Although singer songwriter Robbie Bundle is a few years from his 60th birthday, he considers his past role as a poster boy for Victorian Seniors as “pretty cool”.
Robbie, 57, who has been writing and performing music for more than 35 years, performed at the last two Victorian Seniors Festivals and was one of the faces of the 2017 Festival poster and program guide.
At first he was surprised when asked to be part of the Seniors Festivals because he thought he was too young. But the father of five and grandfather of 15 didn’t take long to change his mind and embrace the opportunity, in both years, to be part of the festival.
I might have grey hair and be a grandfather – but I still feel so young and thought I might be too young to be the festival poster boy, he laughs.
But then I realised my notion of being a senior was way of out of date and that rock ‘n’ roll performers like Mick Jagger and Paul McCartney are seniors – and look at what they are still doing. It changed my whole outlook.
Every October the Victorian Government, with hundreds of community-based organisations, presents the Victorian Seniors Festival to recognise and celebrate Victoria’s seniors. The month-long event features more than 2,500 fun events across the state.
Robbie, who has played with artists including David Gulpilil, Kutcha Edwards, Dave Arden, Bart Willoughby and Archie Roach, won’t be appearing at this year’s Victorian Seniors Festival because he is returning to Country – Yuin Country – in central Tilba, New South Wales, to work on several projects, including establishing a live music venue he plans to name the ‘Rustic Music Treehouse’.
Equipped with a lifetime of experience and lessons learned – a getting of wisdom – Robbie feels he has the benefits of feeling young without the restrictions, insecurities and lack of experience that held him back in his early life.
Like many of us, when I was young I was all over the shop, but now I have the wisdom and experience to make the right decisions, and this is combined with being healthy and flexible in mind, body, soul and spirit he says.
I think older people today have a lot more freedom than older people had in the past – maybe it’s because many in our generation were brought up with rock ‘n’ roll and I think that has given them the permission to not be held back by who they think they should be, rather than who they are. When I play at gigs there are always plenty of baby boomers having lots of fun and I think many of them, like me, have the wisdom and confidence they lacked in their earlier years – to be who they are; to find pleasure and beauty in simple things, to really value time with family and friends and to feel joy helping people and contributing to community.
I intend to keep feeling young no matter how old I get – to keep playing music and to ride my motor bike for as long as I can. It’s strange but I’m having a lot more fun now than I did was when I was younger because I’m now in a better position to understand the world around me.
And what about turning 60?
What is age? Age doesn’t matter, it’s how you live your life. I love the freedom of getting older and wisdom coming around in its natural form. But then again when I get on my motorcycle I feel 20.