SPink Floyd's keyboardist, Richard Wright, died at 65 of cancer yesterday. Which reminded us—well, not us, but the boomers who grew up getting stoned to the 'Floyd in the 60s and 70s—that someday, we are all going to die. Maybe sooner than we think. The baby boomer's rock and punk heroes from the sixties and seventies are starting to die off—and not in the blaze of drug mystique and tragedy that befell Hendrix and Lennon and the rest. Why is this more depressing than usual?1. "Doctor, there's something wrong with me/My health is not all that it used to be." -The Who They're dying relatively young, in early middle age-either as a result of a hard lifestyle or simply the unfairness of not getting to choose when you go. They're also dying of realistic and unfortunately common diseases: heart disease, cancer. Just like the rest of us! (Being like the rest of us sucks and is totally why you say, "Fuck that" and become a rock star in the first place.) Joey, Dee Dee, and Johnny Ramone died in their late 40s and early fifties. Beatles guitarist George Harrison kicked it at only 58. The Clash's Joe Strummer? 50. 2. "It's better to burn out/than to fade away." -Neil Young Yet, they're not dying so young that they're leaving a beautiful corpse, which totally breaks the Rule of Jim Morrison. Boomers aren't so old that their friends are dying, but their heroes are already checking out. Memo: there's less time than you think. What will this mean for the economy? The national savings rate? 3. "Time is on my side." -the Rolling Stones Yet, of all the rockers that are dead or about to die, at least we can rest assured that the Stones will never, ever go. Especially not Keith Richards. Dude is immortal.
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