Lock up your grannies! Extraordinary concert unites the Stones, The Who, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney and Neil Young (total age 651). So who's deaf, who's arthritic - and who wears a wig?
- The Rolling Stones, Sir Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan will perform together
- The Who, Neil Young and Roger Waters will also join them on stage
- They can be seen this weekend at the Empire Polo Club in California
Struggling with ailments from deafness to arthritis, with 42 children between them and various bubbling feuds, there will surely never have been a show quite like this.
The Rolling Stones, Sir Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, The Who, Neil Young and Roger Waters will all be performing on the same stage this weekend — at the Empire Polo Club in Indio Valley, California.
Ticket sales for the so-called Desert Trip festival have been encouraged with talk of seeing, in the words of The Who's Roger Daltrey, 'the greatest remains of an era' for one final time.
Golden oldies: Mick Jagger and Keith Richards take to the stage to perform at the Desert Trip music festival in Indio, California on Friday night
Satisfaction: Mick and Keith are joined by Ronnie Wood (left) and Charlie Watts (behind Jagger on drums)
Setting sun on an era: Music fans arrive for the Desert Trip music festival at Indio, California on October 7, 2016
A host of rock starts including Sir Mick Jagger, left, and Sir Paul McCartney will perform on the same stage this weekend
Roger Daltrey of The Who will appear in California as well as Canadian singer Neil Young, right
Each act — all together, they have a combined age of 724 — will play a full set, after sundown, and each is said to be netting around £5.5 million and rising for taking part in the three-day event.
With more than 150,000 people attending, the festival — which was two years in the making — is predicted to make at least £117 million in ticket sales, hospitality and merchandising.
The cover price is £323 to £1,295, although this week some touts were charging more than £19,000 a ticket.
But what of the main stars? Who's the richest, who's fathered the most children — and who hates whom in this gathering of the clans? ALISON BOSHOFF has the extraordinary story of the rock dinosaurs of the desert.
NO SPRING CHICKENS . . .
The eldest statesmen in this group are the Freewheelin' Bob Dylan and Stones drummer Charlie Watts, aged 75.
The eldest statesmen in this group includes the Freewheelin' Bob Dylan, aged 75
Next comes Sir Paul McCartney, 74, followed by Roger Waters and Sir Mick Jagger, 73. Then come the 72 club — Keith Richards, and Roger Daltrey. Pete Townshend is 71 and the babies of the bunch are grizzled contrarian Neil Young, 70, and Ronnie Wood, a mere 69.
With the recent deaths of David Bowie, Prince, George Martin and others, fans are perhaps more ready than ever to celebrate their ageing heroes.
KEEPING UP APPEARANCES
Mick Jagger — rock's holy relic and the son of a PE teacher — works out with Norwegian trainer Torke Eike for hours daily to maintain his 28in waist and phenomenal level of aerobic fitness.
Mick Jagger works out with trainer Torke Eike for hours daily to maintain his 28in waist
Paul McCartney is also a gym devotee, going three times a week, as well as cycling regularly and practising yoga.
Roger Daltrey has an impressive six pack but says that it's mostly just in his genes. 'I've just inherited the body I've got,' he said. Keith Richards, meanwhile, has a swelling paunch, as does Neil Young.
Paul McCartney has been various shades of conker — he's been using hair dye since the days when he was married to Linda. Bob Dylan was grey, but has recently reverted to a very obviously dyed brown/black.
Paul McCartney has been various shades of conker — he's been using hair dye since the days when he was married to Linda
Mick Jagger's feather-cut brown mullet is quite the mystery — there are never signs of grey regrowth and his father Joe was as bald as an egg from middle age.
Some assert that it is a wig, and the fact that no one will admit to being his hairdresser is possibly suspicious. Others say it is natural — just heavily dyed.
Keith Richards is supposed to have had a not terribly brilliant hair transplant a few years ago, hence the scarves he wears.
42 CHILDREN, AND COUNTING
These sex gods certainly are a fertile bunch. In ranked order, Roger Daltrey has nine children, Mick Jagger will have eight when his child with 29-year-old dancer Melanie Hamrick is born next month.
These sex gods certainly are a fertile bunch. Roger Daltrey has nine children
Bob Dylan has six children, five with first wife Sara Lownds and one daughter with backing singer Carolyn Dennis. Keith Richards has four children (a fifth, Tara, died in infancy). Ronnie Wood has six children, including infant twins with his third wife, 38-year-old Sally Humphreys.
Pete Townshend, Roger Waters and Neil Young have three children each. Charlie Watts has one, daughter Serafina.
WHO'S TOP OF POPS?
