Ah, yes, It’s a story that has become all too familiar in the music industry: a band or artist announces that they will be retiring from touring or recording, only to announce a new tour or album a few years later. From Kiss to Jay-Z, and even the iconic rock band, The Who, it seems that “retirement” is a term that has become increasingly fluid in the music industry.
Aerosmith recently announced their “final” tour, which is being called the ‘Peace Out’ tour. As stated via the band, it’s not a “goodbye,” but a “Peace Out,” obviously, you can already tell where this is going. It feels like a vacation plan.
While some may see this as harmless marketing ploy, others argue that it is a deceptive practice that undermines the trust between artists and their fans. The announcement of retirement is often accompanied by a wave of media attention, farewell tours, and commemorative merchandise, all designed to create a sense of finality and nostalgia. However, when the artist or band inevitably returns, it can leave fans feeling duped and disillusioned. Here’s my top 5 times that we were taken for all we had by the following bands.
First let’s start off with KISS. Kiss have been known for stretching the truth a few times, and when it comes to “final” tours, well, they may be the masters at it. Now, if you are not an every day KISS fan, then maybe you’d think “How bad could it be? They couldn’t have lied that long about final tours.” Wrong. The ‘Farewell Tour’ was first kicked off in March 11, 2000 and concluded on April 13, 2001. Yes, twenty-two years ago. Their lies are old enough to drink and go to war.
In 2003, Peter returned to the band, and current KISS guitarist, Tommy Thayer replaced Ace. This was billed as the ‘World Domination Tour’. Since then, the ‘Farewell Tour’ was retconned to say it was a “farewell to Ace and Peter.”
After the World Domination tour, Peter’s contract was not renewed or extended, and Eric Singer returned to the drums. This lineup has been the going concern since 2004. In 2019, Kiss announced that they are embarking on a 2nd farewell tour, called the End of the Road, which brings us to now, where we are awaiting to see if this truly is the last ride.
Next we have Motley Crue. Let’s give some credit here, they aren’t as bad as KISS are with this stuff. In 2015 following a big press conference, the Crue announced a farewell tour, expect, it wasn’t. They even made a huge deal of them signing a contract basically, supposedly, stating that they could “never tour again”. Around the time of 2019, the started up again and you can still catch them on the regular. Ah, money grabs.
The decision to end a successful career is never an easy one, but for The Who, it was a necessary choice. In October 1982, lead singer Roger Daltrey declared during a press conference that touring had become a “nightmare,” and that the band had reached the height of their success. He believed it was better to go out on top, leaving behind a legacy that would endure long after they had left the stage.
Despite Daltrey’s diplomatic delivery, it was no secret that Pete Townshend’s substance abuse problems had made life on the road unbearable. However, the band eventually reunited in 1989, with the addition of a horn section and backing singers, embarking on another world tour. Today, The Who continue their long goodbye and tickets are available.
Next to last in this top five is none other than Judas Priest. In 2012, it was supposed to be it for the band, but it looks like we were all duped, especially when Glenn Tipton admitted that the Epitaph World Tour was not the end of Judas Priest. It came as a shock to fans around the world. The tour, which was promoted as the band’s final farewell, was supposed to mark the end of a legendary career. However, with the addition of new guitarist Richie Faulkner, the band stated that they found a “new energy,” which is why they aren’t done yet.
Lastly, Nine Inch Nails. Trent Reznor, the frontman of Nine Inch Nails, made a bold statement in 2009 when he announced that the band’s touring days were over. He explained that he did not want to end up like Gene Simmons, a musician who he believed was past his prime and putting on a show just to grab money and having little to no heart in it. Reznor feared that if NIN continued to tour, it would become a gimmick rather than a genuine artistic expression.
NIN’s hiatus from touring was short-lived, and they were soon back on the road, performing for packed arenas in 2013 and 2018. The band is, of course, still active today.
The idea of retirement in the music industry is often driven by financial concerns rather than creative ones. The income from touring and album sales is often the primary source of income for musicians. In some cases, “retirement” can simply be a way for artists to take a break from the grueling pace of touring and recording while still maintaining their income. In the end, the music industry is a business, and artists have the right to make decisions about their own careers.