When I'm 65! Pop goes the pensioner

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Some of music's biggest rebels eat their words and graduate as OAPs this year

Live fast, die young – that was the rock'n'roll dream. The reality for many of Britain's greatest rockers is proving different, for 2012 will be the year of the pensioner pop star.

A wave of leading artists will reach their 65th birthday this year, first among them David Bowie, who once wrote the lyric: "Don't want to stay alive when you're 25." His anointment as an OAP will be marked with a series of parties around the world next week.

Mick Fleetwood and Ronnie Wood are among the other notorious hedonists born in 1947 who, given their rackety pasts, might not have been expected to make it this far.

The Who were quite explicit about their plans for the future, when they sang, "Hope I die before I get old". But two out of the four founding members, Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend, are still going strong. Inevitably, the excesses of the 1960s and 70s did take their toll, and some '47 rockers will have to be mourned this year. T-Rex founder Marc Bolan would have turned 65 in September, but died in a car crash in 1977. Here, The Independent on Sunday looks at 10 troopers who defied the odds to make it this far. Altogether now: "All the old dudes, carry the news...".

David Bowie, 8 January

'I've rocked my roll. There will be no more rock'n'roll tours from me. The last thing I want to be is some useless rock and roll singer.' So announced Bowie at the ripe old age of 28. Almost 40 years on, he's proved to be one of Britain's most successful and enduring artists.

Dave Davies, 3 February

As The Kinks' lead guitarist, Dave Davies was an early sound pioneer. One of the first musicians in Britain to use the distorted guitar sound featured in 'You Really Got Me', which was achieved by slashing his amplifier speaker with razor blades. Suffered a stroke in 2004, but recovered and now leads a quiet life in Devon.

Elton John, 25 March

In the 1970s, the former Reg Dwight feared his career was not long for this world. 'It could be the last gig for ever... I mean, who wants to be a 45-year-old entertainer in Las Vegas, like Elvis?' he said, while battling alcohol and cocaine addiction. He is now one of the 10 richest people in the UK music industry.

Iggy Pop, 21 April

Despite some seriously dodgy insurance ads, Iggy Pop shows no sign of slowing down. Gigging in skinny jeans and not much else, he still stage dives – an act he practically invented – despite badly injuring himself last year.

Ronnie Wood, 1 June

"What totally blows my mind is that I'm still alive, after all the stuff I've consumed and done over the years," said a candid Ronnie Wood recently. After dumping his wife of more than 20 years, Jo, the Rolling Stone has been seen out with a string of models – among others – decades his junior.

Mick Fleetwood, 24 June

The Cornish drummer and Fleetwood Mac founder lived the rock star cliché: cocaine, sex, and millions squandered. He even married and divorced his first wife twice. Now leads a tranquil life in LA.

Wilko Johnson, 12 July

The founding member of blues rock band Dr Feelgood, Johnson didn't gain a cult following for his drug and alcohol intake, but for his idiosyncratic guitar style and stage presence. He still plays the blues.

Meatloaf, 27 September

"I am the original fighter," proclaims Texan Meatloaf, best known for his album Bat Out of Hell. A big cocaine user, he threatened suicide, but he's calmer now and plans to move near his beloved Hartlepool FC.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace was caught by a camera van driving 32mph over the speed limit

TV
Arts and Entertainment
books
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and the Dalek meet
tvReview: Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Arts and Entertainment
Star turns: Montacute House
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Iain reacts to his GBBO disaster

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Outlaw Pete is based on an eight-minute ballad from Springsteen’s 2009 Working on a Dream album

books
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012

film
Arts and Entertainment
Simon Cowell is less than impressed with the Strictly/X Factor scheduling clash

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Gothic revival: artist Dave McKean’s poster for Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination
Exhibition
Arts and Entertainment
Diana Beard has left the Great British Bake Off 2014

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Lisa Kudrow, Courtney Cox and Jennifer Anniston reunite for a mini Friends sketch on Jimmy Kimmel Live

TV
Arts and Entertainment
TVDessert week was full of the usual dramas as 'bingate' ensued
Arts and Entertainment
Clara and the twelfth Doctor embark on their first adventure together
TVThe regulator received six complaints on Saturday night
Arts and Entertainment
Vinyl demand: a factory making the old-style discs
musicManufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl
Arts and Entertainment
David Baddiel concedes his show takes its inspiration from the hit US series 'Modern Family'
comedyNew comedy festival out to show that there’s more to Jewish humour than rabbi jokes
Arts and Entertainment
Puff Daddy: One Direction may actually be able to use the outrage to boost their credibility

music
Arts and Entertainment
Suha Arraf’s film ‘Villa Touma’ (left) is set in Ramallah and all the actresses are Palestinian

film
Arts and Entertainment
Madame Vastra and Jenny Flint kiss in Doctor Who episode 'Deep Breath'

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Steve Carell in the poster for new film 'Foxcatcher'
filmExclusive: First look at comic actor in first major serious role
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

    The big names to look for this fashion week

    This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
    Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

    'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

    Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
    Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

    Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

    Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
    Al Pacino wows Venice

    Al Pacino wows Venice

    Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
    Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

    Neil Lawson Baker interview

    ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
    The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

    The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

    Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
    The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

    The model for a gadget launch

    Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
    Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

    She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

    Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
    Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

    Get well soon, Joan Rivers

    She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
    Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

    A fresh take on an old foe

    Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
    Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

    Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

    As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
    Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

    Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

    ... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
    Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

    Europe's biggest steampunk convention

    Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
    Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

    Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

    Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
    Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

    Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

    The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor