Rock and Roll Birthday Navel Gazing

I turned 38 yesterday.  For the fun of it, I decided to take a look at the progress of my life in relation to 3 of my top musicians of all time: Sting, Bono and Lou Reed.  So I asked myself, “Where were these guys at my age?”  Yes, they were all huge rock stars but I thought it might be interesting to see what albums they were working on at the time to see if their subject matter correlated with my mood.

As it turns out, they’re no too far off.

Sting – Sting appears to have been 38 back in 1990.  During that time he would have been composing “The Soul Cages” album.  The work is introspective, focused on his childhood and parents and almost allegorical in nature.  It’s a deeply personal work that was one of his least commercially successful albums but remains one of my favorites to this day.

Bono – The lead singer of U2 and his cohorts were about to make the heralded “return to form” on “All That You Can’t Leave Behind”.  The album is a soaring mature work after the gritty, hip shaking albums before.  Again, as a songwriter, Bono seems focused on family and in wonder of the world.  Much of the cynicism contained in the albums that preceded it is gone.

Lou Reed – Uncle Lou was beginning to see his way out of years of drug and alcohol abuse.  He was in the midst of composing “Growing Up In Public” – an album whose title says it all.  He was reflecting on his life and figuring out how to pull himself together to continue on with the rest of it.

All in all, these guys were in pretty good periods, though, some would say had already peaked in their careers.  That’s probably a matter of taste for many but the fact remains that these guys all put out some great work in the years following their 38th.  So there is hope for me as I near the big 4-0.

Navel gazers all of them, but I can always look at it this way – Jim Morrison was already dead.

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