In an era where 60-somethings such as Mick Jagger and Steven Tyler prance around onstage pretending to be 25, Nick Lowe has revitalized his career by doing something completely unexpected - acting his age.
The 62-year-old Lowe started off as part of England's 1970s pub-rock scene, which paved the way for punk. He produced Elvis Costello's first five albums and had several hits of his own including "Cruel To Be Kind."
Today his songs are quieter, with strong jazz and country influences.
amNewYork spoke with Lowe.
What made you decide to embrace getting older?
When my brief career as a pop star finished, I had to sort of take stock. I had to figure out a brand new style for myself that would embrace the fact that I was a bit over the hill and use that as an advantage rather than something that's embarrassing. I knew I'd lose part of my audience, but thought I could maybe get a new audience if I was patient. It seems to be working out that way.
Why don't more musicians do that?
That's a good question. Artistically, I suppose I always wanted to be an old bloke. I always liked old people's music. I was just a bit young to pull it off.
Your first two albums were recently reissued. What do you think when you listen to them now?
My first reaction is to the subject matter. I'm singing about a life I knew back then, which was not a very healthy one. I hear a kid who's very ambitious and in a hurry and quite pleased with himself and had quite a bit to learn
Do you still see yourself as a rock musician?
I never really liked rock music. I always liked rock 'n' roll, which is different ... Anyone can do rock music; it's easy. The roll part of rock and roll is the interesting part and the most difficult to do.
If you go: Nick Lowe performs Thursday and Friday at Central Park SummerStage at 5 p.m. Enter at 69th Street and Fifth Avenue. $45