This weekend, Robyn Hitchcock turns 60. The British singer and guitarist has traveled a long way to this point, beginning in the 1970s as the frontman of proto-punk group The Soft Boys and continuing through a solo career that has produced hundreds of songs. He’s even appeared in a few films: Jonathan Demme showcased the singer in Storefront Hitchcock and gave him a cameo as a Russian operative in the 2004 verison of The Manchurian Candidate.
Hitchcock also has a new album, Love from London. Speaking from the London studios of the BBC, just before a tour that will take him across the US as well as the UK, he says the milestone birthday hasn’t set him to reflecting just yet.
“I think I used to reflect a lot more,” Hitchcock says. “I remember being very broody when I came up to 30, thinking, ‘Oh God, now I’m going to get old.’ Now, you realize the less time you have left, the more you just want to get on with it.”
He adds, “Forty years ago, when I first got hold of an electric guitar, if someone had told me that at 60 I’d be playing amplified beat music, I would have just said, ‘Get out of here! … It’s like Mr. Rogers is playing guitar; that’s gross!’ But you know, rock ‘n’ roll is an old man’s game now.”
To hear more of Robyn Hitchcock’s conversation with NPR’s Rachel Martin, click the audio link on this page.