There’s a surprising trend in the music industry in 2018: some of the world’s most legendary musicians are calling it quits. In their late 60s to late 70s, these musicians are feeling the effects of a slowing body and the pull of the families they so often leave behind while on tour. To commemorate their retirement, all are giving one last hurrah. Read on to see who’s leaving the industry, and when you can experience a last performance for yourself.
The funny name of this band comes from the name of several founding members’ gym teacher in elementary school, Leonard Skinner, who sent the boys to the principal’s office for too long hair. That hair grew a lot longer once they came of age and became a huge rock phenomenon. With hits like Free Bird and Sweet Home Alabama, Lynyrd Skynyrd had an amazing 26 records reach the Billboard 200 Chart.
This retirement isn’t the first time the band has had a dramatic shake up. A plane crash in 1977 ended the lives of several band members, including front man Ronnie Vanzent and Steve Gains. Still, the band rebuilt and reconfigured throughout the years. Today, the only remaining founding member is guitarist Gary Rossington, who is now 66 years old. Rossington’s had heart issues as of late and several shows have been cancelled. Between his heart and the desire to spend more time with his family, Rossington and the band are “winding it down,” with a final tour, “The Last Street Survivors Tour,” named after their 1977 album. You can catch them from May 4 – September 1.
The legendary Black Sabbath cast away is now 69 years-old and has also announced an end to his tours. Osbourne’s career has been anything but dull. The dark artist gave intense, wild shows with shocking anecdotes, such as tossing pig’s intestines into the audience. Known for such antics, a fan threw back a live, but unconscious, bat on stage. Osbourne didn’t realize it was real and bit off its head in showmanship. He was later rushed to the hospital for rabies treatment.
A life like that isn’t exactly one for a grandparent. His desire to spend more time with his grandchildren is top of his list, especially since he missed so much of his own children’s lives. This isn’t the first time Osbourne has retired. In the early 1990s he also made such an announcement and scheduled the “No More Tours” tour. Aptly, this tour is called the “No More Tours 2” tour. Catch a show between April 27-October 13. Osbourne has not ruled out playing the occasional gig, so this might not be the last of Osbourne.
The famed folksy hippy rock of Neil Young is about as legendary as it gets. His music career spans decades, and while Young has been touring strong at 77 years-old, he recently had to cancel his tour as he announced his diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease. Sadly, that means there will be no farewell tour for this idol. That said, Young says he’ll continue to write and record music. So while you may not be able to personally bid him farewell, you can still expect some new, great things from the musician.
The Simon and Garfunkel star had plenty of applause before he broke out on his own when the duo broke up. But it was his solo career, particularly with the album Graceland, that really made him a super star. Simon has released 13 solo albums and still tours. At 76 years-old, though he’s feeling his age and wants to be at home. Touring, he says, is difficult for his marriage and family.
Though he anticipates the occasional performance in the future, the upcoming tour is Simon’s last. “Homeward Bound – the Farewell Tour” will extend all over the United States and Europe. The U.S. dates are May 16 to June 20, and in Europe it’s June 30 to July 15. Some major cities aren’t on the circuit, including Atlanta and, surprisingly, not his native New York City, where so much of his music is rooted. Who knows, perhaps a surprise is in store, but as of now, there’s nothing on the books in the Big Apple.
Mega star Elton John is as much a performer as he is a musical talent. With outrageous outfits and manic piano performances (a feet in itself) John became a truly unique legend. A man open about his life, the musician and his husband have two sons now and he wants to be there for them. He’s reached 70 years-old and he, too, is slowing down.
John’s not going away quietly, though. His tour, “Farewell Yellow Brick Road,” will span all five continents and he’ll put on over 300 shows over the course of three years, beginning tomorrow! Some shows have been added because of quick sell out rates, but it’s safe to say, if you want to see him, book right away!