Some days ago, AFP had contacted us for an interview. This has now been released as part of following article:
The rise of the rock dinosaurs
“Breaking up is hard to do,” sang The Carpenters in 1976, but a number of bands from that era are proving that getting back together isn’t as difficult as thought. In the next few months, a handful of past acts of legend, minus some hair and appetite for late nights, will take to the stage for a globe-trotting, nostalgia-tinged encore following a slew of band reunions.
The Police, The Who, Sly and the Family Stone, Iggy Pop and The Stooges and what remains of The Doors are all heading once more for the road. “The desire to play never goes away and neither does the desire of fans to see them perform,” says Giles Green, senior vice president of Sanctuary Records, a record label specialised in “heritage” music acts.
“Every heritage act can return, perform, and find a section of the market that is interested and wants to revisit their youth.” Phil Collins has joined up with his Genesis band mates again (minus Peter Gabriel), Lou Reed is back performing, and Van Halen announced a reunion before then pulling out – but apparently with a view to trying again next year.
Meanwhile, the tireless Rolling Stones are still delighting fans with live performances and are about to start the European leg of their ‘Bigger Bang’ tour. But while the Rolling Stones never split up, other bands have overcome deep resentments that made a reunion unlikely.
The Police surprised everyone earlier this year when they announced their reconciliation after more than 20 years apart. Singer Sting and drummer Stewart Copeland once came to blows during a tour of the United States and reportedly refused to be in the same studio together when recording a “best of” album in 1986.
Mellowed by age and doubtless aware of the lucrative nature of their making-up, the band are apparently getting on fine. “I know from contacts that they are getting along very well,” says Karel Van Isacker from the unofficial Sting fan club, StingUS. “It contrasts to the time in the 80s when they tried to do a reunion but were fighting day and night.”
Tickets, despite being priced at over 100 euros (135 dollars) in many countries, have sold out in less than an hour in some cities, proving the enduring popularity of the creators of “Roxanne” and “Message in a Bottle.”
“Overall the reunion was never expected to happen because Sting was opposed to it. But sales of his last two albums were a disaster and people were not going to his concerts any more,” adds Van Isacker.
As well as the buzz of performing and playing again, the temptation to top up the pension by settling old differences is a driving motivation behind many of the decisions to reform. “It brings them back into the spotlight,” says Sian Llewellyn, editor of British magazine Classic Rock.
“Touring re-energises the back catalogue of albums and gives a chance to release new editions and DVDs of live shows. The merchandising is the other half of it.” But touring when over 50 can be an exhausting undertaking and many of the so-called wild men of rock are now unable to repeat the high-octane performances of their youth.
Rolling Stones legend Keith Richards still gets into mischief – he fell out of a tree in Fiji earlier this year and was taken to hospital – but has cut down on smoking. “Most people think Keith Richards is smoking, but in fact he just lights a cigarette in the first song, then throws it away after ten seconds,” says Bjornulf Vik, who runs an unofficial Stones fan club. “He still smokes a little bit for his image, but it’s not heavy,” he adds.
As well as health risks, the other grave danger associated with a comeback is the potential to destroy a legacy by muddling memories that defined a moment for fans. Chief rock critic for British newspaper The Times, Pete Pathides, sees something noble in bands that resist the lure of money.
“Johnny Marr and Morrissey [of The Smiths] are constantly being offered vast sums of money and Abba were offered ridiculous amounts.
“For Abba, their argument was always that you’d be better off seeing a tribute band, rather than old men and women lumbering around on stage,” he says.

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