Paul McCartney remains a great showman. His “Hey Jude” finale for Friday’s opening ceremonies of the London Olympics was fabulous.
Sir Paul’s performance came during a week in which I had been thinking about rock and pop musicians over 60 who continue to excel. Another person in this category is Lonnie Jordan, the 63-year-old frontman for WAR, who wowed the crowd Thursday evening during the River
Rhythms concert at Monteith Riverpark.
So yesterday, I jotted down my top 10 list of the greatest rock/pop stars who are older than 60.
1) Paul McCartney, 70. He still has that boyish look and great stage presence. “Hey Jude” is my favorite Beatles song, and he nailed it Friday night. Only one thing would have made it better: Ringo Starr on drums.
2) Carlos Santana, 65. The world’s greatest guitarist has never lost his creative touch.
3) Ian Anderson, 64. We saw him three years ago backed by the 30 members of the Oregon Symphony, and he still strutted around the stage with the same zest he displayed in his 20s with Jethro Tull. You won’t find a finer flutist.
4) Bruce Springsteen, 62. In a recent issue of Rolling Stone, there’s a picture of him drenched during a concert downpour — with a big smile on his face. The guy has amazing stamina and energy.
5) Joni Mitchell, 66. I frequently play her critically acclaimed “Shine” album (2007) when I proof Entertainer pages late Wednesday nights.
6) Elton John, 65. He has a wealth of hits and a great heart. Several years ago, he rediscovered his hero, Leon Russell, and helped reignite Russell’s career with “The Union,” a splendid album of duets. He even bought Russell a new tour bus.
7) Eric Clapton, 67. As guitarists go, he’s right up there with Santana. Those two guys need to do more gigs together.
Bonnie Raitt, 62. The gifted guitarist and singer-songwriter has won nine Grammys.
9) B.B. King, 86. Over the past 63 years, the King of the Blues has amassed more than 15,000 performances. And he continues to hit the road with Lucille.
10) Lonnie Jordan, 63. I had never heard of him until the WAR concert last Thursday, when he promptly made my top 10 list.