Gabriel will play the Verizon center in Grand Prairie, Texas tonight. Can't wait to see him. He hasn't been here in eight years.
By definition, this guy is washed up and stealing money out of the wallets of people like me who want to feel 18 again. He's done. Finished. Can't play. Get him off the floor and let someone else have their turn.
How we define "washed up" should be whether the athlete or entertainer can do what they did in their prime. If he can still bring it and nail "In Your Eyes", or consistently score 12 to 15 a night with 8 dimes, he's still got it. He is pulling his weight, or close to it, he is still worth standard admission price. He's not stealing money.
I saw AC/DC last year at the American Airlines Center and loved it. They had energy. They were fun. They had some new songs. And, yes, all of their stuff sounds the same just as it did when they began. This is the same group that my older brother Chris once remarked, "I saw them 20 years ago and they were washed up then." But AC/DC was what you wanted in a concert - entertaining. Chris, you're wrong on this one.
On the performing artists pyramid, the sect that has it the "easiest" and can last the longest are musicians, provided their act doesn't require a great deal of physicality (Webster's, you should be ashamed that you added that as a word). This is why Tom Petty, at 60, can still tour with the Heartbreakers and pull it off. Throw in some new songs, sing "Breakdown" or "Running Down a Dream", and you've still got it. Petty was never a guy who ran around the stage, or jumped into the crowd. His act and his performance is about music.
That is why The Who's performance at Super Bowl XLIV had the look of a band that was clearly washed up. Pete Townshend's bunch was physical group, with motion that complemented their music. If they were to try to do today physically on stage what they did in their 20s they'd be in traction for a month.
Never seen Bob Dylan live in concert, but by all accounts he sounds like a dog farting these days.
These new acts that are "hot" - Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, et all - can't last into their 40s. How long can Britney Spears pull off wearing next to nothing while doing a P90X workout on stage as she sings "Stronger"? Gravity will win the war against her tight butt.
The foundation of avoiding the Washed Up label is the material. The music. The voice. The ability. If the musician is just about the music in their 20s, they can live forever. Same as a comedian; saw Bill Cosby two years ago in Frisco and the guy held the room with uncanny delivery and timing that had everybody laughing. Not washed up.
It's the reason why Hilary Swank will endure against Hollywood's disposable mentality towards women. Swank can bring it, whereas Jessica Biel will be hosting a reality show shortly.
On the performing entertainer pyramid the athlete is screwed. The athlete lives in the Britney Spears operating window. As long as it's "tight" they can do it.
I have seen countless cases of athletes who are washed up, and embarrass themselves.
Michael Jordan's turn with the Wizards is evidence that the human legs, lungs and arms will betray the athlete much quicker than any other performer. The athlete requires countless moving parts to move in sync and at a peak to succeed on the highest level, and do it against competition.
The entertainer requires a fraction of that amount, they're doing it alone, thus allowing Stevie Nicks to effectively still sing "Landslide" in perpetuity.
By this principle the athlete is going to be washed up much faster than any entertainer, be it singer or actor. Emmitt Smith with the Cardinals. Scottie Pippen with the Blazers. Pick your former Oakland Raider. This hurts to write - Mike Modano with the Red Wings. Brett Favre's last year with the Vikings.
This is why what Jason Kidd has done so unique. What he did at 38 to be the starting point guard for an NBA title-winning team is historic. Basketball is a young man's game, but Kidd is just smart enough to be able to hold his own and contribute effectively. He tweaked his game just enough - adding a decent 3-point shot - to remain relevant. There is no Mavs title without J-Kidd.
"He has such a great sense of the game," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said on Tuesday at the AAC. "He knows the personalities of the players on his own team and the opposing team."
Kidd's mind allowed him to avoid being washed up at an age when most NBAers are wondering what they are going to do next in life without ball.
Peter Gabriel falls into the J-Kidd category. His act used to be a very physical one, where he'd fall into the crowd, etc. But he's become entirely about the music, and tweaked all of the stuff that made him a guzillionaire to ensure that when a lot of his contemporaries are washed up he can still bring it.
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