The recent passing of Charlie Watts shines a spotlight on the inevitable closing of the lives of the world’s original rock and roll generation. It’s a sad reality that a relatively small group of people created a collection of music that still thrives more than a half century later. And within the next 20 years, most of them will be dead.
Before we catch up, let’s look back. Just after Woodstock in June 1969, young music heroes Joni Mitchell, David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Grace Slick, Paul Kantner, and other members of Jefferson Airplane appeared on The Dick Cavett Show. Young stars fueled by idealism. So cute.
It’s now 52 years later. Let’s check in on some of these same performers to see how they view the world.
From 2013, Joni Mitchell invited a Canadian media team into her home. She’s an artist who morphed through a litany of styles.
James Taylor, age 62 in 2017, talks about the suicide of his friend Suzy (“Just yesterday morning, they let me know you were gone”), dealing with drug addiction, marriage to Carly Simon, and the brilliance of The Beatles 50 years earlier.
James Taylor said he was too young for marriage in his 20s so take a look at him during his days with then wife Carly Simon in 1977.
Here’s Carly Simon reflecting on her career in 2018. She still has the love of the game.
Billy Joel and Don Henley did a long form interview in 2015 that delves deeply into music, its gifts, challenges, and legacy.
Many music heroes died so young that we never got to experience the full breadth of the their talents. Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Mama Cass, Keith Moon, Jim Croce, and Karen Carpenter all left life too soon.
Here’s Jim Croce’s story.
Karen Carpenter’s amazing voice was silenced way too soon.
And the greatest of the greatest social commentary artists was Marvin Gaye, an incalculable loss for humanity. Marvin was the original WOKE voice of the world.