As fondly as I remember the '70s -- my favorite decade, particularly '77 to '79, three of the best years ever in pop music, from Rumours to Saturday Night Fever to the best of ABBA (Arrival to Voulez-Vouz) to the disco heyday of Donna Summer to one-hit wonders like Samantha Sang ("Emotion"), Walter Egan ("Magnet and Steel"), Jay Ferguson ("Thunder Island"), Alicia Bridges ("I Love the Nightlife"), Nick Gilder ("Hot Child in the City") and Amii Stewart ("Knock on Wood") -- the 70s were always kind of a scary time to think about. Not the decade, the decade, that not-so-innocent age after 69, when you were expected to start preparing to go gently into that good night.
Now, though, if 70 isn't quite the new 50, it's something thereabouts. Julie Christie, one of my all-time favorite actresses and still a contender for the sexiest woman alive, went there last year. Aretha Franklin arrived in March. Barbra Streisand crossed the threshold in April. And I dare anyone to call her old.
Yesterday (June 18), it was Paul McCartney's turn. This year alone, he's released a new album, performed at the Grammys and closed the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Concert in London (he'll also close the opening ceremony for the 2012 London Summer Olympic Games in July), launched his umpteenth tour and appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone. Who's old? (Certainly not Angela Lansbury, 86, or Betty White, 90, both of whom look great and have thriving careers well past 70.)
Jagger 70? I never would have thought it possible. But if he can inspire a No. 1 hit with his moves well into his 60s, then in his 70s he just might accomplish the meteorological miracle of being at once cooler than ever and even hotter than he was way back in the summer of '78 when the Rolling Stones were on top with "Miss You." It's not like the soon-to-be septuagenarian, who hosted Saturday Night Live's season finale in May, or the ex-Beatle who just became one yesterday, are looking at any sort of retirement plan.
Who knows? If they can fit it into their busy 70s, we might even finally get the McCartney/Jagger collaboration (a Beatle meets a Stone!) that I've dreamed about since the '70s.
5 Reasons Why Paul McCartney Would Be a Legend Even If He Weren't an Ex-Beatle
"Let 'Em In"
"With a Little Luck"
"Pipes of Peace"
"My Brave Face"