We have all been there: an elevator in a doctor’s office, flipping through Sirius channels in the car or dining in a quiet restaurant. Suddenly a song begins to play that takes us back in years to a distinct moment in time. Without a doubt, music helps define the different periods in our lives.
For some of us the music from the late sixties and early seventies brings to mind the quintessential rocker with the long flowing hair, machismo attitude and endless guitar solos. It also brings to mind unforgettable classics such as Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven”, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Free Bird” and Bruce Springsteen‘s “Born in the USA”. Who can forget Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way”, or ZZ Top’s “Tush”? Certainly no one who came of age in the seventies.
While some of our beloved rockers are still around, others seem to have disappeared from the limelight and faded away into rock and roll history. Rockers such as Ozzy Osbourne and Gene Simmons appeared a few years ago on their own reality television shows and Dee Snider from Twisted Sister appeared several times on the Donald Trump production, Celebrity Apprentice. Still, one can’t help but wonder where have all the rockers gone? Below is a list of some of the most famous rock and rollers of our time and an update on where they are today.
10. Robert Plant: Led Zeppelin
Best known as the lead singer for the infamous Led Zeppelin, Robert Plant began his career in 1966, but hit paydirt in 1968 when he was recruited by guitarist Jimmy Page to be the lead singer for the group The Yardbirds, who went on to become Led Zeppelin. The group disbanded in 1980 with the death of drummer John Bonham. Plant went on to have a successful solo career. In 2007 Plant and bluegrass star Alison Krauss recorded an album, Rising Sand. In 2009, the artists went on to win Grammy Awards for Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Pop Collaboration with Vocals, Country Collaboration with Vocals and Contemporary Folk/Americana Album. Currently the 65 year old Plant is still rocking and touring with his band the Sensational Space Shifters.
9. Steven Tyler: Aerosmith
Steven Tyler became the lead singer for Aerosmith in 1970. The group signed with Columbia Records in 1972 and from then on there was no looking back for the iconic rocker. Steven Tyler and Aerosmith are still performing today, though rumors of trouble between the members continue to exist. On April 17th, he and band guitarist Joe Perry performed their infamous hit “Dream On”, with the Southern California Children’s Chorus to pay tribute to the victims of last year’s horrific Boston Marathon bombing. Through the years Tyler has had his share of personal setbacks including drug addiction, grueling throat surgeries, painful recovery from leg surgeries and a fall from the stage that left him with a broken shoulder. Aside from performing his music, Tyler was a judge on the hit show American Idol from 2010 to 2012 and also developed a signature scarf collection called Rock Scarf.
8. Peter Frampton: Humble Pie
Though Peter Frampton began his career performing with the group Humble Pie in 1969, it is his solo success that made him the legendary rocker we think of today. With the success of his 1976 album, Frampton Comes Alive, and songs such as “Baby I Love Your Way”, “Do You Feel Like We Do” and “Show me the Way”, Frampton carved a place for himself in rock history. Today, Peter Frampton is still touring. His 2014 concerts include performances with the Doobie Brothers. Frampton has also appeared in the television shows, The Simpsons and Family Guy and keeps an updated Facebook page.
7. Grace Slick: Jefferson Airplane
Grace Slick joined Jefferson Airplane in 1966 and her style moved the band away from funk rock and into a more psychedelic rock genre. She is considered one of the most prominent female musicians of our time. Slick had success as a solo artist once Jefferson Airplane disbanded releasing such titles as “Manhole”, and “Welcome to the Wrecking Ball”. Unfortunately she battled severe alcoholism and eventually retired from the music business. Since then she has written a memoir entitled Somebody to Love? A Rock and Roll Memoir, and has become a much sought after painter and artist.
6. Dennis Deyoung: Styx
Dennis Deyoung is a founding member and the iconic voice of Styx. With songs such as “Lady”, “Mr. Roboto”, and “Come Sail Away”, Deyoung is credited with writing more of the band’s hit songs than any other member. In 1984, disputes with band members forced him to go solo. In 2004 he released the album The Music of Styx-Live With Symphony Orchestra, based on his concerts featuring songs from Styx as well as many of his solo works. In 2010 he formed a new band dedicated to the music of Styx.
5. Alice Cooper
Alice Cooper was a band that originated in the late sixties. When the group disbanded in 1970 Vincent Damon Furnier kept the name and went solo, becoming the Alice Cooper we know and love today. He hit it big with songs such as “I’m Eighteen” and “School’s Out” and became the king of shock rock with his cutting edge album Welcome to my Nightmare. In 2010, the original band was inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and in 2011 he released Welcome 2 My Nightmare, his 19th album as a solo artist. Alice Cooper is releasing a new cover album this year and has written a book Alice Cooper, Golf Monster, about his love of the game and how it helped him recover from drug addiction.
4. Bruce Springsteen: E Street Band
Bruce Springsteen, aka, “The Boss” made his mark in the world of rock with his lyrical ballads of working class American life. His albums Born in the USA and Born to Run are now legendary. Bruce is still performing and touring today. He released a new album, High Hopes on January 14, 2014. This month, Bruce will release American Beauty, a limited edition four song EP that will be released exclusively for Record Store Day.
3. Roger Daltrey: The Who
Credited for being the founding member of the group The Who, Roger Daltrey also contributed to the group’s popularity with his knack for showmanship. Roger made his movie debut when he played the part of Tommy, in the 1975 rock opera of the same name, and this earned him a Golden Globe nomination. He then went on to pursue several acting roles including appearances on CSI and several motion pictures. Daltrey, now 70, is the founder of the charity Teen Cancer Awareness which he started with his fellow bandmate Pete Townshend.
2. Eric Clapton: Yardbirds
Ranked second in the Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time” Eric Clapton is the only three time inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the recipient of seventeen Grammy Awards. Among his most beloved works are; “Layla”, “I Shot the Sheriff”, and “Wonderful Tonight”. Clapton has had his share of personal tragedies including heroin addiction, and the tragic death of his son Conor in 1991, whom he immortalized in his song “Tears in Heaven”. Eric Clapton is still touring today and is the founder of the Crossroads Center in Antigua, a drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility.
1. Mick Jagger: The Rolling Stones
Possibly the most famous rock and roller of all time, Mick Jagger has withstood the test of time and has been loved and adored by generations for over fifty years. Aside from his musical achievements, Mick has been in the news many times for personal issues such as his many romantic interludes, drug problems and on again off again feuds with fellow band members. Mick Jagger is still very much an entertainer. The Rolling Stones will be kicking off their 14 On Fire 2014 tour in Australia in October, which had been rescheduled due to the death of Mick Jagger’s girlfriend L’Wren Scott.