"Over a hundred years of show biz experience on one stage." This is the way a friend of mine decided to crack wise about my purchase of tickets to see Billy Joel and Elton John. Together! A double bill! Co-headliners! Where could they possibly find a stage big enough to showcase all that talent? Well, if it's this Saturday, they won't need a stage at all. According to Elton's web site, he "has been advised by his doctor to postpone this performance due to a serious case of e-coli bacterial infection and influenza." Whatever happened to the rockin' pneumonia and the boogie-woogie flu? Or Cat Scratch Fever? Most of your big names would play on through. Heaven knows Keith Moon would have given it his best shot. Of course, Keith died when he was thirty-two.
Mister John and Mister Joel are about to double up on Keith, age-wise, and will no doubt appear on the cover of AARP just as Bruce Springsteen did only a few months ago. The Piano Man missed a show earlier this year due to "fatigue." That would be much more polite than cancelling a gig due to old age. Pete Townshend wrote the words "Hope I die before I get old" at age twenty. Little did he know that he would continue to sing and play about "his generation" forty-plus years later, after half his band had already followed his advice. The choice of burning out or fading away isn't as clear for many, especially those who have become comfortable with the trappings of stardom: the cars, the drugs, the sex, the rehab stays and the alimony.
And so these are things I mull as I await the rescheduled show. I just hope they can get it in before rigor mortis sets in.