Top of the pops are Pink Floyd, with around 250 million album sales worldwide. Next come the Rolling Stones on 200 million, followed by a three-way tie on 100 million for Paul McCartney, The Who and Bob Dylan. Neil Young has sold around 35 million.
Top of the pops are Pink Floyd, with around 250 million album sales worldwide
TOPPING UP THEIR PENSION PLANS
What a wealthy collection of septuagenarians they are.
Thanks to publishing revenues from The Beatles, plus a long and successful solo career, Sir Paul McCartney is easily the wealthiest with a £730 million fortune.
Thanks to publishing revenues from The Beatles, plus a long and successful solo career, Sir Paul McCartney is easily the wealthiest with a £730 million fortune
By comparison, Mick Jagger — notoriously interested in enriching himself — is worth a mere £280 m.
Next comes Keith Richards on £266 m, followed by Stones drummer Charlie Watts on £125 m, Roger Waters on £113 m and then Pete Townshend on £82 m.
Bringing up the rear are Ronnie Wood on £70 m, Bob Dylan on £62 m (he has had some very expensive divorces and doesn't do big money tours) and Neil Young and Roger Daltrey both on £51 m each. Wonder who'll be buying the drinks backstage?
Surprisingly, the award for longest marriage doesn't go to Sir Paul McCartney and Linda Eastman, who were famously married for 29 years until her death in 1998, but to Roger Daltrey and redhead Heather Taylor, who have been married for 45 years.
Roger Daltrey and redhead Heather Taylor have been married for 45 years
However, Daltrey has fathered four illegitimate children during the marriage. He was instantly besotted by Taylor, an ex-model who inspired Jimi Hendrix to write Foxy Lady. He took her to Woodstock in 1969 and she agreed to marriage in 1971, but on his own terms.
'I was honest and said, 'Look, I'm in a rock band, I've got loads of other girlfriends and I'm not going to give any of them up. If you can put up with that, I'll happily get married.' '
He had an open affair with super groupie Geraldine Edwards, after meeting her backstage in San Diego in 1977.
In 2003, he announced the existence of those illegitimate children, to the astonishment of many. 'I have one by a previous wife, one by a previous girlfriend, and four turned up when I was over the age of 50 — one, incredibly, on my 50th birthday [...] I didn't know they existed,' he said.
Pete Townshend recalled that his band mate would say: 'I am Roger Daltrey and I am available. You can all have me.'
Neil Young's marriage to wife Pegi lasted 36 years before they split in 2014 and he started dating Splash actress Daryl Hannah.
Former Pink Floyd bassist Roger Waters takes the wooden spoon for his fourth marriage to Laurie Durning, a blonde 20 years his junior. They managed only three years of matrimony. In court they wrangled over a settlement, with Durning halting proceedings to demand she get her £23,000 Rolex watch back.
Three years: Former Pink Floyd bassist Roger Waters takes the wooden spoon for his fourth marriage to Laurie Durning
Mick Jagger's marriage to Nicaraguan socialite Bianca actually lasted for seven years, even though it is often asserted that they basically split up on the day of their disastrous wedding in Cannes. Bianca, then pregnant with daughter Jade, disliked Mick's friends and refused to have anything to do with the Stones and their entourage while they were making Exile On Main Street in France that year.
WHO'S ON THE PROWL?
Only three of them are single: Mick Jagger is not in an exclusive relationship with ballerina Melanie Hamrick, who is expecting his child, and is said to be up to his old tricks with casual conquests.
Bob Dylan — notoriously private — hasn't had a girlfriend in years, but just completed a tour supported by a former love, Mavis Staples
Roger Waters split with writer Rula Jebreal, 40, last month after a brief romance. And Bob Dylan — notoriously private — hasn't had a girlfriend in years, but just completed a tour supported by a former love, Mavis Staples.
ACHES AND PAINS
You can bet that the finest medics on the planet will be on standby as between them the line-up has suffered an alarming variety of ailments.
You can bet that the finest medics on the planet will be on standby. Neil Young has survived a brain aneurysm
Pete Townshend is 'almost stone deaf'. Neil Young has survived a brain aneurysm. Roger Daltrey has had meningitis, and suffers joint pain. He said: 'I've got to the point where I'm having physical problems with my body now, joints going and all that.'
Meanwhile, Keith Richards suffers from arthritis in his fingers — the digits which play all the famous riffs from Jumpin' Jack Flash to Satisfaction are now alarmingly gnarled.
He also fractured his skull (causing cranial bleeding and triggering two seizures) in 2006 when he fell out of a tree in Fiji. Neurosurgeon Andrew Law, who removed a life threatening blood clot, is said to travel with him to keep a watchful eye.
Richards said: 'Andrew Law told me in New Zealand — whatever you do, no more bump [cocaine], and I said OK. Actually, I've done so much bloody blow in my life, I don't miss it an inch. I think it gave me up.'
