The Oldest Classic Rock Icons That Are Still Alive Today

For many people, the best decades for rock and roll music were the 1960s and 1970s. It was the heyday of bands like The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Led Zeppelin, and Pink Floyd, and the airwaves were filled with guitar-based music that featured heavy distortion. Even today, music from these bands still gets regular replay on the radio, and there are even entire stations dedicated solely to the glory that is classic rock.

Yet, unfortunately, it seems like with every passing year more and more of these iconic rock stars are lost. While some of them like Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin never made it out of the '70s, others like David Crosby and Jeff Beck died in 2023. While they might not still be as popular as they were at their peak, many of these surviving artists are living legends who still inspire legions of young fans with their music. It's not a definitive list, but these are the oldest classic rock icons that are still alive today.

Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane

First on the list is Grace Slick, formerly the lead singer of Jefferson Airplane. As Britannica explains, Jefferson Airplane was one of the top psychedelic rock acts of the 1960s, and is probably most well known for its sophomore album, "Surrealistic Pillow." This album had major hits "White Rabbit" and "Somebody to Love," which were both huge singles that really put the band on the map. The Airplane was notable for its connection with the hippie counterculture and the famous Haight-Ashbury neighborhood in San Francisco.

Slick was born in October 1939, just as the Second World War was beginning. Per the Austin Chronicle, she appeared with the Airplane at the Woodstock festival in 1969, and in 1971 she had a daughter with the band's rhythm guitarist, Paul Kantner. She soon pursued a solo career, though she would also reunite with a later incarnation of the Airplane when they were known as Jefferson Starship.

Slick found herself honored with induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996, and as recently as 2010 released new music — though she rarely performs live in her later years. Also surviving are former Jefferson Airplane bandmates Jack Casady and Jorma Kaukonen, who still performed together as Hot Tuna as recently as 2022 (via the Los Angeles Daily News).

Phil Lesh of the Grateful Dead

Phil Lesh, formerly of the Grateful Dead, also continued rocking and rolling after his heydey. Lesh played bass guitar for the Dead for 30 years, joining the band when they were still known as the Warlocks in 1965 (via Like Jefferson Airplane, the Dead were huge parts of the Haight-Ashbury and counterculture scene in the 1960s, and they rose to fame partly through their participation in Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters' famous "Acid Tests." The Grateful Dead broke up following the death of Jerry Garcia in 1995.

However, Lesh continued to stay active in the music industry. Since the Dead ended, he has largely toured with his solo band Phil Lesh and Friends, and he regularly announces new tour information on his Instagram page as of early 2023. As recently as 2015, Lesh reunited with his younger surviving Grateful Dead brethren, which included Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann, and Mickey Hart. They billed themselves as Fare Thee Well, after the Grateful Dead song "Ripple," and played for multiple nights over that summer (via Rolling Stone).

Ringo Starr of The Beatles

Possibly the most recognizable name on the list is the former drummer of The Beatles Ringo Starr. The Beatles, also known as the Fab Four, were one of the most influential and popular rock and roll groups of all time. According to Britannica, they first became popular in the early-1960s, and by the middle of the decade, they were one of the most famous bands in the entire world. In 1967, they released "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," which has long been regarded as one of the greatest albums in rock and roll history.

The band broke up in 1970, but Starr's solo career has blossomed over the last five decades. In addition to appearing in films, Starr also released several solo albums. In 2015, Starr was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his solo work, after previously getting in with The Beatles in 1988. In 2010, Starr played a rendition of the famous Beatles song "Birthday" with former younger bandmate Paul McCartney. Reportedly, Starr and McCartney are still close, though they have shelved any plans for a potential reunion as of 2022 (via Vermilion County First).

Bob Dylan

Rock icon Bob Dylan is still alive and well, celebrating more than six decades in the rock and roll business. Born in 1941 in Duluth, Minnesota, Dylan rose to prominence in the early 1960s behind folk anthems like "Blowing in the Wind" and "The Times They Are A-Changin'" (via Britannica). A few years later, Dylan switched over to electric instruments from acoustic and started making rock and roll. His song "Like a Rolling Stone" on the album "Highway 61" was a Billboard success, and for many people defined the counterculture of the 1960s.

Dylan has continued to play music since his peak popularity in the 1960s, putting out several albums each decade. He has won multiple Grammy Awards for his music and was also recognized for his songwriting with the 2016 Nobel Prize. In 1988, Dylan was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and has more than 500 songs attributed to his authorship.

