Music of Immortals: Meet Japan’s Granny Pop Band

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You’re probably familiar with the expression, the Music of the Spheres, which regards the movements of celestial bodies as a form of subtle harmony. But what about the Music of the Years? That is, do musicians, like entrepreneurs (Segregation Isn’t Just About Race and Culture), improve with age?

McCartneyConsider Paul McCartney. 

With a new album release at age 76 (and an absolutely delightful carpool karaoke with James Corden), the former Beatle, one-half of the songwriting powerhouse Lennon/McCartney, is back in the news, with bells on — not least for releasing new music at an age when most people are retired. Except for actors. And, yes, musicians.

Music Makes the Woman

OK, McCartney is still rocking out in his seventies. So is Mick Jagger, along with the rest of the Rolling Stones. But they can’t hold a candle to what’s happening in Japan.

In Okinawa, which has earned a reputation as “land of the immortals,” some of these robust seniors comprise KBG84, an all-female pop band whose members’ average age is 84. In Japan, where most of the populace is now 65+, a song like When I’m 64 is child’s play, as it were. The granny band’s oldest member is a centenarian.

This could be very inspiring for reverse mortgage prospects who feel they might be “too old” for a HECM.

In fact, music “youthifies” in a way even young people revere, as millennial Nicole Duggan explains in this piece about how entrepreneurship is becoming ageless. She went to see Stevie Nicks (former lead singer of Fleetwood Mac) and The Pretenders in concert on a double bill, and writes, “Although I could say they looked and sang as if they were still 20-something, I wouldn’t dare. If I did, I would be making their experiences as musicians, professionals, and human beings, over the last five decades, almost obsolete.

“Their age didn’t come with them, they brought it. They put it in front of the crowd and said ‘age is a state of mind’ and there, right at that stage, was the proof.

“If I learned something that night it was that there is no perfect time, no perfect age, to create. Imagination, inspiration, initiative, comes at all ages.”

What valuable awareness to gain early on.


Music Never Gets Old

As celebrated lyricist Leonard Cohen said, “I always had the sense of being in this for keeps if your health lasts you. And you’re fortunate enough to have the days at your disposal so you can keep on doing this. I never had the sense that there was an end. That there was a retirement or that there was a jackpot.”

The “jackpot” was the privilege of listening to this legend at 75, in as full-throated form as he was decades earlier.

Finally, consider melodic relief for your own mindset as an LO. Music can improve your productivity when you’re working on repetitive tasks — though be mindful that lyrics can be distracting if you need to concentrate. Also, be sure to mind your music when others in the office require quiet. That’s when earbuds come in handy.

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