Listen To This Eddie is a weekly column that examines the important people and events in the classic rock canon and how they continue to impact the world of popular music.
As I wrote near the beginning of this year, 2018 is has become the flashpoint where a lot of the biggest names in classic rock are choosing to hang it up and bid farewell to life on the road. I honestly can’t say that I blame them. While the hundreds of thousands, and sometimes millions of dollars, are enough to entice a lot of people to stick it out and tour until the wheels come off, the actual act of hopping into a bus or plane and spending your twilight years away from those you love for a couple of hours of satisfaction can wear you down both physically and emotionally.
Among those who’ve announced farewell tours over the last year or so include some of the biggest names in rock history. Paul Simon, Ozzy Osbourne, Elton John, and Lynyrd Skynyrd to name just a few. In other words, the opportunities to see those titanic forces that dominated the airwaves throughout the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s are dwindling. Even bands that have chosen to stick it out, like Fleetwood Mac and The Eagles for instance, are losing original members either to fatigue or simple mortality at an alarming rate.
While it’s true that the impetus to see many of the bands who hit their primes in earlier eras before they hang it up has drawn in crowds for the better part of three decades now — this is Ozzy’s second farewell tour; third if you count the run he just ended with Black Sabbath — as many of these artists hit their 70s and beyond, basic math dictates that time is going to run out sooner rather than later. Pick up a copy of Steven Hyden’s new book Twilight Of The Gods for more lucid and in-depth explorations of this idea. With that in mind, here below are all of the classic rock icons you should see in 2018 while you still have the chance.