It seems like every day now, a new band is popping up and another one is disbanding or their star is simply fading. But there are dozens of bands who are still doing holding strong decades, drugs, and grandchildren later. Here are five of the oldest bands of all time that are still gigging today.
1. ZZ Top – 47 Years
More people probably know ZZ Top by their look than their sound. This band has a great boogie rock style to their music, but it’s their iconic beards that they are so well known for. The beards are so part of their identity (aside from the fact that one of them has the last name Beard), that they once turned down $1 million to shave off their beards. These fun-loving guys never stopped for hiatus since their formation in 1969. They have once more become pop culturally relevant with appearances in movies and on shows like the Tonight Show, where Conan O’Brien and Will Ferrell performed with them.
2. Rush – 48 Years
Canadian Band Rush is known for an iconic sound, especially thanks to singer Geddy Lee. You’ve probably heard Rush, but if you haven’t, your dad and mom definitely have rocked out to them. This band hasn’t stopped playing since they formed in 1968. They started off as a blues band and evolved to incorporate all kinds of music including reggae! They are known for being one of the earliest bands to experiment with odd time signatures and sci-fi concepts in their music. Their documentary just came out in November 2016, and it’s worth a watch. They’ve had a huge influence on the bands of today, perhaps most notable, Dream Theater.
3. Scorpions – 51 Years
Everyone knows the German band Scorpions, at least for two songs: Rock You Like a Hurricane and Wind of Change. But they’ve had dozens of huge hits, one of my favorites being Still Loving You. This band is another icon of the 70s and 80s, and they have kept up their recording and performing since 1965 without even a day of hiatus. They celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2015 with a new album called Return to Forever, and boy, they’ve still got it! Here they are rocking out hard just a few months ago.
4. The Who – 52 Years
The Who? The Who. That’s their name. If you don’t know them by name, you definitely know them by song. Have you ever watched any of the CSIs? Every single one of those theme songs is by The Who. This English band has been playing since 1964, with only a few years of being inactive. These guys have had a powerful influence on the other bands of their time, including the Beatles, as well as the bands of today, from the music to the instruments used. There are several musical instruments and gear named after and for these musicians.
5. The Rolling Stones – 54 Years
You’ve probably heard plenty of jokes about these guys, but they really have never stopped, no matter how many times they intended to. For more than half a century, the Rolling Stones have been rocking out, not even stopping once for a hiatus. This band has been through hell and back (which really makes you wonder if they sold their souls), just read Keith Richard’s autobiography. The first pages alone start with an anecdote about narrowly avoiding a drug bust. With all the crazy stuff they’ve said and done, it’s a wonder they’re still around, but they are the only number one for this list!
Hope you liked this wacky list of old bands. Have a listen to some of the bands you haven’t heard before. They’re not still performing for no reason, after all.