I just finished watching the movie "Chasing Sound: The Les Paul Story." I highly recommend it-- a great story, with great music, about a guy who kept performing weekly till he was 90. (http://www.lespaulfilm.com/)
For me, it's been a good couple of months for elderly inspiration. First Sonny Rollins, about 81. Then Pinetop Perkins, age 97! Then, a day ago, my wife buys tickets for the young'un, Bob Dylan, at the upcoming Bumpershoot festival. (He's probably not even 70-- but he's hanging in there.) And today-- I got tickets to see Chuck Berry at the Pageant in St. Louis couple of days before he turns 84.
Chuck was in the Les Paul movie tonight-- scooting past in a flash with that black Les paul guitar that evidently disappeared in a fire. There were also beautiful moments with B. B. King, Chet Atkins, Keith Richards, and, of course, Mary Ford.
Les Paul talked about his last gig-- a well known, well attended, weekly show in New York that paid "peanuts" but made people happy (especially Paul himself).
Chuck Berry's gigs at Blueberry Hill are a lot like that. He and the band probably don't make a heck of a lot of money-- but everyone leaves happy.
So wish me luck when the ticketmaster lottery comes next September. That show happens just a few days before the show at the Pageant.
(As Robert Johnson would say, "I'm booked, I gotta go.")