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What is the "critcal age" of an originals band?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by mikegug, Dec 20, 2011.

  1. mikegug


    Oct 31, 2011
    What is the "critcal age" of an originals band? What I mean is, look at the BIG, and I mean BIG BIG successes and what ages they were when they were introduced to the public for mass consumer consumption:

    The Stones, The Beatles, U2, Led Zep, VH, Hendrix, The Who...

    I'm no historian, but is late teens and early to mid-twenties the "optimal" time to have an originals band peak for introduction to the public?

    This post is an off-shoot of an idea from another thread post. Thoughts? I'm certain there are plenty of exceptions, but I also want to consider/discuss TODAY'S market.

    I mean, KISS wore make-up because they were ugly, pre-internet. Gorillaz released stuff without showing the members.

    Does age and looks matter? I'm leaning toward no. Marketing saavy could do wonders these days.
  2. sleeplessknight

    sleeplessknight Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2002
    Bill Withers didn't get started until his 40s, if I recall correctly...
  3. Grow a long beard at young age and be ageless like ZZ Top.
  4. MonkeyBass


    Mar 22, 2009
    Denver, CO
    Age and looks matter to those that care about age and looks. In other words, it matters to people trying to exploit bands to make money off an "image" and sound they can mold to make little girls want to have sex with them. If that's your demographic then, yes it matters.

    Other than that, I suppose it depends on your definition of success. There's no age limit to that.
  5. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    For me, it's 41. In a few months it will be 42.
    Which is another way of saying I'm too old to worry if I'm too old and I just try my best.

    The reality is it depends very very heavily on genre / intended audience. If your target audience is tweens, you' better not be over 21.
  6. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    For the most part younger is always better
  7. mikegug


    Oct 31, 2011
    Yup! Again, KISS (the band) comes to mind. Marketing saavy. In the case of Gene Simmons' case, marketing quantity.
  8. mikegug


    Oct 31, 2011
    Strictly talking BIG BIG money-type success.

    A good friend of mine probably makes low six figures and none of you have ever have likley heard of him, if you live in the US. That's not too bad.

    Not exactly U2 money, but...
  9. boynamedsuse

    boynamedsuse Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    My two cents is that your age is not a factor, but rather the state of the industry. Most of the bands that really made it big did so from the mid 60s through the mid 70s. Over the following decade (through the mid 80's) other groups made it, but fewer groups and with fewer fans. The pickings have gotten slimmer as time goes on. "Rock Star" doesn't mean the same today as it did in the 60's and 70's.
  10. Definitely depends on the type of music and audience.. Pop for Tweens, better be real young.. But, if you're doing any sort of roots music and/or jam-band jazz and such.. Age ain't nothing but a thang..
  11. Tampabass

    Tampabass Going Viral By 2080 Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2006
    I know you are, but what am I?
    For massive world-beating pop success, yes, age and looks do matter. Or at least, both have mattered, in probably 99% of the cases of those who have achieved massive world-beating pop success.
  12. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    I've seen KISS and they are ugly post-internet too!

    Back to your original question, I don't think there is a cutoff, but you have a better chance when you are younger just because you typically have fewer responsibilities and can pursue opportunities that someone with a family, mortgage and other commitments would have to pass on. The longer you can remain unencumbered, the more opportunities you can try to take advantage of.
  13. mikegug


    Oct 31, 2011

    Ah! That's got to be one of the big factors! You're available to work your butt off. Good insight.

    What about 1930's and 1940's? Were they all older, or do the black and white films make them look older? How old were the big band leaders upon "breaking" into the field?

    Shoot..., were there labels out there to "introduce them"?

    Were they "breaking into a field" or were they cultivating something that hadn't existed?
  14. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    A very crucial point. The industry has drastically changed, but the general perception of what constitutes "success" in music has not. The way I see it, what was once a single giant mountain topped by Elvis and the Beatles is now a broad range of various smaller peaks, each its own niche. Mt Bieber tries to be as tall as Mt ElvisBeatles, but it will never equal that -things are just different now.
  15. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    If you're doing pop rock or rock it's a young mans game and looks and age are crucial. I know of stories where 26 year olds have been told they were to old
  16. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    Age and looks were important in the 70s, but not as important as they step now.

    I doubt that world class talent like Aretha Franklin or Stevie Wonder would get signed today.
  17. boynamedsuse

    boynamedsuse Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    I don't know for sure, but looking up Benny Goodman, it says he was getting well known when he was 16 and got his big break with Billy Rose when he was 25. Tommy Dorsey was nationally known and recording hits with his band when he was 30 years old--not a trivial feat in the 1930's when communication was pretty much limited to radio and newspapers.
  18. RBrownBass

    RBrownBass Thoroughly Nice Guy Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2004

    I agree with you on the second para, but I'm not sure looks were all that much less important even back then. I don't think they'd have been signed during the time when they first became famous, either, if they'd been and looked the age they are right now. But Aretha was pretty attractive back in the day (waaay back, that is), and Stevie looked like pretty much any other young R&B guy, other than his different way of moving because he's blind.

    I will say that the emphasis on music has gone out of pop music. I don't know if it got replaced with looks or choreography, but I can remember when pop music was pretty doggone good stuff, regardless of lyrical content or the intended audience.
  19. That's true. Even obscure me-too bands from the sixties have a bigger following long term than any bands from the last 10 years that are not hit machines. Pretty interesting. You purchased an instrument and an amp in the sixties or early seventies and learned to play and had any kind of hit song, you are set for the next 50+ years. And in the early days people were awed about seeing someone playing an electric instrument on-stage. Today it's nothing special.

    Heck, reminds me to The Byrds song So You Wanna Be A Rock&Roll Star.

    Basically, the age of Rock&Roll stars is over, for anyone. Movie star business is better.
  20. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    This is not a concern of mine. Regardless of age I will continue to play what I want.

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