Who decides on the final curtain?

On a weekend where the great drummer and all round cool dude Taylor Hawkins of the Foo Fighters passed away far too soon, it really resonated with me that while there are a couple of exceptions, most musicians don’t know when our last gig is going to be.

So if Phil Collins wants to front Genesis from a chair while his son plays drums because he just physically can’t do it anymore, that’s his prerogative. I wouldn’t want to see it, and I certainly wouldn’t want to pay good money for the privilege (1981 in Barcelona bullring, now that was a night – 2022? no thanks), but thousands of satisfied punters have so who am I to begrudge it, even if he does look like Peter Gabriel in a mask singing The Musical Box in 1971?

Similarly, if Ian Anderson wants to continue performing, even though his singing voice has all but abandoned him, why should it bother me if he can still sell tickets?

Whether he should be selling those tickets under the Jethro Tull brand is another matter completely, but that’s a grudge I’ve been carrying since 1979.

Meanwhile Steven Tyler continues to prance about with fellow geriatrics in Aerosmith when he now looks like someone’s nan in skinny trousers but again, I don’t have to witness such a travesty so, why give a damn? Not my business.

Taylor’s sudden passing, 15 years younger than I am, has made me resolve to adopt a more tolerant attitude towards performers who crave the spotlight well past their sell by date.

I’m pretty sure I’m past mine when it comes to jumping about, and I may even have played my last gig for all I know, but that doesn’t mean I’m saying I’m done, because I might not be.

If Paul McCartney wants to tour at pushing 80 years-old and Ringo wants to do it at 82, well it’s fine by me because that’s a luxury Taylor Hawkins will never be able to experience and the only person with the right to say enough is the one who has to face the crowd.

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I was all set to write a rib-tickling hilarious piece on the Oscars red carpet, from the grating, fake sincerity-loaded American presenters on E! (the TV channel, not the drug) to the ridiculously OTT attired stars and the chances of them fitting onto what is basically a small padded dinner chair or cinema seat (not a deluxe screen one either) depending on your status – Will Smith got what looked like an Ikea armchair!)

But I quickly realised that everything I had was no longer considered acceptable in polite society.

So the jokes about razor sharp sculpted beards, designer shorthand, Timothée being pronounced like the shampoo and which of the Haim sisters scrubs up best will have to stay securely locked away in my head – not that cancel culture bothers me, but there are far more important things going on in Ukraine for me to waste time causing gratuitous offence by roasting the vacuous part of the art (not Haim).

POSTSCRIPT: ..Then somewhere around 4am British time, I watched Chris Rock commit career hara kiri and everything that had happened in the previous five hours became irrelevant.

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Full marks to whoever at the advertising agency dealing with the Expedia TV ad dug up the 1977 song Whole Wide World by Wreckless Eric. I doubt anyone younger than 60 has ever heard it before, even if it is only a few seconds.

A nice well deserved royalty cheque coming there.

That’s the thing about songwriting, it’s the gift that keeps on giving.

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Quote of the week comes again from Durham lass Abbie on Gogglebox, who, while watching Nina Conte on Celebrity Mastermind, asked sofa mate Georgia: “Who’s talking, the monkey or the ventriloquist?

Stupid TV quiz answers of the week

Tipping Point:

Q: Which 80s pop band were the subject of the documentary After The Screaming Stops?

A: The one with Freddie Mercury?

The Chase:

Q: Which of these stars was a woman: A – Lee Majors, B – Lee van Cleef, C – Lee Remick?

A: B – Lee van Cleef

Special mention to the woman on Lightning who thought Helen of Troy had a face that launched a thousand birds.

Edward Case

Columnist