Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sliding into the grave

Robert Plant - Led Zepplin
David Lee Roth - Van Halen

Robert Plant and David Lee Roth both started out as the long-haired, bare-chested, crazy-sexy, front-men of hugely successful, ground breaking bands. These men epitomized the ideal of the "Rock God". If you polled a representative sample of so-called Generation X, I'm willing to bet you'd find the vast majority of us either wanted to be one of these provocative crooners or be with one - and a sizable portion wanted to be both.

Robert Plant and Alison Krauss -
Bluegrass Emmy

So as a Gen Xer, it makes complete sense that as my years add up and I consider just what aging may bring, I turn to these idols of my formative years for guidance.  And here's the thing - despite their very similar beginnings, Robert and David Lee have taken radically divergent paths toward old age.  Robert Plant strayed from his rock 'n roll roots and tried new stuff - this turn began with the Honeydrippers at about the same time that David Lee was at the top of his game.  He's explored different genre, and has seemed to have, well, just slowed down a bit - sort of easing into those "golden years".

David Lee Roth and Van Halen -
reunion tour
David Lee Roth, on the other hand, has chosen the "slidin' into the grave" approach. It seems he's doing what he's always done - rocking hard, drinking hard, and cashing in on the success of his youth. Touring again with the brothers' (and son) VanHalen has undoubtedly been incredibly celebratory and lucrative for him.

So the big question is. "Which is the better approach to aging?" Though I know which path I'm following, I don't know the answer to that.  Who's more content with his life? Who feels the most fulfilled? Who knows?