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#52998 - 04/15/11 03:27 PM Mid-life crisis
Mitch Koch Offline

Registered: 02/02/11
Posts: 39
Loc: TN
I’m curious if any other old fart musicians still pursue their passion in a band setting, or did you at some point reasonably and rationally accept your age and retire the pursuit? Above and beyond doing the occasional sit-in gig or recording, are there other late 30-somethings + who still put out/respond to ads, hook up with bands and jump into it with all of the fervor of a starry-eyed 19-year old? Do you want to still be out there playing, but rationalize that you won't be taken seriously? At what point did you decide that you perhaps became a caricature of yourself? Was it based solely on superficial reasons?

I’m not talking about pursuing old-music-for-old-men cover band or blues-jam gigs. I’m referring to pursuing music that excites and inspires you but may be deemed a “young man’s game”. How do you grow old gracefully when you still crave playing in a band but know you’re past your prime? Would you even have the patience to deal with the drama all over again? What do you do when making a solo recording is either unfeasible or just doesn’t satisfy the craving?

In case you haven’t figured it out, I’m and old bastard who is thinking about hooking up with a band (in which all members are younger than I am) for the first time in…uh…a loooong time. Not as a fill-in player either – but as an actual band member with no promise of pay or glory. No matter how much I obsess over the pros and cons, I can’t manage to talk myself in or out of a decision.

Any insight, fellow old-timers?
“That is what friendship means. Sharing the prejudice of experience.” Charles Bukowski

#53000 - 04/15/11 03:36 PM Re: Mid-life crisis [Re: Mitch Koch]
Jake999 Offline
senior member

Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 2230
 Originally Posted By: Mitch Koch
How do you grow old gracefully when you still crave playing in a band but know you’re past your prime? Would you even have the patience to deal with the drama all over again? What do you do when making a solo recording is either unfeasible or just doesn’t satisfy the craving?

Mitch... why grow old gracefully? Mick Jagger is still kickin' ass, as is Rod Stewart, as is Steven Tyler, as is Clapton... you can go on and on. If you WANT it, GO FOR IT. No guts, no glory, bro. I would sell my mama to the Arabs to be able to do it, but time and arthritis have made any hope of being a guitar god just a pipe dream, so I envy you HAVING that choice.

Who knows, I might be playin YOU on Jake's Time Machine on Dark Ryde Radio some day!
Bury your dead, pick up your weapon and soldier on.

#53019 - 04/15/11 10:43 PM Re: Mid-life crisis [Re: Jake999]
Nyte Offline

Registered: 10/19/09
Posts: 380
Loc: Ohio
I'm with Jake on this one, completely. If you don't give yourself the chance, you'll never know what could be, no matter what age.

I've gone to several concerts of bands that have been around for YEARS and would pay in 2 seconds again to see them. They are sooooo worth it.

I say GO FOR IT!!
If only just for today.....

#53020 - 04/16/11 01:29 AM Re: Mid-life crisis [Re: Mitch Koch]
Dimitri Offline

Registered: 07/13/08
Posts: 3413
That situation sounds familiar of a close friend of mine. He has been drumming from the age of 14-15 and is now a little above the 30ies. He also "complains" about the same situation you are having and is actually burning out from the passion. He is in a duel between wanting to continue the drumming in a band, but looking up against those "starry-eyed 19-year olds" who think who will make it to the stars.

He speaks about it with me since (which in fact is quite a compliment) I'm one of the very few people a little older then 19 who just plays his instrument for the fun of it. We sometimes do a little jam-session but not with the idea of going to a productionhouse. It tends to give him some new courage to continue mastering his instrument which does the same to me.

I'd say you should try to find a few people or a friend who plays an instrument and just get together. Play a few covers for the heck of it or even let him/her/them just improvise on a tune which springs to mind. (Which I have with this guy, he starts a rythm and I simply start playing a scale which I like to hear at the moment).

I wanted to include a video of him but looks like he withdrew his promotion videos from youtube.

What I do want to share as a not-really-an-oldtimer is to take a look at the band first and see what their goals are. Do they really want to become famous or do they want to have musical experiences and share ideas/tunes? You know there wouldn't be any pay or glory, but if they don't know and still live up to the illusion.. skip it and continue your search. Or even do as I said in my first paragraphs.
Ut vivat, crescat et floreat

#53037 - 04/16/11 12:09 PM Re: Mid-life crisis [Re: Dimitri]
Diavolo Offline

Registered: 09/02/07
Posts: 4997
Although my involvement into something which vaguely can be called musical performance is of ages ago, as an old fart, I can only advice you to do that which you desire to do and not care about what others think about it.

