BRIAN WILSON
A Beach Boy in harmony

"You're wiser, less egotistical," says Wilson, who celebrated 60 with wife Melinda and daughters Daria, 5, and Delanie, 4, on June 20. (Carnie, 34, and Wendy Wilson, 32, from Wilson's first marriage, were also on hand for Dad's L.A. surprise party.) Once, "60 was too old for me to think about," he adds. Despite a long battle with mental illness, Wilson, whose new CD is Pet Sounds Live, says he's in the "best shape ever. I learned to be more courteous. I learned manners."

ROGER McGUINN
A Time to Stay Young

Ten years ago "I remember telling Bob Dylan, 'Fifty is not so bad,' " says ex-Byrds singer-guitarist McGuinn ("Turn! Turn! Turn!"). "He said, 'Fifty is old no matter how you look at it.' " But McGuinn, who turned 60 on July 13, is younger than that now; he and wife Camilla (he has two sons, Patrick, 35, and Henry, 32) live in Orlando, where he bikes, blades, swims, records (his '01 Grammy-nominated Treasures from the Folk Den) and collects vintage transistor radios. "Old," says McGuinn, "is somebody else."

CLARENCE CLEMONS
Sax appeal: The Big Man's got it

Years ago the titan of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band vowed: "At 60, I'm going to be in the best shape ever—and do a nude calendar." Okay, he's still waiting to hear from Play-girl—but there is 75 lbs. less beef on the now 260-lb. Clemons, whose next album with the Boss, The Rising, is due July 30. On his Jan. 11 birthday he "stood naked—physically, spiritually—at the mirror. Then you know if you're satisfied with who you are. I was." Three times divorced, Clemons has four sons, ages 4 to 35. Though he works out daily at his Palm Beach, Fla., home, his arthritic hips went titanium following surgery in 1998. College football may be partly to blame, but then again, "I play very rough rock and roll."

COUNTRY JOE McDONALD
Fixin' to live through another summer of love

McDonald was 25 and a Navy vet when he cut 1967's "I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-to-Die-Rag" with his band Country Joe and the Fish. After it became an antiwar anthem, he carved his name further in the counterculture by leading the '69 Woodstock Nation in his famous "Gimme an F" cheer before singing his hit. Back then "I thought I would be dead at 60," says McDonald. But after his birthday on New Year's Day, he realized, "I get to live the '60s again." Nowadays he's an activist for Vietnam veterans and nurses and still tours. McDonald lives in Berkeley with fourth wife Kathy, a nurse-midwife; their daughter Emily, 14; and son Ryan, 11. To keep his spirit young, he plays frisbee and clings to hippie dogma: "The only important things are friendships, family, music and enjoying the moment."

CAROLE KING
Feeling like a natural woman

By the age of 30, when she was cresting with Tapestry, her masterpiece, singer-songwriter Carole King had it pretty much figured out. "I'm amazed," she says now, "that I knew as much as I did back then about what I wanted out of life and success." Evolving as an artist was—and remains—a key ambition. In 2001 King, who lives in Idaho, released her 24th album, Love Makes the World. In February she welcomed her 60th birthday with her four children, three grandchildren and companion Phil Alden Robinson, a film director. "Sixty was by far the best birthday I've ever had," says King. "I've never felt so centered."

PETER TORK
Ex-Monkee swings again

It has been 36 years since the Monkees rode "Last Train to Clarksville" to No. 1, but bassist Tork, who turned 60 in February, says he's "still that young hippie." Well, sort of. "You've burnt off the idiocies of youth. Maturity is wonderful." And hard-won. He endured drugs, a '72 jail stint for possessing hash and three divorces, but he got sober in '81. Now he's fit, single, living in L.A. at the beach and has daughters, 32 and 5, and a son, 26. With a new CD and tour with his group Shoe Suede Blues, he's got "new chords, new rhythms"—and new tastes: "Bands like 'N Sync. Don't tell me those guys aren't good."