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Why Pop Stars Never Retire…

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 03: (L-R) David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash of CSN attend the 93rd Annual National Christmas Tree Lighting at The Ellipse on December 3, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images)

As the winter of our discontent continues and we count our passing and passed, I read recently how Elvis Costello claimed he couldn’t be with his family as much as he would have liked. Ever since the mix of file sharing and the great recession hooked up to kill off the middle and the upper middle class, he makes his money through touring,  It is like the Government is Bernie Madoff and we are the bottom of a pyramid scheme. And like Madoff’s stay invested and stay rich dreamers, we dreamt that if we opened 401Ks and put into our social security, one day, when we are sixty years old, when we are sixty-five years old, we will be able to stop working and enjoy our final years with our family, travelling, double downing on hookers: whatever, just not doing this.

But the truth is, like Elvis Costello, many of us will work till the day we die and if Paul McCartney and Neil Young and Bob Dylan are touring because they have no idea how to stop, that isn’t true of a lot of musicians. At a Crosby, Stills, And Nash show, maybe two years ago, Crosby said how this happened all of a sudden because Steve called them in deadly need of money (Neil bailed on a Buffalo Springfield tour at the last minute). Nash recently said CSN will never play together again but nobody believes it. They need the money, they have to make nice. TThey tour, they pay alimony, they tour, they pay for their pacemaker, they tour.

From Jackson Browne to David Cassidy, the Drifters to the (remaining) Stylistic, these aren’t nostalgia shows as much as lunch money tours:, the our 401Ks are dead (I have had a 401K for 20 years, and have steadily lost 7% of the money I put in, hell I coulda bough CDs and may half a percent, thereby ahead by 7.5% on the deal ON A YEARLY BASIS) and our health insurance doesn’t cover it all. And these are the success stories, At least people want to see them.

Folks argue with me about being so firmly against paying more in taxes, but between bailing our banks, and losing on the stock market, I never see around 40% of the damn money I make, and so I work. Meanwhile,  Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan ‘s CEO , gets a 35% pay raise to $27M amid cutbacks on every level as these guys use our money like it was monopoly money -which it is, of course.  So every time I am overdrawn on my bank account,  they can charge me $25, and compound interest on their credit card loans at 25% and I give them 2% multi-billion dollar loans.

All put together and nobody retires anymore, the only way you get out alive is if you’re a civil servant. Why? Because we are paying for them. Meanwhile, I get three sick leave days a year. Meanwhile, Mickey Dolenz and Peter Tork, Andy-Fairweather-Low and Peter Frampton, the entire world of 60s rockers wih a handful of exceptions,  are either dead or on tour and shall be forevermore.

Welcome to the future, where a pension and a job isn’t enough to keep you safe. And all we can do is work till you drop dead at your laptop.

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