Farewell Tours That Went On Forever

Gene Simmons

Kiss frontman Gene Simmons| Kristian Dowling/Getty Images

The iconic band Kiss announced their farewell tour, which will kick off on the “America’s Got Talent” finale, USA Today reports.

The band wraps up 45 years of making music and like other bands with prolific staying power, Kiss is making a dramatic play to fans’ sense of nostalgia. “All that we have built and all that we have conquered over the past four decades could never have happened without the millions of people worldwide who’ve filled clubs, arenas and stadiums over those years,” the band released in a statement. “This will be the ultimate celebration for those who’ve seen us and a last chance for those who haven’t. KISS Army, we’re saying goodbye on our final tour with our biggest show yet and we’ll go out the same way we came in. … Unapologetic and Unstoppable.”

While Kiss insists this is truly the end of the road, they originally announced their (first) farewell tour in 2000, Ultimate Classic Rock reports. So is it really the end or will this be, yet another farewell tour that spans a career lifetime? If Kiss doesn’t end up exiting stage left, they won’t be the first musicians to embark upon a farewell tour that really wasn’t. Here are other musicians that can’t seem to say goodbye and one who said death is the only way he’ll stop performing.

Ozzy Osbourne

Ozzy Osbourne of Black Sabbath poses in the press room after winning Best Metal Performance for 'God is Dead?' during the 56th Grammy Awards at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, January 26, 2014.

Ozzy Osbourne | Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty Images

In light of Osbourne’s latest announcement that he will retire, it’s hard to buy into whether or not this is really the rocker’s swansong. In 1992 he announced his retirement but returned only three years later, Ultimate Classic Rock reports. Even though he announced his “farewell” tour, he told Rolling Stone his announcement has a footnote.  “It’s ‘No More Tours,’ so I’m just not doing world tours anymore. I’m still going to be doing gigs, but I’m not going on tour for six months at a time anymore. I’d like to spend some time at home.”

The Who

In 2015, remaining members Peter Townsend and Roger Daltrey marked the band’s 50th anniversary and the 34th anniversary of their 1982 farewell tour, according to A.V. Club. The band referred to the North American tour as “the beginning of a long goodbye.” However, that “long goodbye” continues as Daltrey and other band members played concert dates as recently as this summer.

Frank Sinatra

Frank Sinatra

Frank Sinatra | Keystone/Getty Images

He certainly retired his way, throwing a few farewell shows along his lengthy career. In 1971 he said he was ready to settle down, according to Rolling Stone. “I’m serious about my decision. There are lots of things I want to do that I haven’t done before. I want to meet some girls and build a house someplace.” He returned to the stage in 1973 making the reference, “If Bobby Riggs can come back, so can I.” Sinatra’s final live concert was in 1995, Vanity Fair reports.

Elton John

Elton John

Elton John | Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

Is it “really” the end this year? John announced his farewell tour September 2018, closing the curtain on his 50-year career, according to CNN. The “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” tour alone will be epic, running into 2021. John tried to say farewell decades ago when he announced in 1977, “I haven’t been touring for a long time and it’s been a painful decision whether to go back on the road … but I’ve made a decision and this is the last show I’m gonna do,” Ultimate Classic Rock reports. John returned to the road in 1979.

Nine Inch Nails

Ironically, Trent Reznor from Nine Inch Nails said he didn’t want to end up like Gene Simmons from Kiss, so he announced he was retiring in 2009, according to Ultimate Classic Rock. Reznor reconsidered retirement in 2013 and continues to perform today. Most recently, he delivered a powerful performance of “The Perfect Drug” at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, according to Pitchfork.


American actor and singer Cher attends the Academy Awards ceremony

Cher | Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Anyone with tickets to Cher’s upcoming tour knows she’s anything but retired. However, Cher tried to get out when she famously announced she was taking senior citizen status in 2002. “If I come back in five years, I’d be driving around in one of those carts with the joy-sticks. This truly is it,” Rolling Stone reports. She continued to dabble in film and television, eventually returning to the stage. In 2014 she said,  “This is my farewell tour. I’m never coming back. I swear to God.”

Judas Priest

The band had another thing coming following their farewell tour in 2011, Ultimate Classic Rock reports. The Epitaph World Tour was the farewell tour, however, a new addition to band reinvigorated the group. They released another album in 2014 and are currently on tour.

Neil Young

Neil Young

Neil Young | Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

The rocker is rolling his eyes at announcements of “farewell” tours telling Rolling Stone, ” When I retire, people will know, because I’ll be dead.”

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