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Steve Peake

AARP Link With Upcoming Foreigner Concert Tour Reminds Us of Time's Swift Passage

By February 21, 2008

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Arena rock legends Foreigner released an eponymous debut album back in 1977 and reached a commercial peak less than a decade later. And yet the latest incarnation of the band, which features only leader Mick Jones from the original lineup, will benefit, interestingly, from a sponsorship from none other than AARP for its upcoming tour starting next month. The nonprofit lobby, which previously focused on American retirees, now seeks to represent all people over the age of 50, and yes, '80s music lovers, that group will soon include us all if it doesn't already. Granted, AARP members who are also Foreigner fans (and therefore stand to benefit from the special seating priority and band meet-and-greet opportunities stemming from the sponsorship) would have had to have been at least 19 or 20 when the band first emerged. But I'm sure there are more than a few such longtime fans, even if most of us who remember Foreigner most as an '80s band still have a decade or so before we're eligible for AARP benefits.

Still, I reference this neither to garner amusement from the persistence with which oldies and classic rock acts often try to extend their careers nor to argue that longevity alone is something all rockers should be proud of. Rather, I find this unlikely partnership of arena rock and a special interest group (American Arena Rock Patrons anyone?) noteworthy because it seems to speak volumes about the power of nostalgia for the middle-aged and even somewhat younger adults who may have pleasant slow-dance memories that play to the strains of "I Want to Know What Love Is." Damn, people, time is a-wastin' and having its way with us, but at least the music of our (relative) youth continues to serve as a welcome solace.

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