The Rockstar Wish: "Hope I Die Before I Get Old"

Peter B. GiblettStarred Page By Peter B. Giblett, 1st Oct 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Society & Issues

Immortal words "hope I die before I get old" have been sung over the airwaves for more than forty years, it roused a generation but the words come from the mouth of a now ageing rock-star. Personally I wish never to die at all and live with my words, well into the future.

Forever Young?

These words hail from one of many songs that moved a generation that demanded lasting change in hailing these words it is important to remember that artworks do reflect the changing moods in society. This particular song came from an era which spurned the Vietnam war protests and an almost revolutionary fervour among students in Europe.

The famous words as sung by Roger Daltrey "I hope I die before I get old" are part of a legendary rock song by The Who, My Generation.

When this writer was in his youth this was already seen as a classic commentary on the era of rock and roll, made all the more poignant by the fact the so many great artists had died young; people such as Jimmi Hendrix, Marc Bolan, Jim Morrison, Elvis Presley, Sid Vicious, and others, it almost seemed like destiny for anyone who became a rock star - become insanely rich, score with the women, get high on drugs, and die young, even The Who lost Keith Moon in 1975.

Car Towed?

Pete Townshend was reportedly inspired to write the song in response to the Queen Mother having his car towed because she was offended by the sight of it. Whatever the inspiration this song is certainly indicative of a generation of youth that was not prepared to be trampled on and wanted to make their mark on society. Perhaps the more powerful words are the ones that open this famous verse:

"People try to put us d... down: Talkin' 'bout my generation."

Because they related to a generation that many in 'official society' wished would remain silent, yet were determined to do everything but. It represented an era where the youth wanted change and were part way between rebellious and revolutionary in their mood. This generation was in no mood to be put down and this song tapped into that very mood. Yes it was a little before the main rebellious movements of that age, but Townshend could hardly fail to pick up on the undercurrents of the day. This was not simply about Vietnam, or the fervour of the student movement in Europe it was about that element in society that wanted change. The youth in particular wanted their voice heard and this new music medium was one way of making that happen.

Townshend was simply one of many songwriters that were in tuned in to the feelings of their generation in that era. It seems as if today there is no generation of youth that are desirous of change in quite the same way as during the 60's and 70's. Perhaps the rebellious spark shown in earlier times has changed society for the better and gone has the reason for change. That seems unlikely, as change seems to be the one constant we have in life. We grow from childhood, to middle years, and on to old age. From society's perspective there are always new challenges to be met, and conquered. Of course with each challenge there are different views about right and wrong approaches, but that is expected in a society that is growing.

Using Your Voice

Today there is a huge voice out there for anyone who wishes to contribute in some small way. This is the web and its social channels; because it is certainly not through songs as few modern lyrics challenge the way society thinks.

It is of course a little of a paradox that Townshend and other members of the band have outlived so many of their compatriots, given these immortal words. At one time The Who were famous for their tour antics; smashing guitars, etc. (It could be said they invented Punk Rock before The Ramones, The Sex Pistols, or Iggy Pop). Few expected the longevity that the band displayed; but then exceptional quality tends to have a powerful affect on people, even where the artists themselves are short lived. It is encouraging to see that Townshend and Co are still active and working on new material. As for "My Generation" the song is a part of this writer's all time top 1000 and with good reason.

Will there be another rebellious era like the 60's and 70's? It is curious how trends cycle around and given the right circumstances of course there will be future era's of great change. Certain trends in society are currently going backwards instead of forwards. On the whole music and other art-forms tend to reflect what is happening in society great expression comes at times of great conflict.

Rock on, Some other thoughts

The following articles, have each been published by Peter Giblett and may be of some interest to you:

Thinking about making your own personal contribution? You should do something about it now! Your viewpoint is important! The first thing you could do is ADD a comment providing your own thoughts and feedback, which is always appreciated. Sometimes however your thoughts transcend the limits of a simple comment, then you need to make your own contribution of 300 words or more; perhaps penning your own article is more appropriate, well you can make your own views felt.

Join Wikinut today and have some fun telling the world about your views and how the world needs to change.


Changing Moods In Society, Hope I Die Before I Get Old, My Generation, Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey, Smashing Guitars, The Who

Meet the author

author avatar Peter B. Giblett
Author of "Is your Business Ready? For the Social Media Revolution"

Social media consultant, with C-Level background.

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author avatar LOVERME
1st Oct 2013 (#)

Rockstarme wow
If only I could die young …a ROCK STAR I’d love to have become …money begets money… gals and all …and after the fall …there is no more fall …then drugs come in after all …perhaps there might be a standing fall ….money begets money… that's all ….whatever is a long life ever for?
if you can lead a young life tall
let’s become a Rock star
once for all

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author avatar LoverOfGOD
1st Oct 2013 (#)

I always wanted to die before I got old. I know a few people who died before their 20's or in their 20's. Its just something about being immortalized in youth. Every time when someone remembers you, they will remember a young face, a fresh body and lots of energy. Look at all the famous celebrities who died young. Every picture of them is of their youth, they never had the chance to make career ending mistakes or anything that would really ruin their celebrity or social status. They died beautiful. (Just my feelings).

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
1st Oct 2013 (#)

Music very much sets an example for youth but also is reflecting the thoughts of youth in some areas of society. It sets us free as a people.
I do not want to die and do not want to feel old.

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author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
2nd Oct 2013 (#)

Talking bout my generation, dont forget the Stones and two beattles great piece indeed!

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author avatar Terry Trainor
2nd Oct 2013 (#)

Great group 'The Who' they used to play in the Cow Shed, an old wooden hut in South Oxhey.

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author avatar M G Singh
2nd Oct 2013 (#)

Nice post, who wants to die anyway ?

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author avatar Retired
3rd Oct 2013 (#)

Good post. Sad though that so many in music do die young.

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author avatar Retired
4th Oct 2013 (#)

Great post and a wonderful trip down memory lane. It is a sad thing that so many in the music industry have died so young.

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
5th Oct 2013 (#)

nice...those guys were great...

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author avatar LOVERME
10th Oct 2013 (#)

Thanks i have composed one on death do read it at my place

When one dies young they
God loved them
so god wanted...

do come over

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author avatar Retired
16th Dec 2013 (#)

I enjoyed this article. Music is an enormously powerful medium.

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