Smokey Robinson and the Miracles started performing in 1955, four years before I was born. Today Smokey is 83 and as you can see above he has a concert scheduled this June. He is releasing his next album, Gasms, in just eleven days, on April 28.
My best friend is 92. We talk regularly. He provides me with a companionship that sustains my soul. I am so fortunate to be sharing this life with him. When I met him he was just three years younger than I am now. That was 32 years ago.
I recently had the good fortune to watch the Library of Congress honor Joni Mitchell with the Gershwin Prize. Joni is 79. It was a heartwarming experience that I highly recommend. Her close friends sang her songs with so much heart. I was deeply inspired. It was clear to me that they love her deeply. It included, among other greats, Herbie Hancock on piano. His hands floated above the keys like angel wings – he is 83. Magnificent show!
Joni suffered a debilitating brain aneurysm in 2015. It left her unable to speak, walk, or play the guitar. But her friends did not give up on her. Last year at the Newport Folk Festival she treated the crowd to a 13-song set in which she played her classic songs, told stories, and even performed an electric guitar solo on Just Like This Train. Her rendition of Summertime during the Gershwin Prize ceremony is not to be missed.
I am so inspired by these artists and my friend, to see what is possible in the later years of one’s life. It gives me the energy and insight to imagine a distant future for myself and all that can be done between now and then.
“Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.”
– Ella Fitzgerald