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Staying young

Rocking out in a retirement home

Charlie Watts was still playing in his 80s. Jack Vartoogian/Getty

Rock stars used to die young, usually from drug overdoses, says Craig Brown in the Daily Mail. “Now, more often than not, they die from old age.” Last year it was Charlie Watts of the Rolling Stones (aged 80) and Gerry Marsden of Gerry and the Pacemakers (78). Last week came the news that Marianne Faithfull, 75, has moved into Denville Hall, “the convivial north London retirement home for veterans of stage and screen”.

Faithfull is surely the first pop singer of note to “grace a retirement home”. But she won’t be the last. Back in the 1970s and 1980s, it was “inconceivable” that musicians would still be performing in their later years – in 1981, Rolling Stone ran a whole feature on “Rockers over 50”. Today, the equivalent would be “Rockers over 80”, with the likes of Ringo Starr (81), Cliff Richard (81) and Tina Turner (82). Here’s hoping some of them eventually join Faithfull at Denville Hall. “Just think what a Christmas show they could stage together.”