. American Gramophone Records is located in Omaha, Nebraska. 
  17. Largely ignored by the mainstream record industry, Mannheim Steamroller became one of the bestselling independent artists of the 1970s.
  18. Mannheim Steamroller released its first Christmas album in 1984.
  19. Mannheim Steamroller was given a big boost in popularity by Rush Limbaugh.  The conservative talk show host played selections from Steamroller’s first album on his radio program.
  20. Davis once sent Limbaugh an advance copy of a Mannheim Steamroller Christmas album.  Limbaugh began playing cuts from the oeuvre in August.
  21. In 1986, Mannheim Steamroller wrote and recorded the soundtrack to a PBS special called Saving the Wildlife. 
  22. Mannheim Steamroller has a radio show.  It’s called “Mannheim Steamroller's An American Christmas.”  The show is hosted by Chip Davis, runs 12 hours, and is heard on more than 250 radio stations in the United States.
  23. Over the years, Mannheim Steamroller has tapped the talents of artists like Johnny Mathis, Olivia Newton-John, and Paul Winter.
  24. During the first thirty years of Mannheim Steamroller’s existence their pianist was virtuoso Jackson Berkey.

    Chip Davis

  25. Chip Davis was born in Hamler, Ohio as Louis Davis, Jr.  “Chip” is his nickname.
  26. Chip Davis can play the piano, bassoon, and various percussion instruments including the dulcimer.
  27. Chip Davis wrote his first song at the age of six.  The tune was about his dog, Stormy. 
  28. Chip Davis graduated from the University of Michigan.
  29. After college, Davis wrote commercial jingles for an Omaha, Nebraska advertising agency.
  30. Before forming Mannheim Steamroller, Chip Davis worked with Bill Fries.  Fries performed under the name “C.W. McCall.”
  31. Chip Davis co-wrote the song “Convoy.”  The song went to number one on the Billboard Hot 100.
  32. In 1976, Chip Davis was named the “Country Music Songwriter of the Year.”
  33. Chip Davis shopped Mannheim Steamroller’s first Christmas album to dozens of distributors and retail chains.  They all said no one would buy a Christmas album.  They were wrong.  Mannheim Steamroller Christmas has sold more than nine million copies.
  34. Chip Davis has written five children books.
  35. Chip Davis created the ambient therapy music system.  His system combines natural sounds with music.  It’s being used by several medical facilities and has been approved by NASA for use on long space flights.

    Mannheim Steamroller Non-Christmas Works 

  36. In 1987, Chip Davis produced and arranged an album with guitarist Mason Williams.  The album is called Classical Gas and is credited to both Williams and Mannheim Steamroller.
  37. In 1999, Mannheim Steamroller released a collection of Disney music called Mannheim Steamroller Meets the Mouse.
  38. In 2003, Mannheim Steamroller released the first of four Halloween albums. 
  39. Also in 2003, Mannheim Steamroller collaborated with C.W. McCall on a collection called American Spirit.  The opus features patriotic songs and a remake of “Convoy.”
  40. Mannheim Steamroller has their own line of food products including various flavors of chutney, pepper sauces, hot chocolates, and a Bloody Mary mix.  The previously mentioned delicacies are available for purchase on Mannheim Steamroller’s Web site.
  41. Also on their Web site is a line of clothing.  You can purchase Mannheim Steamroller themed t-shirts, hoodies, Polo shirts, and jackets.

    Mannheim Steamroller Milestones

  42. As of 2014, Mannheim Steamroller has released 26 Christmas related albums.
  43. Mannheim Steamroller has sold more than 28 million Christmas albums. 
  44. Mannheim Steamroller is the bestselling Christmas artist of all-time.
  45. Mannheim Steamroller has sold more than 40 million albums overall.
  46. Since 1984, Mannheim Steamroller has logged more than 27 million miles.
  47. In 2008, Chip Davis received the coveted award for Exceptional Public Service from the Department of Defense.  He received the honor because he gave away one million CDs to U.S. troops and their families.
  48. In 2011 and 2013, Mannheim Steamroller performed at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
  49. Mannheim Steamroller is the only music group that has ever performed twice at the annual Lighting of the National Christmas Tree Ceremony. 
  50. Either on his own, or with Mannheim Steamroller, Chip Davis has released 77 albums.

