Proud and entertaining ageing advocate
NORMIE Rowe is heading down the road when he stops in front of a 70-ish woman resplendent in her gym gear, berating her for having her face in her phone and not looking where she is walking.
"I pull over to the left of the footpath before I look at the device," he says.
The exchange highlights the passionate approach to life of the outspoken 72-year-old entertainer, who then completes his regular 45-minute workout before launching into an empathic discussion on how he is trying to change the conversation around older Australians.
Rowe is proudly and loudly advocating for ageing Australians to be respected.
"I really think Australian society has gone completely the wrong way," Rowe said.
"(They say) when you turn 60 your working life is over. It's time to hang up the tools. You're not of value anymore.
"It's really frustrating to me to see all these people who take umbrage at minorities being lampooned and are very happy to lampoon people over 60."
He uses the example of television news show The Project which he said constantly laughed at older people.
"These people will never achieve most of the things that the older people have achieved in this country," he adds.
"I am not talking about those in their 60s. I am talking about those getting into their 80s and 90s who had to try and make do through the Second World War and perhaps The Depression.
"Everyone seems to have it easy today. I just admire some of these people who have slogged away constantly at what they do."
Rowe finds remaining in the entertainment industry opens doors and enables him to be heard above the crowd of dissenters.
His message to them is that they are wasting a vital national resource.
"These are people who have gathered knowledge," he said. "Not everybody is running around in a demented state or with Alzheimer's or can't move their bodies because of arthritis. There's this wealth."
Rowe continues to support a whole range of charitable organisations such as Soldier On and Variety. He is also talking ageing and attitude as a supporter of Grey Matters Live.
"One of the favourite things I like to do at the end of a show is to talk to the people in the audience," he said.
"I will sign autographs, have photos taken and maybe sell a few CDs or not."
Rowe wants to be the last person who leaves the foyer after spending time with his audience.
The voice of the ageing rocker still resounds strongly.
"It's actually better than it's ever been. I really still love performing," he said.
"I really still love performing.
And he is still evolving as a performer.
"Over the last 10 years I have started playing the electric guitar on stage...I think I have bought about six guitars."
Rowe jokes about being retired, but has plenty more to say about respecting older Australians.
He has shows to do and a newly released single, Compulsory Hero, which will be on a album, ISH Reimagined, to be released later this year.
"Life isn't about being the most pristine corpse in the cemetery," he said.
"Life is about broadsiding up to the grave, completely worn out. I don't want to be the prettiest person in the cemetery. Every wrinkle I've got, I earned."