Why musicians play into their old age

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Nick Hasted looks at how they are driven by a burning desire to keep on entertaining fans despite risking ridicule.

In a Somerset farmhouse in February, I watched Jet Black, 75, try to force his bulky, broken frame into drumming one more time for The Stranglers on their then looming tour. Suffering from neck, spine, lung and other ailments, even the half hour he hoped to play each night would prove beyond him. But he did play.

The next month, I visited ex-Cream drummer Ginger Baker, 75, at his home outside Canterbury. Ravaged by osteoarthritis and emphysema, lying down to watch cricket on TV was painful enough. But he was preparing to lift drum sticks he confessed sometimes felt like...

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