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Neil Diamond Returns To Alma Mater And The High Schools Of Other Famous Musicians

by Noiz 31. October 2014 12:36

Neil Diamond Returns To Alma Mater And The High Schools Of Other Famous Musicians

Neil Diamond kicks off his 2015 North American tour on Feb. 27 in Allentown, Pennsylvania at the PPL Center.  During his 30-plus trek of the states and provinces, Diamond will perform at such venerated arenas as the Wells Fargo Center, TD Garden, Air Canada Centre, United Center, and the Hollywood Bowl.

Those are some serious concert venues.  Yet, the most serious stage Diamond has graced as of late doesn’t don a corporate name or is operated by Live Nation.  In early October, Diamond returned to his old high school in Brooklyn to perform a ten-song set.

“I wish I could say it was my dream to come back to high school, but it was my dream to get out of high school, but a long enough time has passed that now I feel good about coming back to my old haunts.” — Neil Diamond

Even though a lot of popular music is aimed at high school students, it’s hard to image some artists sitting in homeroom or doing history assignments.  While it may be difficult to picture a rock and roller suffering through American Lit class, many of them did actually attend high school.  Diamond’s homecoming got Clickitticket thinking about popular musicians and their old alma mater.  Below, are ten high schools (or their foreign equivalent) that educated, nurtured, and mentored legendary recording artists.

Erasmus Hall High School – Neil Diamond
Neil Diamond attended Erasmus Hall High School from 1954 to 1956.  The school opened as a private academy in 1786 and became a public school in 1896.  In 1994, Erasmus was divided into five small high schools each with a different area of study.  Interestingly, Barbra Streisand attended Erasmus around the same time as Diamond.  In 1978, Diamond and Streisand released “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers.”  The duet went all the way to number one.
>>Other Famous Alumni: Clive Davis, Beverly Sills, and Al Davis

Beverly Hills High School – Lenny Kravitz
One of the most famous high schools in the U.S. is Beverly Hills High School, located on Moreno Drive and founded in 1927.  A bunch of famous people have attended this public facility including Jack Abramoff, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Carrie Fisher.  The school has produced more than a few famous musicians but the greatest of these is Lenny Kravitz.  He attended BHHS in the late 1970s and was accepted into the school’s prestigious music program.
>>Other Famous Alumni: Angelina Jolie, Nicolas Cage, Betty White, and Monica Lewinsky

Convent of the Sacred Heart – Lady Gaga
You probably learned about Convent of the Sacred Heart in 2011 during Lady Gaga’s “A Very Gaga Thanksgiving.”  A lot of the filming for that television special took place at the Catholic all-girl school located on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.  During her time at Sacred Heart, Gaga was very “studious” and starred in several musical productions.  Gaga also claims that she was a little “too eccentric” and “didn’t fit in.”  I’ll refrain from making cracks about Gaga wearing a meat dress to prom or entering a pep rally in an egg.
>>Other Famous Alumni: Elaine Stritch, Paris Hilton, and Caroline Kennedy

Forest Hills High School – Paul Simon & Art Garfunkel
Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel attended Forest Hills High School in Queens, a borough of New York City.  The school is notorious for being overcrowded and for its graduates going on to attend prominent colleges.  Simon and Garfunkel actually met when they were 11.  They began singing together when they were 13.  After graduating from Forest Hills, Simon went to Queens College and Garfunkel went to Columbia University.
>>Other Famous Alumni: Burt Bacharach, The Ramones, and Jerry Springer

