Have "elder goths" figured out how to age more successfully?

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2021/01/13/have-elder-goths-figured-out-how-to-age-more-successfully.html


As one older Goth puts it, she’s grateful to have a scene "with people who are my age and maybe a little older, who are still living life on their own terms, where they said, ‘I’m older but I still want to go out, I still want to listen to wild and crazy music, I still want to look freaky.’ "

Seems to apply rather well to the Steampunk scene, or at the least the UK one, as well :slight_smile:


A sense of community, deep interests/hobbies, and a DGAF attitude are things I’ve noticed that long-lived people with good quality of life enjoy. If goths and other geeky subcultures are getting an early start on those things more power to them.


I’m going to have to say: physically? No. Mentally? Sure, why not.


The Mountain Goats have an entire concept album centered on aging goths: Here’s a review.

Honestly, it was my favorite release in 2017. Surprisingly sweet.


Makes sense. I once read that heavy metal listeners are the same way, more mentally stable.


From a totally unscientific viewpoint, I’d argue the “physically” part by going back in time 2 years to when our Goth club was still open, and looking at the people there: generally less obese than the metal/rock club people.
I think it’s because Goth dancing is mostly gentle stretches, keeping us limber like yoga.


I suspect goths aren’t the only such subculture. To generalize:





Where I was, it was quite the reverse: “The goth scene is kind of old” I was told. I thought they were just kind of round. And now I’m kind of round, though no one would be scene with me for a while now.


I see old dudes at metal shows, they tend towards the rear, never an 80 year old, usually 50s or 60s. Which really isnt old to me, Im 37 (cue monty python joke)

I’ll be 80 and still try to make a pit and break my hip :rofl:


Unless you count ageless vampires like Dracula and Lestat and Elvira.


52 year young goth chiming in here. I look way younger than I am (not a brag just true). I honestly do attribute this to the fact that I still dance regularly both at the clubs and at my home club (aka the livingroom) while quarantined. Say what you will but staying connected to your body and shaking off any tensions with a night of partying is good therapy that brings noticeable results.


I’ve noticed that the tribal differences that mattered the most at the bottom of that blue curve have gently worn away over time. The metalhead becomes a healthgoth, the crustpunk gets a job they actually like, the cybergoth discovers the pleasures of velvet, the hardcore straightedge vegan mellows out with edibles, even the goober chills out eventually, and everyone meets as friends: clad mostly in black and eldritch knowledge.

@RandomDude have def seen the older metalheads towards the back and appreciate their scene wisdom when they help man the pit wall (I guess that’s soon to be me, too) but have also noted that the older heads at DnB shows still get up right on the subs and dance, although with substantially less pogo-ing than the younger crowd.


Works for old hippies too. For the past decade or more, I’ve been part of a group that goes out dancing to a series of interlinked bands at a series of local clubs. The group still meets on Zoom since all the clubs are closed. It’s a remarkable and healing community where we bask in the music and each other’s company. It’s also great fun.


metal hasn’t been around that long, it’ll get there

jazz was young and scary once


For what it’s worth, I’m on the red curve, only y/2, x+15. Guess I wasn’t a nerd after all.

I was thinking about this as well. As I was growing up it was normal for older generations to only like music from year x to y. My father is passionate about music from the 50’s but any thing after that barely exists. Other elders I knew only listed to music from the 60’s or only the 70’s.

But the goth and new wave I listen to in the 80s, transitions to industrial, jungle, rave, downtempo, gabber, IDM, glitch,… For many of us it is a continuation or an evolution of what we loved previously. I don’t need to constrain myself to golden oldies of the 80’s because I don’t see new music as a threat to old favorites. I can love the old and the new.

Watching my kids grow up in the age of online music they seem to be even more uncaring about genres or published dates which I think is really great. If they love a song they really don’t care if its 5 days old or 50 years old.

All of this to say, I think having a mindset that is open to new experiences, is a healthy thing.


This. I pretty much assumed that all the happygoths and poppygoths became ravekids and cybergoth transitioned to industrial etc…

But what I witnessed back in the 90’s was that nobody really much cared about the distinctions. The metal/industrial skate kid that loved some goth music got adopted in to the group by the hardcore goths. I suspect because of the relatively small size of the culture and general “outside” status. It was weird times. One guy even had a fairly dudebro sports guy as a roomie who was gladly welcomed because he was gay, and at the time the group of weirdos was a place where he could openly party with his boyfriend other than exclusively LBGT events (which he definitely didn’t fit into either).