Point Park Globe

Retiring rockers cement legacy

Written By Amanda Myers, Staff Writer

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As the superstars of the 60s and 70s continue to age, a number are bidding goodbye to the wear and tear of the road.  In recent farewell tour announcements, music greats like Sir. Elton John and Paul Simon have spoken of giving up their time on the stage for a more personal existence.

These two musicians are not retiring due to ill health, but are instead seeking new opportunities in this next stage of their life.  They are both fathers; John of two young boys, and Simon to three younger children.  John said it best when he talked to Anderson Cooper at a press conference for his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour.

“My priorities have changed in my life…the time is right to say thank you to my fans,” he said.

John has had some of the most devoted fans, and hopefully they have the chance (and cash) to catch him on this last tour.  Estimated at 300 shows over a three-year period, John will be pulling out the glam to match the grandness of his hit songs.

Snagging a ticket for the show will be difficult, though.  The first 60 dates of the tour are already sold out, with loads of the tickets snatched up by scalpers and listed way over face value.  For John’s concert in Pittsburgh on Oct. 10, the cheapest ticket is currently going for $236 on Ticketmaster.

Many will argue that this tour is a cash grab, but legacies don’t come cheap.  Simon issued a personal, heartfelt letter that detracts from the notion that this type of endeavor is for the money. 

The thought of retiring from the road, he said, “feels a little unsettling, a touch exhilarating, and something of a relief.”

Simon’s Homeward Bound tour doesn’t have a Pittsburgh stop as of now, but if he wants to “board a Greyhound” here, then a performance has to be planned.  With these cultural icons planning their final shows, it begs the question: who will be next?

Paul McCartney shows no signs of stopping.  He puts on big shows each year to audiences across the globe, and a has a new album he hopes to put out in 2018.  Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters is putting on some of the most stunning and passionate shows of his career.  The Rolling Stones, however, look to be on stage until they turn to dust — Mick Jagger still shimmying away, and Keith Richards surviving the devastation of a nuclear war.

With recent rockstar deaths and these bittersweet retirements, it signifies the end of an era for the people who grew up with the music and the youth that have discovered it in years following.  These last performances come as a calling card for those that seek one last live connection to those “silent walls of sound.”

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