• Axl Rosenberg


I remember when Mick Jagger was about to turn fifty, The New York Times did this whole big piece about it, like it was some kind of giant cultural happening. Even having grown up around The Rolling Stones’ music and being a fan, I didn’t really see what the big deal was, but my folks certainly seemed to have a “Hol-ee shit really?” kind of reaction.

Cut ahead almost twenty years, and Axl Rose turns fifty today, and suddenly I understand how my parents felt. Fifty is old. Not old enough to get ready for death or anything, but, y’know, definitely not young. It’s just hard to wrap your head around the fact that the dude who once sang “Old at heart, but I’m only 28” is now fifty, y’know?

Maybe you don’t know. Maybe it’s just me. But somehow seeing your heroes get older makes you feel older, and it’s friggin’ weird. That’s all I’m getting at.

And, sure, the members of Sabbath and Priest and Maiden are already way older than that, but those dudes always seemed old to me — and, besides, clearly, Bruce Dickinson is going to outlive us all. Dave Mustaine turned fifty last year, but I somehow completely missed that news. So this particular celebrity birthday somehow feels all the weightier, because, well, I’m just not used to the guys I grew up listening to being played on classic rock radio stations.

ANYWAY, happy birthday, Axl. Thanks for the memories. And, y’know. For never actually suing us.


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