They are no gods, after all.
Age has caught up with some of music’s most venerated artists with Elton John, Lynyrd Skynrd, and Slayer recently announcing their retirement from live performances.
It is no shock, of course, with the three acts having already been slogging it out in arenas around the world for decades.
The flamboyant Elton is not going out on a whimper though, promising a three-year 300-date farewell tour that will open and close in US soil. When asked why he chose to close his live career in the US instead of England, he simply told Good Morning America: “Well, because this is where I got my start.”
Born Reginald Dwight, Elton is a classically trained pianist adept in doing both pop and standard, not to mention R&B and the blues. He is a gifted songwriter, too. Note his long list of hits include many Karaoke staples like “Your Song,” “Rocket Man,” "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road", "Candle in the Wind", "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting," “Tiny Dancer,” “Daniel,” “Can You Feel the love tonight,” “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me,” and “Skyline Pigeon,” among many others.
Elton is also known for his lavish stage set-ups, extravagant stage costumes, and unique glasses.
While many fans would have loved to see Elton keep at it, Lynyrd Skynrd’s retirement announcement has been met with mixed emotions.
Some say they should have thrown in the towel years ago following the demise of Ronnie Van Zant (as with Steve Gaines) but the show must go on as they say in the ‘biz. Skynyrd took a decade off and then reunited with Ronnie’s brother Johnny Van Zandt as frontman and have been touring ever since.
Some say the band sounded better; others say nothing can replace the original. It could not be denied though that the current lineup which features Gary Rossington, Rickey Medlocke, Mark “Sparky” Matejka, Michael Cartellone, Keith Christopher, Peter Keys, Dale Krantz Rossington and Carol Chase, do a mean version of "Free Bird" and "Sweet Home Alabama."
Their Last Of The Street Survivors Farewell Tour begins in West Palm Beach, Florida on May 4 and will end at Lakewood in Atlanta on September 1.
Following in Skynyrd’s footsteps is influential thrash-metal act, Slayer, who, after 40 years being on the road, is finally calling it quits.
Singer-bassist Tom Araya’s inability to headbang after getting neck surgery some years back is among major reasons for the retirement. He told Loudwire in 2016, "That played a big part. Now I just groove with the music..."
Araya doesn’t seem to have any regrets looking back. “At 35 years, it's time to collect my pension. This is a career move... It just gets harder and harder to come back out on the road. 35 years is a long time," he said.
But guitarist Kerry King, the only other co-founding member still active with the band, has expressed confusion over the possibility. In 2015, he told Rolling Stone he wants to continue working as a musician. "There's plenty of people that I considered doing [one] with...but I have to have Slayer covered before I consider anything like that," he said at the time.
In any case, fans should prepare for a headbanging ball like no other with Lamb of God, Anthrax, Behemoth, and Testament all playing support at Slayer’s last hurrah.