Hibbing High School – Bob Dylan
Can you imagine Bob Dylan in high school?  I can’t either.  Of course, back then he was known by his real name, Robert Zimmerman.  Dylan’s old haunt is Hibbing High School in Hibbing, Minnesota.  The school is now listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.  Built in 1919, the school includes a 1,800-seat auditorium that’s patterned after New York City’s Capitol Theatre. 
>>Other Famous Alumni: Kevin McHale

President Theodore Roosevelt High School – Bruno Mars
You can’t get any more American than “President Theodore Roosevelt High School.”  The school is located in Honolulu, was founded in 1932, and currently educates more than 1,600 students.  In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Teddy High had an enrollee named Peter Hernandez.  After graduating, Hernandez changed his appellation to Bruno Mars.  The high school overlooks downtown Honolulu. 
>>Other Famous Alumni: Yvonne Elliman, Alfred Apaka,, and Larry Price

Rochester Adams High School – Madonna
Who knows how many high school girls were sent to detention after Madonna inspired them to wear underwear on the outside of their clothes.  So where did Madge get her diploma?  Her alma mater is Rochester Adams High School in Rochester Hills, Michigan.  Madonna did extremely well in her classes and was a member of the cheerleading squad.  In 2014, Adams High School (as it’s sometimes known) made national news when it refused to allow a uniformed army officer onto their campus to visit his daughter.
>>Other Famous Alumni: Drummer Tommy Clufetos, Jana Kramer, and Brad Keselowski

British/Irish Schools
Dartford Grammar School – Mick Jagger
Mick Jagger and Keith Richards didn’t attend the same high school (or British equivalent) but they did attend the same primary school, Wentworth Primary School.  The two actually lost contact with one another for a while after Jagger passed his “eleven-plus” and enrolled in Dartford Grammar School.  The school is located in Kent and was founded in 1576.  Dartford now boasts an art venue named The Mick Jagger Centre.

Liverpool Institute High School for Boys – Paul McCartney & George Harrison
Paul McCartney and George Harrison met one another on a bus that was taking them to the Liverpool Institute High School for boys.  The school was founded in 1825.  The Liverpool Institute closed in 1985 but reopened eleven years later as The Liverpool Institute for the Performing Arts… thanks to the generosity of Sir Paul.  By the way, John Lennon went to the Quarry Bank High School (also in Liverpool) and Ringo Starr attended the Dingle Vale secondary modern school.

Mount Temple Comprehensive School
Mount Temple Comprehensive School is located in Clontarf, Dublin, Ireland.  It was founded in 1972.  Its claim to fame is it’s the alma mater of U2.  All four members of the band attended this institution only back then Bono was called Paul Hewson and The Edge was called David Evans.  Other famous alumni include Dik Evans, The Edge’s brother, and Ali Stewart, Bono’s wife.

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Is Peyton Manning The Babe Ruth Of Football

by Noiz 29. October 2014 13:56

Is Peyton Manning The Babe Ruth Of Football?

On Oct. 19, Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning broke the record for the most career touchdown passes by throwing number 509.  His finished the game with 510 career touchdown passes.  That’s two more than previous record holder Brett Favre.  It’s perhaps the most hallowed record in all of professional football.

What was lost that evening among the celebration, which included his teammates playing keep-a-way with the record setting ball, and is still overlooked, is the feasibility that Manning can throw 600 career touchdowns.  Yes, that’s right 600 TDs!

At the time of writing this article, Manning has thrown 22 touchdown passes on the season with his Broncos having nine games left on the schedule.   

In 2014, Manning is averaging three touchdowns a game.  His lowest one-game total is two (Week 3 against the Seattle Seahawks).  It’s conceivable that Manning finishes the season with a career total of 540 touchdown passes.

That means Manning will only need to throw 30 touchdowns in each of the next two seasons to reach 600.  For his career, Manning is averaging 32.7 touchdowns a season.

To throw 600 touchdowns, Manning will need to play at 40 years of age and complete his 19th season in the NFL.  Who knows if he can play that long but at 38, and in his 17th season, he shows no signs of slowing down. 

