Grande Dames Still Touring
Jefferson Airplane’s Grace Slick, who shocked audiences in the 1960s by jumping offstage drunk to pick a fan’s nose and once exposed herself sans undies, has little faith in aging rockers. Now 68, Slick told ABCNEWS.com, “It’s sad somehow when you watch people who are doing things that my daughter calls ‘age inappropriate.’ “They can sing almost anything but rock and roll and rap,” said Slick, who lives in California as a painter. “When [a rapper] gets old he’ll look sappy holding his crotch and making finger signs and wearing ‘bling’ and talking about my ‘b***h.'”
But today’s sold-out concerts by some of her contemporaries suggest that Slick has miscalculated the staying power of aging female rockers.
The grande dames of rock and pop — Tina Turner, Cher, Bette Midler and Madonna — are still recording, touring and commanding astronomical ticket prices at the biggest venues with fan bases that cross all age barriers.
Only one publicist, Liz Rosenberg, who represents Nicks, Cher and Madonna, commented on Slick’s classic off-color invective.
“What an ageist statement to make,” Rosenberg told ABCNEWS.com. “I find all these women totally inspiring as their fans obviously do as well. Tell Grace to get out on the road this summer and see if any of these ‘grand dames’ perform. I think she will change her mind. And tell her to bring her daughter with her.”
“Queen of Pop” Madonna, who’s approaching 50 and appears in a photo spread in May’s Vanity Fair, is still churning out her own material, touring and showing off her well-sculpted biceps. Her Sticky & Sweet world tour kicks off in the United States in October, including three sold-out shows at Madison Square Garden.
“I feel good about what I’m doing,” she recently told ABC’s “Nightline.” “It’s given me a feeling of accomplishment for living this long and to still be able to do what I want to do and feel as good as I do. It’s a blessing.”
These older rockers have “really strong self images,” Tamara Conniff, Billboard’s editorial director, said. And many of their careers have been bouyed by a long-time gay following that has bolstered their success. “The gay community is strong on dance-club mixes and audience participation, and those men are very giving back.”
From an article by ABCnews.go.com
Thanks to Vincy