In late 2022, Dylan released a collection of essays titled "The Philosophy of Modern Song," but ran into some trouble when it was discovered that some of the copies that were supposed to be hand-autographed were in fact done with autopen (via The New York Times). In 2021, Dylan began yet another worldwide tour, scheduled to conclude in 2024 (via

Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel

Both of the members from one of the biggest acts of the 1960s, Simon and Garfunkel, are still around today. Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel first recorded together in 1964 with their debut album "Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M.," and went on to massive success within a few years (via They were largely propelled by their smash hit "The Sound of Silence," which eventually became a number-one hit single. In 1967, they famously provided the soundtrack for the Dustin Hoffman film "The Graduate," which is still synonymous with their single "Mrs. Robinson."

Yet, as the wild and crazy 1960s came to a close, so did the band's working relationship and Simon and Garfunkel broke up. They both pursued solo careers, and Garfunkel also acted in several movies (via He has also released 12 solo albums since the band's split. Simon has also had a very successful solo career, winning awards for his albums "Still Crazy After All These Years" and "Graceland" (via

In 1990, Simon and Garfunkel were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and in 1998 they were inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. As a solo artist, Simon also made his way into the Rock Hall in 2001.

Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones

They originally formed the Rolling Stones back in 1962, and more than six decades later, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards are still part of the rock and roll scene. Born in 1943 in Dartford, Kent, England, Jagger and Richards came to prominence in the mid-1960s on the back of singles like "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" and "Paint it Black" (via Britannica). Playing rock and roll dripping with the blues, the Stones have cemented themselves as some of rock's biggest legends over their long and brilliant career.

After a brief hiatus in the late-1980s, the Stones have continued to tour and release new music regularly. In 1989, they found themselves inductees of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and they won Grammy Awards in both 1995 and 2017. Both Jagger and Richards have also released several solo albums, though they have never been nearly as successful as their work with the Stones.

In 2022, Jagger and Richards, along with the other surviving band member Ronnie Wood, embarked on a European Tour as the Stones (via The tour was a 60th Anniversary for the band, and they played shows in the United Kingdom, Germany, and the Netherlands, among other countries.

Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin

Born all the way back in 1944, guitar god Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin is still around. Zeppelin became popular in the 1960s on the back of Page's virtuoso guitar skills, which skillfully blended rock and roll and blues together into an incredibly powerful and unique sound (via Britannica). Throughout the 1970s, Zeppelin was one of the hottest acts in the world, selling out stadiums and enjoying incredible commercial success. Unfortunately, upon the death of drummer John Bonham in 1980, the group stopped touring under the Led Zeppelin name.

Following the band's breakup, Page released a number of solo records, and he also co-produced and co-starred in the 2008 documentary "It Might Get Loud" with fellow guitarists Jack White and Edge (via All Music). Page reunited with fellow surviving Zeppelin alumni Robert Plant and John Paul Jones as recently as December 2007, when they all played together at the O2 Arena in London. They were honored together at the Kennedy Center in 2012, and won a Grammy in 2014 for the live album "Celebration Day."

Roger Waters of Pink Floyd

Legendary Pink Floyd member and outspoken political activist Roger Waters is still thumping away at the bass today. Born in 1943 in Surrey, England, Waters came to fame as a member of Pink Floyd in the mid-1960s. In the 1970s, the band became one of the best-selling acts on the planet, buoyed by their releases of "Dark Side of the Moon" in 1973, "Wish You Were Here" in 1975, and "The Wall" in 1979 (via Britannica). By the 1980s, Waters had assumed a domineering role in the band, and he left Pink Floyd.

Waters began to work on his solo career, which he has continued throughout the decades. He reunited with surviving younger bandmates David Gilmour, Nick Mason, and Richard Wright in 2005 for the Live 8 concert series, though Wright passed away a few years later. In 1996, the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame together. Waters still tours with his solo band, embarking on the "This Is Not A Drill Tour" in 2022. At the start of the tour, he ran into controversy over his outspoken political views, something not exactly new for the long politically active Waters (via Rolling Stone).

Steve Miller of the Steve Miller Band

Guitarist, singer, and songwriter Steve Miller is still going strong today playing as a member of his group, the Steve Miller Band. Born in 1943 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Miller started playing professionally in the 1960s with psychedelic-infused blues rock (via All Music). In the 1970s, he scored big with hits "The Joker" and "Fly Like an Eagle," and the band continued to release music through the 1980s and 1990s. By the 2000s, though his days of chart-topping hits were largely past him, he still toured consistently.

