Over the last few months I have been scanning a lot of photographs of artists that are on the 20 to 30th years of their careers (lots of box sets and anniversary discs coming together). Among them are Bob Seger, Ozzy Osbourne, Hall and Oates, Tom Petty, Bon Jovi and Keith Richards. One thing I noticed that ties all of these people together is this- they are all smiling a lot and having a great time on stage. This reminded me of a quote from about 15 years ago form one of the great philosophers of the music business- Gene Simmons of Kiss
“I would rather listen to the Spice Girls any day of the week than to some band dressed like lumberjacks trying to convince me that they are suicidal and depressed when they are young, healthy, rich, famous and getting all the girls that they want.”
It doesn’t seem that the bands of today are having all that much fun. Very few smiles on stages these days!
This brings me to the last few days in Chicago. Lots of guitar players in town. It was Eric Clapton’s Crossroads guitar Festival and the town was jumping. Buddy Guys club was the epicenter leading up to the event. Thursday night was highlighted by a visit from Jeff Beck celebrating his birthday, and Friday Ron Wood, the human tornado arrived to hang and play some great guitar, after rehearsing with Buddy and Jonny Lang at the venue for yesterday’s show.
A great time was had by all. It reminded me of all the great times I had with Woody on various Stones tours. Here is a guy who never stops smiling. Onstage and off he is always the center of fun. Maybe some of the new generations should ask him to hang for a while and give them a slight attitude adjustment!! He makes everyone in the room smile and have a good time!