He’s playing for a quality organization, an offensive line that keeps him upright, and has the opportunity to pad his stats against the Oakland Raiders twice a season.  It’s not asking too much for Manning to retire from the NFL with 600 or more touchdown passes.

Just last season, Manning marshaled the greatest offense of all-time and threw for a record 55 touchdowns.

If Manning does eclipse the 600 touchdown mark it will have to be one of the greatest feats in the history of professional football.

Think about it.  To reach that mark, a quarterback needs to average 50 touchdowns in 12 seasons or 30 touchdowns in 20 seasons. 

The ten retired quarterbacks with the most career touchdown passes played for an average of 18 seasons (at the time of writing this article Tom Brady and Drew Brees are tied for fourth-most with 377).  To reach 600 touchdown passes in 18 seasons you’ll need to average more than 33 touchdown passes a season.   

If you include Brady and Brees, then the top 12 career leaders in touchdown passes have thrown for 33 or more touchdowns in a season just 20 times.  Half of those times belong to Brady and Brees.

Even if Manning doesn’t throw another touchdown pass (which is highly unlikely), his current total of 513 is a gigantic number.  You might even say it’s “Ruthian.”  Six-hundred touchdowns is definitely “Ruthian.”

All these numbers have me asking is Peyton Manning the Babe Ruth of football?

First of all, let’s establish exactly what I mean when I compare Peyton Manning to Babe Ruth.  I’m not necessarily talking about statistics or championships.  I’m talking about transcending the game, being a larger than life figure, and becoming a legend.

Babe Ruth is still synonymous with baseball and the lone player everyone can name, even those that don’t follow or even like sports.  Babe Ruth is more than a ball player he’s Paul Bunyan.

It’s this part of Babe Ruth’s legacy that Peyton Manning mimics—a greatness that’s not built on titles and All-Star game appearances but on the ability to make a hard game appear easy to play.

Of course, there are a lot of differences between Ruth and Manning.  Ruth was slovenly and impetuous.  Manning is calculating and cerebral.

Ruth came from a rough part of Baltimore and was sent to a reform school when he was seven.  Manning is football royalty.  His father is college football hall of famer Archie Manning and his brother is New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning.

As a player, Ruth drank, ate, and whored.  He treated his body like Manning treats defensive backs.  Manning, on the other hand, is corporate, professional, and prepared.   He’s an extra coach on the field.  He’s a player who chides the scoreboard operator for having a bad night and thanks reporters when he leaves town.

Ruth’s ebullient smile and gregarious manner goes more with the play style of Brett Favre than Manning.  Ruth’s team success is analogous to what Tom Brady has achieved with the New England Patriots.  And Ruth’s roly-poly body reminds one of Johnny Unitas and his slight frame—in other words, neither one looked like a professional athlete.

In those areas, Ruth and Manning are as different as two legends can get.

Ruth’s fabled hitting prowess came when baseball needed him the most.  The Chicago White Sox had just thrown the World Series and the pastime was sporting a big black eye.  That was quickly forgotten when Ruth started hitting towering home runs—in 1920 Babe Ruth hit more home runs than all but one team.

The NFL has never experienced anything like the so called “Black Sox Scandal” of 1919.  The popularity of football is so great that it can endure almost any indignity.  Still, the NFL offseason usually provides one or two moments of extreme embarrassment.   

This past offseason was marred by Ray Rice and domestic violence.  Manning helped us forget the league’s violent tribulations when he threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas in the second quarter against the San Francisco 49ers.  The toss put Manning into the record books and into the Valhalla of professional football.

When it comes to choosing a Babe Ruth analog, you might opt for the toughness of Jim Brown or the humanity of Walter Peyton.  Yet, professional football belongs to the signal callers not the running backs. 

With that being said, you might choose the coolness of Joe Montana or the leadership of Terry Bradshaw.  Both quarterbacks have four Super Bowl rings.  However, neither mastered the position like Peyton Manning.  Furthermore, Manning has passed their statistical marks in Ruthian style.