In 2016, Miller and the band were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, where he finally joined many of his former contemporaries. Throughout his illustrious career, Miller has released more than 18 albums, with his most recent effort being "Let Your Hair Down" which was released in 2011. The band is still touring as of early 2023 throughout the United States, showing that while they might not be as popular as they once were, the Steve Miller Band can still easily attract an audience (via

Rod Stewart

Still just as raunchy and racy as ever, Rod Stewart is still a huge part of the classic rock scene. Born in 1945 in London, England, Stewart first became popular while a member of the Jeff Beck Group in the late 1960s (via Britannica). After leaving the group he caught on with The Faces, but his burgeoning solo career soon took center stage. With singles like "Maggie May," "You Wear It Well," and "Do You Think I'm Sexy," Stewart has a significant claim to being a member of rock and roll royalty.

In 1992, Stewart was officially inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and in 2013 he won a Grammy Award. He is still writing and recording new music, having released a live album "You're in My Heart: Rod Stewart with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra" in 2019. As of early 2023, Stewart was still on the road with his solo band and had announced plans for a worldwide tour that would take place throughout the year (per

Roger Daltrey of The Who

Famous rocker and frontman of the Who, Roger Daltrey, is still alive and active in the rock and roll community. Born in 1944 in London, England, Daltrey has been a part of rock and roll since he joined the Who in the 1960s (via All Music). As the lead singer with an exceptionally powerful and strong voice, Daltrey's memorable performance at the Woodstock festival helped the band become one of England's best-selling acts by the 1970s. He began a commensurate solo career in the early 1970s and was known for his habit of swinging his microphone around him like a giant lasso, alternatively delighting and frightening fans in the audience.

In the decades since, Daltrey has continued to pursue both a solo career, and he still plays with surviving younger bandmate Pete Townshend on occasion. In 1990, the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, with U2 frontman Bono serving as their presenter (via the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame). As of early 2023, Daltrey was embarking on multiple tours, including with his solo band and as a part of the Who (via

John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival

Coming up next on the list is the former frontman of Creedence Clearwater Revival, John Fogerty, who is still around and rocking. Fogerty was born in 1945 in Berkeley, California, though if you listen to his music you can easily mistake him for a man of the deep south. American first began to learn the Fogerty name as part of his brief stint in the band Creedence Clearwater Revival, but he has since created a very successful solo career (via All Music). With singles like "Centerfield" and "The Old Man is Down the Road," Fogerty re-established himself as one of the top songwriters in rock and roll in the 1980s.

Since the 1980s, Fogerty has continued to regularly release music and tour, and his 2007 album "Revival" was nominated for a Grammy Award. In 2019, he released the live concert album "50 Year Trip: Live at Red Rocks," which was shot at the famous Red Rock Amphitheater in Morrison, Colorado. 

Beginning in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns, Fogerty formed the band Fogerty's Factory, which is a collaboration between him and several of his kids. Together, they performed renditions of famous Creedence songs like "Who'll Stop the Rain" and "Proud Mary," as well as Fogerty solo material like "Hot Rod Heart." In early 2023, Fogerty bought the publishing rights to the Creedence catalog, finally giving him control of his own music again (via Billboard).

Carlos Santana of Santana

Rounding out the list, guitar virtuoso Carlos Santana is still around and is one of the most active classic rock icons today. Born in 1947 in Autlan, Mexico, Santana made his way stateside when he was a teenager, but always stayed connected with his Mexican roots musically (via Britannica). In 1966, he formed the Santana Blues Band, and in 1969 they performed at the Woodstock Festival, where he cemented his name as one of the biggest legends in rock and roll history.

In addition to performing with Santana, Carlos also embarked on a solo career starting in the 1970s. Throughout his career, Santana has sold more than 100 million records and has won an astonishing 10 Grammy Awards (via In 1998, Santana was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and was ranked in the top 15 of Rolling Stone's "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time."

In the summer of 2022, while touring with Santana, Carlos had a minor health scare during one of his performances in Michigan. According to the Los Angeles Times, Santana collapsed onstage after becoming severely dehydrated in the middle of a show. After taking a month off, Santana was able to return to the stage in August 2022. As of early 2023, Santana was in the midst of a residency at the House of Blues in Las Vegas, titled "An Intimate Evening With Santana."