News Of Their Retirement Has Been Greatly Exaggerated. AARP Doesn’t Care

I had to cackle when I saw this post by jazz critic and music historian, Ted Gioia:

For those for whom the image isn’t populating, he writes”

I’m not sure whether I’m depressed by the AARP sponsoring the Stones, or applaud it as the obvious move.

But whether you love it or hate it, this is one more sign of the music culture’s obsession with what’s old and aging.

I am mostly submitting this for everyone’s general entertainment rather than to make an attempt at any sort of meaningful statement. I don’t have any strong thoughts on music culture’s obsession with what’s old and aging. I do think there is a degree of irony in the fact the the Rolling Stones clearly haven’t retired in the spirit of Mark Twain’s statement that reports of his death was greatly exaggerated.

Since Twain arranged his estate so that his autobiography wouldn’t be released until 100 years after his death and other papers until 400 years after his death, I wouldn’t have put it past him to disseminate news of his death as a publicity stunt similar to how the Rolling Stones have announced their retirement from touring at least a couple times now. It turns out though that Twain had a cousin in London who was seriously ill with whom the author had been confused.

About Joe Patti

I have been writing Butts in the Seats (BitS) on topics of arts and cultural administration since 2004 (yikes!). Given the ever evolving concerns facing the sector, I have yet to exhaust the available subject matter. In addition to BitS, I am a founding contributor to the ArtsHacker ( website where I focus on topics related to boards, law, governance, policy and practice.

I am also an evangelist for the effort to Build Public Will For Arts and Culture being helmed by Arts Midwest and the Metropolitan Group. (

My most recent role was as Executive Director of the Grand Opera House in Macon, GA.

Among the things I am most proud are having produced an opera in the Hawaiian language and a dance drama about Hawaii's snow goddess Poli'ahu while working as a Theater Manager in Hawaii. Though there are many more highlights than there is space here to list.


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