The NFL is all about the quarterback.  Offenses and rules keep making it easier for QBs to throw the ball.  So it’s not completely out of the question that Manning’s career touchdown mark, whatever it may be, will be surpassed (by the way, Andrew Luck of the Indianapolis Colts has already thrown for 22 touchdown passes in eight games—in two and half season he’s amassed 68 TD completions).

Ruth’s homerun totals have been surpassed but not his stature.  Manning’s marks are not immortal, they will be eclipsed, but his contributions to the game will never wilt.  

It was said of Babe Ruth that the ball sounded different when it came off his bat.  It was a crack no one had ever heard of before.  While a touchdown pass makes little noise, the way Manning plays quarterback is certainly like nothing we’ve ever seen before.

Perhaps the greatest compliment paid to the greatest quarterback has come from football’s greatest coach…

"I mean, [Manning is] great, he's obviously a great quarterback.  The best quarterback I've coached against... Not to take anything away from the Montanas, Marinos and Elways or whoever is up there with those guys, but [Manning] is tough... He's good at everything.  He's good at everything.  I see no weaknesses in his game." — Bill Belichick

You might argue that it’s too early to compare Manning to Ruth, at least in the manner I’m laying out.  Yet, if Manning even approaches the 600-touchdown mark football fans will have to seriously discuss his status as the greatest football player of all-time.  If he does reach the 600 plateau how can you argue against him?

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Fleetwood Mac And Other Aging Rock Bands

by Noiz 21. October 2014 20:31

Fleetwood Mac And Other Aging Rock Bands

On Oct. 18, at the end of a Fleetwood Mac concert at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Mick Fleetwood proclaimed “The Mac Is Back.”

Despite the fact that Fleetwood Mac toured in 2013, Mick is one-hundred percent correct.  The band has been restored to its classic lineup thanks to the return of Christine McVie (nee Perfect). 

McVie left the group in 1998 partly due to an intense fear of flying.  That’s not the phobia to have if you’re a member of a band that performs all over the world.  She has since overcome her aversion to aviation and rejoined the band.

Are Fleetwood Mac concerts nothing but nostalgia?  Well, they haven’t released an album since 2003 (Say You Will) and only three since 1990 (Behind the Mask in 1990 and Time in 1995).  So yeah, you can say their concerts are all about the past.

Does anyone really care (minus rock snobs)?  Don’t we want Fleetwood Mac to play all of their hits, the ones they made famous in the 1970s?

You buy Fleetwood Mac tickets not to experience the vanguard of rock and roll but to return to the halcyon days when Rumours permanently resided on your turntable.

Another way of saying what I’ve been saying is Fleetwood Mac is old. 

How old are they?  And while we’re at it, how old are other classic rock bands? 

We all know they’re old but have any of us ever crunched the numbers?

Quick Note
For the purpose of this article, when I allude to a band’s beginning I’m referring to the year they released their first record (usually a single), not the year they formed or played their first gig.  Also, I only looked at bands that are either still around or have demonstrated that they can still tour (despite being down a man or two).  So The Beatles and Doors are out but Aerosmith and Pearl Jam are not.

Fleetwood Mac
Fleetwood Mac began in 1967.  That means they are 47 years old or nearly four times as old as The Black Keys (who began in 2002). 

Fleetwood Mac will celebrate their 50th anniversary in 2017.

Mick Fleetwood has been in the band the longest.  In fact, he’s the only original member left.  The classic lineup—Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Christine McVie, Lindsey Buckingham, and Stevie Nicks—has only been around since 1974.  That’s when Buckingham and Nicks joined.  Christine McVie came aboard in 1970.

So the classic lineup of Fleetwood Mac is older than Journey (1975), Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (1976), Van Halen (1978), and The Pretenders (1979). 

