Getting older is rubbish. It’s the little things, the telltale signs that remind you old father time is ticking away and the clock ain’t turning back. The twinge in the lower back, forgetting the reason you walked into the room or misplacing keys that were in your hand TWO MINUTES before.

I’m not ready for the knacker’s yard (yet), but I’m convinced my brain thinks it’s still 25 not 49. I feel slightly cheated when I see this balding stranger staring back at me in the mirror – a mocking imitation of the younger me.

So I couldn’t help but feel a pang of sympathy when I watched Phil Collins on TV last week as he admitted he can no longer hold a drumstick and has to sit down while singing. The thought of this diminished figure attempting to breathe new life into old hits in front of a stadium full of fans seems almost cruel. I don’t mean to sound uncharitable, but I found myself asking, when is it time to face reality and call it a day?

The Genesis frontman isn’t the only ageing rocker refusing to hang up the mic, with the litany of septuagenarian songsmiths on the circuit only rising as the Sixties and Seventies stretch further behind us.

Read more: Tangled up in blue… why I just couldn’t cancel Bob Dylan

Top of the list of age-defying troubadours have to be the Rolling Stones, who only until the recent sad loss of Charlie Watts appeared to be impervious to musical mortality. For a band once at the cutting edge of the sexual revolution their reinvention as travelling bluesmen has been quite clever, although Jagger’s lascivious rendition of Sympathy of the Devil veers on the seedy side.

Next has to be Bob Dylan, whose never-ending tour has been trundling along probably longer than even he can remember. His vocal cords have been shot to pieces for years, so I’m always surprised at fans’ shock when they discover the voice of a generation is now that of an octogenarian.

Paul McCartney is steeped in his own legend as his 3,2,1 docu-series illustrates. I reckon he would happily sit in an empty room talking to himself about The Beatles, so astounded is he about his past life. It’s as if he can’t believe it was him and he did that.

Then there’s Elton John. There’s no denying old Reggie’s virtuosity has left an indelible mark on pop history. At the height of his fame he was being hailed as a musical god, but as the years have rolled by Pinner’s greatest son has risked resembling a caricature in his own Elton John tribute act.

Read more: Afghanistan: Taliban are ripping out a nation's soul by banning music

Bruce Springsteen has somehow managed to weather the ageing storm best. His Broadway performances reveal the stamina and sharpness of a man half his age. His reminisces are warm and nostalgic. It’s a remarkable show.

Ageing comes to us all, affects each of us in contrasting ways at different times and is as inevitable as night follows day. But if you’re lucky enough to have all your faculties still in check, then why retire if you love what you’re doing. So fair play to good old Phil and the rest of them. They may not be what they once were, but if it gets them out of bed in morning then who am I to judge.

Our columns are a platform for writers to express their opinions. They do not necessarily represent the views of The Herald.