Getting Rusty

In The Atlantic’s new issue, James Parker reflects on the legendary performers of heavy metal as they enter old age:

There is a second prime, we are discovering, in the life cycle of a rock-and-roller, a madder and more precarious second heyday. The potency of early manhood passes, and its beauty is a memory. Barely a blip now travels around the once-blazing circuit of your inspiration. Your bones ache, your voice is shot, and the rags of age are upon you.

But you keep going. You keep playing. And gradually this becomes the thing about you: You’re still there. You endure, you defy, and the older and gnarlier you get, the more magnificent the rebellion is.

A reader writes:

That was a surprisingly touching essay. And it makes these lyrics from Motorhead’s “Ace of Spades” all the more poignant:

You know I’m born to lose and gambling’s for fools
But that’s the way I like it, baby
I don’t wanna live for ever!

This note is primarily an excuse to post that amazing bit from Jim Breuer on aging metal fans, embedded above.