GRUMPY OLD MEN…
Every act comes bearing the heavy freight of a feud of some kind.
Pete Townshend, the tortured and creative genius behind the music, has kicked handsome, pugilistic front man Roger Daltrey out of The Who several times. Even 20 years ago they were in the habit of travelling separately on tour, such was their animus. 'Ours is a group with built-in hate,' Townshend once explained. 'If we liked each other we probably wouldn't exist.'
Pete Townshend, the tortured and creative genius behind the music, has kicked handsome, pugilistic front man Roger Daltrey out of The Who several times
One night in 1965 Daltrey was sacked from the band after knocking drummer Keith Moon out cold. He left again after a row in 1966.
While filming the 1979 movie Quadrophenia, he and Townshend came to blows again. 'Pete was very drunk and has come at me with a guitar then he's tried to punch me. So I ducked the punch and hit him,' recalled Daltrey. Townshend, who was knocked out, sighed: 'I probably deserved it.'
Since the band called it a day in 1982, there have been periodic concerts — with frequent sniping.
Daltrey said: 'It's a working relationship. Pete can be tricky. It can be like walking through a minefield with a blindfold and a pair of oversized hobnail boots. That's all I can say.'
Mick Jagger and Keith Richards have a similar relationship. They have barely spoken in 25 years and can only just be in the same room. On stage, they carefully avoid each other and, when on tour, have separate dressing rooms, managers and transport.
Mick Jagger and Keith Richards have barely spoken in 25 years and carefully avoid each other
Keith apparently gets very annoyed that Mick — whom he calls 'Brenda', 'Miss Jagger,' and 'Her Ladyship' — goes on stage last. It took hours of meetings between their lawyers to set up the recent 50th anniversary tour and events. The two men might have been all smiles as they recorded the band's 24th studio album this week — their first in nearly a decade — but their rivalry goes way back.
Keith was furious when Mick made a solo album in the Eighties, and he even tried to get Roger Daltrey to replace Mick in the line-up. When the Stones album Dirty Work was recorded in Paris in 1985, studio time was organised so Mick and Keith wouldn't have to be in the same room at the same time.
Ronnie Wood effected a truce in 1987, but Keith still provokes Jagger. When Mick's marriage to Jerry Hall collapsed Keith said: 'No one ever divorced me. It boils down to the fact I've never just been interested in a lay.'
He called Mick's 2001 solo album, Goddess In The Doorway, Dogs*** In The Doorway, but what really broke the relationship was what Keith said about Mick's penis. In his autobiography, Keith accused Mick of having a 'tiny todger' and claimed he'd enjoyed an affair with Mick's girlfriend Marianne Faithfull. He later apologised.
Neil Young has a long history of fall outs, particularly with his band mates in Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
Neil Young has a long history of fall outs, particularly with his band mates in Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. He abruptly left a tour with Stephen Stills in 1976 and, more recently, said that he would never tour again with his old band mates after rude remarks were made about girlfriend, Daryl Hannah.
After David Crosby called Hannah a 'purely poisonous predator' in an interview, Young said: 'I wish him the best with his life. A reunion will never happen. Not in a million years.'
Roger Waters, the leading creative force of Pink Floyd, has a famously difficult relationship with the rest of the band. He and Dave Gilmour first fell out during the making of Ummagumma in 1969. He fired keyboardist Rick Wright during sessions for The Wall.
Waters left the band in 1985 and took legal action to try and stop the others performing as Pink Floyd without him. The matter was settled out of court, with papers signed on Christmas Eve in 1987. There was almost no contact for 18 years, until they all played again for a Live 8 charity concert in 2005.
TOUCHED BY TRAGEDY
These men are all survivors — with drugs having carried off many of their closest friends. Rolling Stone Brian Jones was sacked by the band in 1969 because of his drug problems and found drowned in his swimming pool later that year.
Stones saxophonist Bobby Keys — who performed with the band for 40 years — died of cirrhosis in 2014.
The Who's drummer Keith Moon died in 1978 from an overdose of a drug intended to treat or prevent symptoms of alcohol withdrawal
The Who's drummer Keith Moon died in 1978 from an overdose of a drug intended to treat or prevent symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.
In 2002, Who bassist John Entwistle died of a heart attack following a cocaine binge.
Founding Pink Floyd member Syd Barrett, who was sacked from the band in 1968 because of his heavy LSD use, lived reclusively until his death in 2006 of cancer.
Concert goer Meredith Hunter was stabbed to death near the front of the crowd by the Hell's Angels hired by the Stones as security at the Altamont concert in 1969. Ten years later, 11 people died in a crush when The Who played in Cincinnati, Ohio.
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