It’s feasible that Fleetwood Mac will launch a 50th anniversary tour.  It’s a long shot if the band commemorates the same milestone for their classic lineup.  I say that because the classic lineup doesn’t turn 50 until 2024.

Since I mentioned 2024… that’s the year Justin Bieber and Harry Styles will exit their twenties; the debut albums of Britney Spears, Jessica Simpson, and Mandy Moore will turn 25; and Nelly will enjoy his 50th trip around the sun.

Surprisingly, the oldest member of Fleetwood Mac is Christine McVie.  She was born on July 12, 1943.  When the Fleetwood Mac tour concludes on March 31, 2015, in Wichita, Kansas, she’ll be 71.  That makes her three times older than Ed Sheeran, Hunter Hayes, and Louis Tomlinson of One Direction.

Rolling Stones
Of course, Fleetwood Mac isn’t the only band nearing the half-century mark.  The Rolling Stones turned 50 in 2013.  They celebrated the achievement with a three-leg, 30-concert tour of Europe and North America. 

The Rolling Stones released their first single in 1963.  That’s the same year Seal, George Michael, Whitney Houston, Bret Michaels and half of Metallica (James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich) were born.

I should tell you that the Stones mark their birthdate as July 21, 1962—their first gig.  Like I mentioned before, I’m counting from the release date of their first record which was June of 1963.  Either way, the band has been around for half a century.

The three remaining original members of the Stones—Keith Richards, Mick Jagger, and Charlie Watts—are in their seventies.  He’s no longer in the band, but bassist Bill Wyman, who joined the Stones before Watts did, was born on Oct. 24, 1936.  At the time of writing this article he was three days shy of his 78th birthday.

Ronnie Wood (born on June 1, 1947) joined the Stones in 1975 but didn’t become a full member until 1993.  That means Wood has been a bona fide member of the Stones longer than Weezer, Limp Bizkit, Wilco, The Black Eyed Peas, and Coldplay have been bands.

The Who
In 2015, The Who will celebrate their 50th anniversary with a jaunt around North America.  They actually eclipsed the big 5-0 in 2014. 

There are only two original Who members left, Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend.  When they conclude what they’re calling their final concert tour, both men will be in their seventies.

Both the Rolling Stones and The Who predate .mp3s by 30 years, iTunes by more than 35 years, and American Idol by nearly 40 years.  When The Stones and Who first started making music, television was still broadcasted in black and white, AM stations dominated terrestrial radio, and multi-track recording devices were in their infancy.

Other Classic Rockers
The Beach Boys experienced their 50th anniversary in 2011.  Three years later, the honor fell to The Kinks.  Three years from now, it’s Pink Floyd’s turn although it’s doubtful we’ll see them tour.  But, who knows, time does heal all wounds.

In 2019, Led Zeppelin and Santana will both turn 50.  The following year ZZ Top joins the half century club.  I’d expect celebratory tours from all three of those bands.

In 2022, the E Street Band turns 50.  Also reaching our numerical milestone that year will be the Eagles.

In 2023, Aerosmith will have been the “Bad Boys from Boston” for five decades.

Will we still be rocking in the future? 

In 2024, a decade from now, look for 50 candles on cakes belonging to KISS and AC/DC.  By then, both Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons will be in their seventies.  Angus Young will be 69. 

The Next Generation
In 2015, U2 turns 35.  That’s not 50 but it’s still impressive especially since the band has all of its original members.

Other bands that began in the early 1980s and will soon reach the 35-year mark include R.E.M. (1981), Phish (1983), Metallica (1983), Bon Jovi (1983), and Red Hot Chili Peppers (1984).

The year 1991 begat Pearl Jam.  They’ll hit the quarter century mark in 2016.

For some reason, this band’s age is the most surprising.  That’s probably because their sound is so associated with youth and youthful ideas.  In 2015, Green Day will be 25 years old.  It’s hard to believe that America’s greatest punk band is nearly old enough to pay for their own health insurance.

Be prepared for 2061.  That’s the year One Direction turns 50.

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