Maybe it's a combination of: rock 'n' roll is a young person's game, and that's when they make the most impact, and they always have to deal with that legacy? Or, that consciously or unconsciously they shift their interest from trying to get a foot in the door, to just honing the technical nature of the craft? Or is it what I have hitherto assumed without ever really thinking about it too hard, that after a while you lose interest in being innovative and just want to do a creative rehash and/or fit in with the dominant paradigm? You lose interest in making a smash and just get comfortable with bobbing around with the status quo?
The concurrent strange aspect to the above is that artists who DON'T peak from the beginning, but who start out producing substandard stuff and then rise after a few years and excel a certain way into their career, seem able to maintain a better quality. Who am I thinking of? Off the top of my head, Vanda & Young and the Bee Gees, but no doubt there are a million others (of course, there are also many, many people who are great at the beginning and keep being great, still, I think the initial premise holds, don't you? Sure, we can all think of exceptions, but I'd say there's ten unexceptions for every one of those).
I wondered this because there was a buzzfeed quiz about how much of a music nerd (or snob? can't remember) one is, I did the first fifteen or so questions and then lost interest, or rather, gained interest in the above idea and had to nut it out with you. Thanks.