On Growing Older Gracefully


The sudden appearance of Ray Davies at the closing ceremony of the Olympics probably frightened the life out of Britain’s children, making them running behind their sofas in tears. The head Kink had morphed into a cross between the Childcatcher and Mad King Ludwig of Bavaria, his orange hair swept in a gravity-defying tonsure around his head that made him look insane.

We had already been treated to Macca’s eerily taut features during the opener. This time around, the old rockers trotted out had been forced to make a decision; should they age normally like Pete Townsend (actually his Who-pal Roger Daltry seemed relatively untampered-with, as he never had a neck to begin with), should they divert audiences with facial hair (George Michael’s ‘Earl’s Court in 1980’ look rather suits him) or should they simply appear barking?

Of course, US TV presenters do this sort of thing so much better than us. This is a person called *checks notes* Duane ‘Dog’ Chapman, some kind of telly bounty hunter who just got denied entry into the UK for actually murdering someone. The fact that a TV channel was prepared to hire him to be on ‘Big Brother’ here (I had no idea it was still on) suggests that TV executives still have the morals of blowflies. ‘Dog’ has opted for a look that says ‘Ron Perlman Meets The Lion King’, and probably fails to note the irony of his housewifely hair.

I’m in my fifties, and simply finding clothes that weren’t designed to be worn by 14 year-old Japanese boys is becoming tricky, as most London department stores don’t stock larger sizes, and unless they can run me up something from the cubicle curtains I tend to walk out empty-handed.

The joke is I’m not even fat, so God knows where the portly people of my age shop. Tony Hancock said; ‘Once the petals begin to fall from the rose, the bees don’t come round so often’ and maybe that’s it. Stars have to look like sexual powerhouses all their lives. Kudos, then, to Tom Jones, who finally stopped dying his hair and went wonderfully white at the age of 71. He also admitted, at long last, that he’d been married for 55 years, thereby dashing the hopes of pensioners everywhere.

Lifestyles changes mean that the ages of man (and woman) are changing. But even so, they shouldn’t change so much that we’re required to look like badly embalmed 20 year-olds all our lives.

(Incidentally Duane ‘Dog’ Chapman has used one fashion tip well – sunglasses hide those poached-egg eyes)

5 comments on “On Growing Older Gracefully”

  1. DavidF says:

    Macca is not eerily taut, he looks like a puffy old woman! Although his “hair by cuprinol” is disturbing, it’s not as disturbing as his painfully frail, variable-tonality singing voice. It hurts.

    Are we to suffer another 10-15 years of diminshing returns from McCartney? Sinatra kept going for about 20 years too long after his voice went (people can talk about “his wonderful timing” all they like, his voice had GONE), Nina Simone the same – someone needed to tell them to retire. Tony Bennett and Paul Anka still sound great at 80-odd, so they’re allowed.

  2. John Howard says:

    I certainly agree David. As a major Beatles fan, that rendition of Hey Jude was the only thing I was embarrassed by in the opening ceremony. As a song it was probably the only song that everyone will have known and could sing along to which i think was the point, but I still squirmed in my seat. It is just a shame that Paul doesn’t have an edit feature. He lost that in 1969/70.

    As for Ray Davies as the song started I was looking through my fingers a bit but after the first verse he was really on it. He has never had a strong voice anyway like Tom Jones and Roger Daltry have.

    Hi Admin, as for frightening Britain’s children I say more of it and one thing I am fairly sure of is that Ray didn’t have an army of primpers and preeners to advise, i.e. tell, him how to dress. Eccentric after all has always been Ray’s frame of mind.

  3. John Howard says:

    Hi Again Admin, forgot to mention that we seem to be reading the same paper as both the “Dog” stories and the Beano story were in mine as well.

  4. Joyce says:

    I looked at Ray Davies and just thought of Ken Dodd. It was such a sad moment…

  5. Bob Hampton says:

    Amen, Mr. Howard. If wee ones were frightened when Ray D appeared, so much the worse for em. Ray’s entitled to look as bizarre as he wants – and at least he’s produced worthwhile (albeit often eccentric) music in every decade since 1964.

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