Thursday, 4 July 2013
If you're a woman of a certain age - not an issue. There are loads of role modelettes; dames by the cart load. Dame Judy, Dame Maggie, Dame Helen. Any one of those could be your lodestone guiding you as you navigate the choppy seas of arthritic joints, prolapsed this and that and fading beauty.
If you're a man, it's whole different ball game. Who can you look up to? Who is there that can offer you a guiding star to carry you into the Twilight Zone? Billy Connolly, Michael Caine, John Major....Jimmy Carter? It's difficult.
However, I've discovered two heavy weight contender for the title of "Hero of the Third Age". Mick Jagger. It frankly was a close run thing, Silvio Belasconi was toe to toe with young Mick, Keith Richards and Donald Trump having fallen at the last fence. Bernie Eccleston was in the running, but his ridiculous hair and height ruled him out after his rear tyres blew out on the home straight.
The trouble is that all the real role models for us Third Agers have all gone on ahead of us. Montgomery Clift, Steve McQueen, Eric Morecombe - these were people we could look up to, idolise, hang our bedroom walls with their pictures. JFK - we all know what the F stands for; Neil, the first man on the moon, Pavarotti these had ample CVs to be my generation's role models, but their files are closed....
I thought that Mick the Lip was the obvious choice. He's lean, mean and still has a full head of hair. O.K.it's dyed but what the heck, he can still strut his stuff. He's been circling the world for the past 50 years, he's been around since Telstar and 405 lines. He took Bryan Ferry's bird off him - anyone who can do that has got to be some kind of hero. He introduced Marianne Faithful to Mars Bars (allegedly); Topic Bars weren't around at the time.
And he played Glastonbury this year. I was blown away. The energy, the stamina, the sheer sustainability of the man was awesome. Amazing! Keith looked aged, as did Ronnie, but Mick, and an honourable mention to Charlie Watts, looked as if he'd just been pulled out of a Hoover Keymatic circa 1964, all Bri Nyloned and Drip Dried.
So the hero of the Third Age is Mick Jagger, the drop out LSE undergraduate. Except .. there's Silvio. The thing is I'm not sure Mick would be up to much if he had 50 groupies banging on his door. All that dancing and heavy music wears you out.
Silvio - we know what he'd be doing.....Men of a certain age sigh wistfully.