With that in mind, though, Frank Bonner -- Herb Tarlek on WKRP in Cincinnati -- who valiantly stood for the suits in The Suits vs. The Dungarees battle on the show, turned 70 on February 28. Howard Hesseman and Richard Sanders, who played Johnny Fever and Les Nessman respectively, turned 70 in 2010! All my heroes collect Social Security!
Here's a list of 25 Musicians still living (as of this blogging) who turn 70 in 2012! Barbra Streisand turns 70 on April 24 but she does not rock, so is excluded from this list. Same for Wayne Newton, whose 70th birthday was this April 3. What exists in Vegas, stays in Vegas. And/or in Branson.
24) Marty Balin, January 30: While "Hearts" is punishable as a criminal offense, Balin was a member of the Jefferson Airplane and was notably punched out by a Hell's Angel at Altamont, so I think we're even.
22) Cory Wells -- February 5: Three Dog Night had three lead singers and all three were born in 1942. Wells was the oldest dog.
20) Peter Tork -- February 13: The oldest member of the Monkees, Peter Tork should really have a statue erected in front of Jann Wenner's estate until he is allowed into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
18) John Cale -- March 9: There aren't many Welshmen in rock 'n' roll, at least compared to merry ole England and Scotland, with whom Wales shares an island. Why is this so? "The Land of Song"? Subtract Tom Jones and Shirley Bassey and what's left? Budgie? Gorky's however you spell it? Super Furry Animals? The Alarm? OK, that's about a month's worth of bands in the UK!
16) Leon Russell -- April 2: Elton John's making sure Leon Russell isn't being forgotten, which really goes to show how fortunes change, since there was a time when it would've been inconceivable that people wouldn't remember Leon Russell. Face it, in one hundred years, all anyone will acknowledge is Bob Dylan, the Beatles, Elvis Presley and the Little River Band because some comic will think it's hilarious.
14) Paul McCartney -- June 18: Sir Paul may have been the world's most famous musician and he surely deserves his position as an elder statesmen no matter how few people are still buying Back To the Egg or any post-Wings album not named Flaming Pie, but his best career move these days has been attending Yankees games where he doesn't have to do anything more than sit and watch to get publicity. To those who are skeptical, yes, the Beatles really did exist and they were really that good.
12) Roger McGuinn -- July 13: Less than a month later comes Jim "Roger" McGuinn whose Byrds would make Bob Dylan's songs sound OK to people who hate Bob's voice. Sales of Rickenbacker 12-string guitars and granny glasses go through the proverbial roof and pudding bowl haircuts are all the rage for people who should know better.
10) Caetano Veloso -- August 7: Brazilian folksinger and activist was like the Phil Ochs of his day, but with a tougher terrain to traverse. He even spent time in jail just for being who he was. His first all-English CD was released in 2004 with a cover of Nirvana's "Come As You Are." Unlike the Beatles, he was slow to capitalize on the American marketplace, who have since ignored him in favor of Jay-Z!
8) Danny Hutton -- September 10: The third and final singer for Three Dog Night to be born in 1942, a year that is clearly the 'Year of the Dog', Hutton did what all the others in the group did. He sang. Considered a light-weight pop group in some circles, the Dog sound pretty good to these ears. That their music can often be found being sold extremely cheaply in CD bins in the local drug store just makes their music sound even better.
6) Elvin Bishop -- October 21: Probably the smartest thing Elvin Bishop ever did was sit in with the Grateful Dead in 1969 and create enough goodwill among deadheads to keep his name in the mix. As a respected practitioner of the blues, Bishop had his biggest hit with the song "Fooled Around And Fell In Love" that features singer MIckey Thomas on vocals, who went on to sing with Starship and build a city on rock 'n' roll.
4) Bob Lind -- November 25: Lind has been a writer for the Weekly World News and the author of many novels, but he is best known for the 1966 hit "Elusive Butterfly," and by Brit-Pop fans for the Pulp song, "Bob Lind (The Only Way Is Down)." When Jarvis Cocker speaks your name, you have a right to feel suspicious.
2) Mike Nesmith -- December 30: Nesmith knew he could do more than Don Kirshner would allow and he put his fist through a wall to make his point. He would eventually become the heir of the Liquid Paper empire that was luckily sold to Gillette before its need was severely diminished by newfangled computers a decade later. He is not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, while the Red Hot Chili Peppers will be inducted in April. While I don't advocate violence, maybe I do.
- Leon Russell
- Brian Wilson