Medicine may have extended life for the average human being, but what extended the life of all these acts that were supposed to be retired, or playing state fairs by now. Every summer millions flock to see Bon Jovi and Jimmy Buffett. These two have become the standard and not the exception now though.
Madonna used to sell based, at least partially, on her sex appeal, and she is still selling out concerts on her world tours. I imagine that her appeal is one part cougar and one part nostalgia. Whatever the reasons, Madonna tickets are selling in droves around the world as she takes on hip hop with Hard Candy, her latest attempt to remain it the public eye.
The Eagles have enjoyed similar success, though for different reasons. The easy going rock and roll was the music staple for the ‘70s. I think people are going relive their younger days and to possibly see a fight break out on stage. The group has never been able to completely contain their egos and the tours generally end with at least on public blowup. Even though I did not grow up with the group, it would be cool to say I had Eagles tickets to Long Night at Wrong Beach Redux.
Of course one of the real reasons these bands stay in demand is because they are part of the music history of genres that still remain today. Modern hip hop and pop music borrows heavily from the past, and Madonna has the rare ability to appear new while openly celebrating her hit songs that have kept her going for decades.
The Eagles were at the pinnacle of rock in their prime. They produced three straight number one albums in the ‘70s and were one of the first to blatantly combine country and rock, creating a sort of easy going style that never really became passé. Watching them play is like attending a living, breathing exhibit.
The Eagles and Madonna will hardly be the last. ZZ Top has announced plans for a tour, Tina Turner has already begun touring after getting a taste of being in the public eye with Beyonce at the Grammy Awards in 2008, and folk singers like James Taylor have found a place on stage after their genre has meshed with rock.