I'm often hearing similar doubts when talking with people of my age. They've retracted into their own little world for a long time and when realizing again there is life outside of that too, they feel a desire to participate but what holds them back is this silly idea that there are some limitations to what you can do at what age. As if getting older implies being restricted to gardening or taking a walk with your dog.

I'm almost 45 and still participating in life and exploring what is new or unknown. Sure those around me are often half my age, even if, but even when being ancient compared to them, you will only be considered as such when you behave as one. If you are open to experience and that which is new, none bothers at all.

So, get on that stage and let yourself go. Whatever they say about it, is not as important as the very pleasure it brings you.

Remember, those that accuse you of having a mid-life crisis, often suffer an all-life one.


#53057 - 04/16/11 08:27 PM Re: Mid-life crisis [Re: Diavolo]
Knievel74 Offline

Registered: 05/18/10
Posts: 149
Loc: NY
I say just do it. You'll hate yourself if you don't. I'm 42 and haven't played in a serious band for a couple of years and I really miss it. Right now I'm putting together my own production company to shoot films and write stage plays. I'm also putting together a professional stage combat group. But I'm also planning to put a new band together.

Age is just a number.

You have to follow your instincts no matter what anyone says.

Edited by Knievel74 (04/16/11 08:29 PM)
"Man was meant to live, not just to exist". - Evel Knievel

#53115 - 04/18/11 03:43 PM Re: Mid-life crisis [Re: Mitch Koch]
Mitch Koch Offline

Registered: 02/02/11
Posts: 39
Loc: TN
Thank you all for the thoughtful and helpful responses. My apologies for being a couple days late to respond on my own thread - but I ended up spending quite a bit of time this past weekend with the band I eluded to in my post. We met for dinner and had a pretty good time. After hearing more of their material and spending some time working out drum parts to a couple of songs, I've decided not to work with them but not because of any superficial insecurities or lack of confidence in their abilities. In fact, they are impressive musicians, even for a town like Nashville where great players are a dime a dozen. If anything it was a good reminder to me how much I need to do this, but there are just too many musical differences between them and I. So now I’m freshly motivated to find some other folks to play with who share more of my musical interests.

To put it simply – it got me out of the house.

You all unknowingly echoed many of the same words my wife tells me on a regular basis so I suppose I have to give myself a break once in a while. \:\/ I have extremely high standards and expectations of myself and sometimes I lose sight of what I have already achieved and can readily do.

Thanks again for listening and responding.
“That is what friendship means. Sharing the prejudice of experience.” Charles Bukowski

#53116 - 04/18/11 04:04 PM Re: Mid-life crisis [Re: Mitch Koch]
SkaffenAmtiskaw Moderator Offline
veteran member

Registered: 06/24/09
Posts: 1318
I completely missed this thread, sorry, Mitch!

Obviously you should go for it. A man of your conviction and taste in music needs to play for keeps (sic).

Getting out of the house seems like a very promising start. I have relatives in music, and they all just needed to get going somehow. I have every confidence a man of your talents can make it to the big time.

Best of luck!
"I'd rather be right than consistent" - Winston Churchill

#53118 - 04/18/11 06:36 PM Re: Mid-life crisis [Re: SkaffenAmtiskaw]
CrownOfScorn Offline

Registered: 04/18/11
Posts: 1
Loc: Jersey, Channel Islands
Hi Mitch,

I just wanted to say, if you love music and it is your passion, then just go for it, no questions.

Although I understand where you are coming from, you can't let that hold you back! If you don't do it you will most probably regret it in the long run...

It's good that it has motivated you to carry on though.

But you know what it's like, sometimes you gotta play with a bunch of different people before you find the ones you really gel with, both personally and musically.

Good luck finding the right band!

#53766 - 04/30/11 11:35 PM Re: Mid-life crisis [Re: CrownOfScorn]
Zakary Offline

Registered: 11/12/07
Posts: 83
Just go for it...... if the bills are paid and everyone is clothed and fed...... why not. There will be some youngins who only want to play with those their own age...... that's ok, I can appreciate that. However, now that you' ve reached an age of musical and personal maturity you can actually concentrate an be objective about what you want from music.......
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