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At 60, Sting, performing at Colosseum, not alone in proving age is just a number

“Beautiful girls, walk a little slower when you walk by me …”

Eject. Fling. Insert new disc. (Or back to “Menu” on that iPod.)

“Don’t stand, don’t stand so close to me …”

That’s more like it.

Sting celebrated his 60th birthday last month with the help of Bruce Springsteen, Will.i.am, Lady Gaga and Billy Joel. But he’s no older man looking back, unless you count his new three-disc retrospective, “25 Years” (of solo work after The Police).

“I had the most fun in the previous decade, between 50 and 60,” Sting told USA Today, which might explain why he hasn’t put out new music since 2003.

The agelessly cool singer chose instead a Police reunion and to arrange his songs for orchestra — with both ventures stopping in Las Vegas — as well as a lute album of English madrigals, which was not performed here for fairly obvious reasons.

The “Back to Bass” tour strips it down to four musicians — no keyboards — and female singer Jo Lawry (from the symphonic tour) today in the Colosseum at Caesars Palace. The Colosseum surely would be happy to add Sting to its regular rotation, as long as he leaves the lute at home.

Sting told USA Today he wanted the next 25 years to be “useful. I don’t want to put my feet up, you know?”

No worries. Las Vegas may be more about club kids now, but 60 was the new 50 for some of Las Vegas’ biggest earners over the years. Like Sting, some of them are still raking it in on the Strip in their AARP decade.

An overview of those who “let the music play as long as there’s a song to sing” (or a joke to tell):

■ Jimmy Buffett. Kenny Chesney should buy a yacht for Buffett when he turns 65 on Christmas Day. Caesars Entertainment should chip in, too. This troubadour built a lifestyle brand out of the beach-bum idyll, one so lucrative the Flamingo recently exploded its Margaritaville restaurant out into its casino.

■ The Rat Pack. Frank and Dean hit their 60s during the disco decade (Sammy was almost 10 years younger), and the 1970s found all three of them in career lulls that had yet to see them make the jump from “old drunks your parents like” to “retro cool.”

But Sinatra was a Caesars Palace fixture when he hit the big 6-0 in late 1975, as was Martin at the first MGM Grand. They were so good for this town for so many more years, you could argue they kept Vegas alive until The Mirage could be built.

(Neither Sinatra nor Martin were booked here for their actual 60th birthdays. But, oddly enough, Davis worked Caesars on both their birthdays while they were celebrating. Elsewhere, apparently.)

■ Cher. The eternally fabulous diva chalked up 60 in 2006, two years before she checked into the Colosseum for about 200 displays of more skin than any other 62-year-old on the Strip.

■ Elton John. A fellow Brit with even more hits threw himself a 60th birthday party at Madison Square Garden in March 2007. A few weeks later, he was back at the Colosseum knocking out more of the 242 “Red Piano” shows he ended up doing there. And now he’s back for more.

■ Rod Stewart. If not for Celine, we’d start to believe you have to be 60 to work the Colosseum. But Rod the God waited until he was 65 to start there last year.

■ Tom Jones. You may think Rod’s sexy, but it was Jones who kept the ladies satisfied for 10 years when the blond was just making concert stops. Jones was singing his cheeky Euro-disco hit “Sex Bomb” at 60 in 2000, and on the eve of his 65th, he proclaimed he would “get a kick” out of the milestone.

“I will then be in the retirement age, still doing it when most people have retired,” he noted. “I think it’ll become more like, ‘Wow. Look at this. I wonder how long this can go on now?’ ”

■ Tony Bennett. Wow. Bennett turned 60 in 1986, only a year after Sting released “Dream of the Blue Turtles.”

■ Rodney Dangerfield. The respect-free comic legend famously hit it big just as he hit his 60s. He enjoyed many good years on the Strip between that 1981 milestone and his final tug of the necktie in 2004.

■ Joan Rivers. This wicked comedian was near the end of her daytime chat show, but her red-carpet days were still ahead when she turned 60 back in 1993. To the chagrin of many a celebrity, Rivers is still incinerating them in periodic stand-up dates at The Venetian.

■ Lewis Black. Other baby boomer comedians such as Jay Leno work here more, but Black makes the list for two reasons.

1. He was a late bloomer. You might have seen him unbilled in clubs such as “Catch A Rising Star” before his sputtering brand of agitation went national around 2004.

2. Black was the only star we could find who actually celebrated his 60th in town. He caught Bob Dylan here as part of a work/party weekend in 2008.

Contact reporter Mike Weatherford at mweatherford@ reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0288.

 

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