JOE LYNN TURNER On Still Singing At 71: 'Age Doesn't Matter Unless You're A Wine Or A Cheese'

December 29, 2022

In an interview with Sysi Media conducted at this past summer's Tuska festival in Helsinki, Finland, legendary hard rock vocalist Joe Lynn Turner (RAINBOW, DEEP PURPLE, Yngwie Malmsteen) was asked about still recording and performing at the age of 71. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Age doesn't matter unless you're a wine or a cheese. To me… Look, I'm so thankful at this age that I can still sing and write… Physically… I mean, I've had my problems with health — everything — but I'm at my 'thank you' stage of my life.

"When I was younger — [it was all] sex, drugs and rock and roll," he continued. "Now you start to really understand what this is about. This really is deeper than what we used to do as kids. You start to grow and mature in your philosophies, in your art, your originality, your persona.

"So, to me, I'm lucky," Joe added. "I'm thankful. I'm blessed. I wake up every day and I thank I'm alive. I'm going, like, man, I'm breathing, blinking. I have the ability to be here and create something that's worthwhile, that's gonna stick around. That's what it means to me."

Turner went on to say that he "never thought" he would get to be 70 years old. "Honest to God, right now, 70 is the new 40," he said. "But I never thought I'd get to this age. I still feel 19. When I'm listening to music and doing stuff, I still feel 19. Okay, you do slow down a bit. I think more than slow down, I think what you do is you become more aware of things and you're not as stupid as you were and you don't do as many ridiculously dangerous things and you don't kill yourself as much as you did and you try to take it easy. I mean, I can remember waking up in Utah naked under a piano. I don't do that anymore. I've got responsibilities."

Nearly five years ago, Turner suffered a heart attack. He later called the experience "a wake-up call" and insisted that he had "cleaned up [his] act a lot," saying that he had "a new lease on life."

Turner's April 2018 hospitalization was first reported by the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti, which quoted the press service of the Ministry Of Health Of Belarus as saying that the singer was treated at a Minsk facility for "myocardial infarction," commonly known as a heart attack. Turner's presence at the hospital was also reported by Belarus's most influential daily newspaper, the state-owned SB Belarus Segodnya.

Joe was the frontman of RAINBOW between 1980 and 1984 and he sang on the album "Difficult To Cure", which featured the band's most successful U.K. single, "I Surrender".

During Turner's time with RAINBOW, the band had its first USA chart success and recorded songs that helped define the melodic rock genre.

1990 saw Turner reunited with RAINBOW leader Ritchie Blackmore in a reformed DEEP PURPLE for the "Slaves And Masters" album.

Joe is married to Maya Kozyreva, a lawyer from Minsk.

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