Collins: Seventy candles for Mick Jagger's birthday

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We interrupt our consideration of the profound political issues confronting America to point out that Mick Jagger just turned 70.

His birthday was Friday. Not much word on his emotions. Jagger did not twitter about it on his official site. So at least there's that. Nothing is all bad if it avoids becoming a tweet.

Actually, it's pretty clear that @MickJagger is handled by someone other than Mick himself. ("Our Hyde Park concerts have just gone live on iTunes!") They were such such fun gigs, check it out!" All his twittering is extremely dull.

If only our elected officials behaved more like Mick Jagger.

But about turning 70. A lot of the great stars of '60s music were born during World War II, clocking in just before the baby boom. So they've always been the senior citizens of their own, spectacularly youth-oriented generation. When they were young, they wrote songs about getting old. Paul McCartney was playful in "When I'm Sixty-Four." Paul Simon was affectionate in "Old Friends," when he mused "how terribly strange to be 70."

"It is strange," said Simon, who is now 71. "It's not terrible, but it is strange." The old people he imagined when he was in his 20s — "sharing a park bench quietly" — most definitely did not go on tour. "I was thinking of my grandfather. What he was is a lot different from what I am."

Simon, in a phone interview, said he's still happily obsessed with his music: "It's the last thought I have before I fall asleep." Since I generally put myself to sleep by reciting the list of American vice presidents, I found that totally awesome.

Also that when Simon turned 64, he got a phone call from Paul McCartney, who serenaded him with his famous song.

"You can imagine how surprised I was," Simon recalled. "He said: 'Well, I'm sorry, but this has to be done.' "

What does it mean that so many of the people who were the music stars of the '60s are still performing today? Will this go on for the '70s singers and beyond? It's pretty clear that Bruce Springsteen (63) is going to stay around for quite a while, but will Maroon 5 be back at Jones Beach in the summer of 2049?

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