# What is the name for this faulty logic: Low average age of rock stars at death?

Okay then, what is the rate of death of the rock star population as compared to the general population? Not including Nikki Sixx and the others who died but got better?

To be statistically accurate, you shouldn’t compare them to the general population. You should compare them to a random group of non-rock stars who are same average ages.

If you did the type of cardio-vascular workout he does every night, jumping, prancing, and singing, you’d improve your chances to live a long life, too. Ever try to imitate that? Exhausting!

There’s the first fallacy right there.

to be more accurate you should compare rock musicians deaths to that of other touring musicians, like for example country musicians.

It sounds like the opposite of Survivorship Bias. With survivorship bias you make a false conclusion based on only “surviving” entities. For example, if you were to take a survey and compare houses in a neighbourhood built in the 1930s to houses built in the 1990s and conclude that the houses from the 30s were far less likely to have certain types of structural defects you might be falling victim to survivorship bias if houses from the 30s with those defects would have long-since been torn down and replaced.

Part of the broad Cum Hoc fallacy family, combined with basic equivocation. The relationship between the age of death of rock stars and average Americans doesn’t exist. The average age of death for a group is based only on people who have died. Rock stars didn’t exist until about 65 years ago, and most of them were young then, so there are only a few rock stars who have died. This is a comparison between the average age of death for all Americans vs. the average age of death of a select subset of all Americans (plus some non-Americans) who died before reaching that age.

Anyway, I’d rather go to Rock and Roll heaven than the Christian one. They have a hell of a band.

The average age of death for stillborn children? Zero!!!?? Why won’t anyone think of the children?

I think this method would work, start with a list of rock stars (both living and dead), for each rock star randomly select a random person with the same birthdate and similar demographics. Compare the two populations using a log-rank test treating those still alive as censored at their current age.

I don’t know about the validity of log-rank in this case, but assuming we can define who is a rock star, you just have to compare the percentage of dead ones to live ones with the percentages from the general population in the same distribution of age ranges.

Well its a case of statistical bias, rather than logical fallacy IMO. In particular selection bias, they are choosing individuals who are known to have died prematurely and comparing them with the population as a whole.

How do has-beens and one-hit-wonders fit in? Would you put Huey Lewis in the “Rock Star” stats when he pops his clogs? What about Musical Youth? They had a hit with “Pass the Dutchie”, if they die from shame will that count?

I’m not here to represent Huey, but the dude’s actually had a pretty good run. I’ll say he’s in there. How about we say someone who doesn’t need “a day job” anymore. Primary source of income on the tax return being “Rock Star”.

There’s another bias likely built in which is that early death seals your fame. If you had a hit single at 25 in 1960 then flamed out through STD’s, drugs and psychosis at 26, you will forever be remembered as a rock star and will make the list. If you had a hit single at 25 in 1960 then faded away to become an accountant and died this year at age 75, you won’t have made the list because everyone will have forgotten about you.

Now that we’ve left the Christians aside, this thread is getting interesting. And for more general questions:
Who is the oldest living rock star?
What counts as rock, and what counts as star? Kilmore’s idea of no ‘day job’ doesn’t account for rock stars who lost all their money, or one hit wonders that didn’t make enough. I think Norman Greenbaum has a day job. Wouldn’t a place on most best song lists get you some rock star status? But then the Archie’s had a number 1 hit, does that qualify them? Or that heavy metal icon, Pat Boone?
How many rock stars have died of old age, or causes unrelated to being a rock star?
What’s the coolest way for a rock star to die, plane crash or drug overdose?
And what about Keith Richards? Is he alive, is he dead, or is he some kind of Schrodinger’s rock star?

My son’s a big Jim Morrison fan, and I went on a big rant about how, if he were still alive he’d be following in Elvis’s footsteps: too full of himself, eating too many PB&Banana sandwiches, barely fitting in the white sequined jumpsuit, and singing “Touch Me” with a generic backup band (The Doors would be busy playing jazz somewhere else) on the Vegas strip.

I concluded with: “Dying was the best career move he could’ve made.”

ps: Does that Christian site know about all the Spinal Tap drummers who spontaneously combusted? They’d LOVE that.
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Ringo Starr just hit 70.

It’s replies like this that keep me coming back to this place.

Or because He was tired of Haendel and wanted something a tad stronger?

On the other hand, the average age of living rock stars is much higher than the average age of all other living people (an awful lot of whom haven’t managed to live past childhood), so I guess that proves the reverse conjecture, as well?

What about Chuck Berry, he’s 83.