For five decades, Elton John has been delighting audiences the world over, adopting one of the most grueling schedules of touring of anyone in the classic rock class not named Bob Dylan. Between his Vegas residency, and a whole host of shows that takes him from Seattle to Moscow, he’s been everywhere and done it all. Now, it appears he’s ready to throw a curtain over his piano.
At a news conference in New York hosted by Anderson Cooper today, John announced that he plans on bringing his life on the road to an end. “I am not going to be touring anymore, apart from the last tour which is going to start in September,” he said. “My priorities have changed in life,” he added. “I always thought I’d be like Ray Charles or B.B. King on the road forever, but your life changes…We had children and that changed our lives.”
As we’ve seen following the recent, early deaths of both Tom Petty and Prince, both of whom overused opiates to combat a series of physical ailments, life on the road is a struggle. Even for the superstar elite who travel between gigs in pretty lush accommodations, the grind can become unspeakably grueling. You have to respect John’s decision to go out on his terms, rather than trying to push past his own physical limits.
For those hoping to see Elton one last time however, you’ll get plenty of opportunities. “To say goodbye to everyone properly, it’s going to take three years,” he said, noting they’ve booked 300 dates for this coming run. “I don’t want to go out with a whimper, I want to go out with a bang. I’m not a whimper-y type of guy.”