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Vintage rockers and Biden: A study in aging

As I rapidly approach the Biblically-promised span of three score and 10 years here on this Earth, I have started checking things off a bucket list I keep in my head. In May, I fulfilled one wish with a visit to Atlanta to see Neil Young & Crazy Horse.

I had never seen Neil Young, the king of feedback rock, live and he did not disappoint. Young, 78, came out with little fanfare and launched into a 15-minute rip fest version of ‘Cortez the Killer’, sparring with rhythm guitarist Micah Nelson, son of Willie Nelson.

The other band members were Ralph Molina on drums and Billy Talbot on bass. Both have been in Crazy Horse for 50 years.

Young did two hours with just one short break. There were three instrumentals in the middle but the rest was grown men playing rock and roll as it was intended. Long versions of hits rolled off the stage: ‘Powderfinger’, ‘Like a Hurricane’, ‘Everyone Knows this is Nowhere’, ‘Cinnamon Girl’.

When it was over Neil looked as if he could go another two hours.

Last month I saw the Stones at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta. I have seen the Stones many, many times and I expected them to have slipped some, particularly without the late Charlie Watts on the drums.

Mick Jagger will be 81 later this month. Keith Richards will be 81 in December. Ronnie Wood just turned 77. Keyboardist Check Leavell is the youngster at age 72.

The band started a little slow but picked up speed on old numbers ‘Sweet Virginia’, ‘Dead Flowers’ and ‘Tumbling Dice’.

They went three hours and closed out with a seven-song run consisting of ‘Sympathy for the Devil’, ‘Honky Tonk Women’, ‘Midnight Rambler’, ‘Gimme Shelter’, ‘Paint it Black’, ‘Jumping Jack Flash’ and ‘Satisfaction’ and were as good as they have ever been and I have seen every tour except one since 1972.

There was no shortage of energy at any point. The Benz with the roof open and a packed house was electric. The Stones still reign as the greatest rock and roll band in the world.

Which brings us to President Joe Biden.

I wasn’t going to watch last week’s debate. I set the VCR. I was about to call it a night but decided to watch just the first few minutes. Biden, who will be 82 in November, started out mumbling and stumbling and looked far older and far more demented than usual – and thats saying something.

I could not turn it off. It was like a bad wreck on the interstate. Despite yourself, you just can’t look away from the carnage.

I don’t watch much TV and I never watch CNN, a once proud news organization now reduced to shell of its former self, but the network’s post-debate panel also kept me transfixed.

All Democrats save one, they eviscerated Biden and his performance. All shared communications they had during the debate with others and the consensus was Biden cannot possibly debate again and should not be the nominee.

Mick Jagger continues to run, jump and prance all over the stage. Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood and Neil Young can still make their guitars wail for hours and on into the night. Georgia’s own Chuck Leavell plays rock piano like no one else.

They just keep on rocking.

Meanwhile, Joe Biden is deteriorating rapidly as the entire world looks on.

He is done!

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