"I'm retiring, actually no": the farewell tours that weren't farewell

“I'm retiring, actually no”: the farewell tours that weren't farewell

“It's a nightmare to tour.

We can't get bigger than we are”, announced Roger Daltrey at a press conference called by the Who in New York in August 1982 to present the “Who Rocks America” ​​tour, implying that that series of concerts was the last opportunity to fans to see the “Pinball Wizard” band in action on stage. Under those statements, in reality, Pete Townshend's alcohol and drug problems were hidden. There actually was a stop, but not a definitive one: a live album was made from that tour (slyly titled “Who's Last”, 100,000 copies sold in the UK) and a film. Seven years later, however, .the Who they were back around the world on a tour that coincided with a true rebirth: “Let's celebrate still being here.” Forty years later, the final farewell tour is yet to arrive: both leaders recently spoke out about the group's live future, with Roger Daltrey explaining earlier this year that “that part of his life is now over” and Pete Townshend to insist on a lunch with the frontman to plan “what comes next”. Here is the scent of the farewell tour, which over the years has fascinated artists and bands of every genre and generation. I'm retiring, or rather no, one more lap, then who knows. And the box office thanks.

“The most elegant thing, for me, would be to get off the stage on February 24th of 2027 or 2028 to greet everyone in the audience… and then Renatino is no longer there. This way you leave a beautiful photograph. This fairy tale must have a sweet, happy ending and I will not say when I will leave,” he said Renato Zero on the eve of the departure of his last – in a chronological sense, of course – tour, “Self-portrait”, commenting on his colleague's recent announcement Claudio Baglioni, who promised that he will hang up his microphone by 2026. Yet even the King of Sorcini at a certain point in his career announced his retirement from the stage. This happened in 1991, the year he participated in the Sanremo Festival with “Salle al muro”, a painful portrait of old age written by Mariella Nava and masterfully performed on the Ariston stage by the Roman artist. Zero was only 40 at the time, but he had already completed the cycle of rise, fall and redemption that rock stars complete in an entire career: “It's a wise choice,” the singer-songwriter said of his decision. Since then Zero has done 22 more tours.

The format of the “farewell tour”, as they are called in jargon, has been widely explored in Italy by Elio and the Tense Stories (they announced their farewell tour in 2018, six years have passed and they still play together) and come on Pooh (84 months after the announced farewell, last year they returned together for a tour and next summer they will return to share the stages again). Umberto Tozzi has just announced his farewell tour: he will start on May 17th from Ghaxaq, Malta, a month later he will move to Italy with a show scheduled for June 20th at the Baths of Caracalla in Rome and then he will perform on three continents including 2024 and 2025.

“It doesn't have an expiry date, though: I don't know when it will end”, he puts his hands forward. Kind of like she did.Roger Waters.

The former Pink Floyd man has dubbed his tour “my first farewell tour”, hinting that the series of concerts will continue for a while.

The stunt worked: for the seven Italian dates of the “This is not a drill (Farewell tour)” alone, 95,000 purchased tickets. A triumph. Roger Waters' live return to Italy was already an event in itself, but the 79-year-old former Pink Floyd decided to make the seven dates unmissable events for fans of the legendary British rock band, letting it be known that they could be the last of the glorious his career. Is there anything to be believed? Maybe. When in doubt, better be there. Never mind that some fans are calling it a scam. The coffers of artists and promoters thank you. I Kiss, throughout their history, have been absolute masters at organizing farewell tours that really weren't. When ticket sales in the United States for the 1998 “Psycho Circus Tour” proved disappointing, the never-slumbering business acumen of Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley and company came into their own, or worse, depending on your point of view. of himself. 2000 coincided with the live shows that should have decreed their farewell to the scene, but less than two years later the masked band returned to the stage.

The historic group, a symbol of always exaggerated rock, but also capable of experimenting with various genres in its journey, composed of Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer, has kicked off the “last of the farewell tours” in 2019, before pausing live appearances due to the pandemic. The “Detroit Rock City” band has since brought its farewell show to North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia and Australia. They passed through Lucca in Italy in July 2023, after it initially seemed that their last performance in our country would be in the summer of 2022 in Verona. The last live shows, according to what was announced, were those at Madison Square Garden in New York in a double date on December 1st and 2nd. Frontman Paul Stanley recently responded cryptically to rumors that Kiss could be the next band to have a residency at Sphere in Las Vegas. In short, yet another goodbye that risks turning into goodbye.

Elton Johnin 2023, he would end his career on stage with the “Farewell Yellow Brick Road”, the farewell tour that led him to greet his fans in over 300 shows in the space of five years.

It's really like this? According to the latest statements, it would seem so: “After traveling the world non-stop for practically my whole life, it took a while to get used to the change, but we are settling in. I enjoy my family.” Fans, however, cannot forget when in 1977, at Wembley, there was the first of several announcements of a retirement: “I have made a decision tonight, this will be my last concert. There's a lot more to it than traveling the world to do concerts and this will be my last.” But the following year, in 1978, he was back in the spotlight. The second time Elton John announced his retirement from the scene was more recent and dates back to 2015. But even there we know how it went. Another retreat wizard is .Ozzy Osbourne: there are dozens of interviews online in which the rocker announces the stop to live shows, but then retracts everything, specifying that he was actually talking about Black Sabbath or that those words were the result of a moment of discouragement due to physical problems. Do you know in which year, for the first time, Ozzy talked about retiring? In 1992. Already in 1995 he declared: “Retired life sucks”, and he went back to writing songs. Last year, however, the curtain really seems to have fallen. When he added up after the last concert, the total takings were around 700 million dollars in total.

Better to pull the plug before it's too late: there are also those who, by playing with fire, end up getting burned. In 2019, Ozzy Osbourne, whose supposed farewell tour started in 2018 and was supposed to end at the end of that same year, suffered irreversible spinal damage caused by an accident. Having undergone several surgeries, a tumor was discovered and, the following year, he began to suffer from Parkinson's, hence the decision to put an end to performances even though, as he explained, he would still like to do two performances at Villa Park in Birmingham, in 2024, to say goodbye to the fans once and for all. Good old Ozzy doesn't want to give up. Will it really be his swan song?