Elton John’s Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour arrives at NYCB Live’s Nassau Coliseum on Tuesday, the first of several stops scheduled over his three-year planned goodbye.
John, 71, says he is tired of touring and wants to spend more time with his husband, David Furnish, and their two sons. The “Rocket Man” rocker also says he does not plan on changing his mind. “I’m not Cher, even though I like wearing her clothes,” he joked at a Manhattan news conference in January announcing the tour. “This is the end.”
That joke resonates with music fans because we have entered the golden age of goodbye concerts. And there have been plenty of false starts, er, ends. Though their concerts are now fewer and farther between, artists like Cher, Barbra Streisand and The Who don’t even discuss farewell tours anymore, because they have changed their minds about them in the past. And let’s not even talk about the times Jay-Z and LCD Soundsystem “retired.”
Here’s a look at some current farewells and the chances they really will mark the end:
FAREWELL TOUR Homeward Bound: The Farewell Tour, wrapped Sept. 22 at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.
REASONS “I feel the travel and time away from my wife and family takes a toll that detracts from the joy of playing,” Simon said in a statement.
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COMEBACK CHANCES Slim to none. Though Simon still plans to play occasional shows (and he’ll perform Oct. 13 on “Saturday Night Live”), his farewell seemed so emotional for him that he probably won’t want to do it again.
FAREWELL TOUR Fare Thee Well Tour, currently scheduled through May 2019.
REASONS “Thirty years ago I asked my vocal coach when I would know it was time to quit and he said, ‘Your voice will tell you,’ ” Baez told Boston’s WBUR/90.9. “It doesn’t hurt, but a whole lot of the time, the sounds I want to hear are not coming out.”
COMEBACK CHANCES Slim. Baez knows her voice.
FAREWELL TOUR No More Tours 2, currently scheduled through March 2019.
REASONS “I’d like to spend some time at home,” Osbourne told Rolling Stone. “I just need to slow it down a little.”
COMEBACK CHANCES Fair. There was also a No More Tours farewell in 1992, but Osbourne seems more serious now.
AGES Original member guitarist Gary Rossington, 66; singer Johnny Van Zant, 58
FAREWELL TOUR Last of the Street Survivors Farewell Tour, currently scheduled through January.
REASONS “We wanted to go out with our boots on high and come riding in like we do,” Van Zant told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
COMEBACK CHANCES Fair. Though Rossington’s heart troubles were the main reason to wrap up, his pacemaker has made him feel better.
AGES Paul Stanley, 66; Gene Simmons, 69
FAREWELL TOUR End of the Road World Tour, set to start in January.
REASONS “It’s time to really think about an end,” Stanley has said.
COMEBACK CHANCES Strong. Their first farewell tour was in 2000 and Stanley and Gene Simmons have changed their minds on this before.