The band of “Hotel California” fame is finally checking out. But only time will tell if it’s the group’s true goodbye.
The Eagles recently announced that they will launch a farewell tour, dubbed “The Long Goodbye,” on Sept. 7 in New York City. Other cities scheduled include Boston; Denver; Indianapolis; Detroit Cleveland; Charlotte, N.C.; Raleigh, N.C.; Lexington, Ky.; and St. Paul, Minn. Press reports say the tour will run this fall and all the way through 2025.
“The Eagles have had a miraculous 52-year odyssey, performing for people all over the globe … But, everything has its time, and the time has come for us to close the circle,” the group said in a statement.
Members of the ensemble include Don Henley, Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmit, who will be joined on the farewell tour by Vince Gill and Deacon Frey (son of the late founding Eagles member Glenn Frey). Among the Eagles many hits are “Lyin’ Eyes,” “Take It Easy” and, of course, “Hotel California.”
The news comes just a couple of months after Aerosmith, another one of rock ‘n’ roll’s most iconic groups, announced they were launching their farewell tour this fall, which is set to begin Sept. 2 in Philadelphia.
Still, some music fans have expressed skepticism about whether such artists are sincere when they say they’re calling it quits. And they may have good reason to be doubtful: If you go through the annals of rock ‘n’ roll, you’ll find countless artists who came back after their official goodbye from the stage.
Cher announced her retirement as a concert act in 2002 with “Living Proof: The Farewell Tour,” but came back in 2014. The Who called it quits in 1982, but returned to the road in 1989.
And let’s not forget that The Eagles have said goodbye before — in a tour that started in 2003 and was dubbed “Farewell I.”
Aerosmith has also done a previous “final” tour, announcing its goodbye with a series of shows in 2016. As guitarist Joe Perry told Billboard at the time, “we all know our age is creeping up on us.” But even he walked back that remark, adding, “When will it end? That I can’t say.”
So why do artists say they’re saying goodbye, only to return? Music-industry pros and experts say there can be genuine reasons — meaning an artist misses the road, the fans and the life, to say nothing of the money.
Tours by prominent artists can be huge sellers: Acts like the Rolling Stones, U2, Bruce Springsteen and Elton John have each grossed more than $1.5 billion on the road over the last four decades, according to Pollstar, the company that tracks the industry. (Aerosmith’s grosses during this same period are a more “modest” $603 million.)
But experts also say there’s no doubt some artists announce farewell tours for a less-than-legitimate reason — namely, as a marketing ploy to boost ticket sales for that tour.
Some fans are clearly tired of the game. As one tweeted after the recent Aerosmith announcement, “I am really really bored of these [bands] that retire and then retire then retire and finally retire. Stay RETIRED.”
Steven Hyde, a music critic and author of “Twilight of the Gods: A Journey to the End of Classic Rock,” told MarketWatch that it wouldn’t surprise him if Aerosmith lived up to its farewell announcement this time. He noted that the band members are certainly up there in age — Tyler is 75, Perry is 72 — and they’ve hardly been known for their take-it-easy lifestyles. (Tyler has been in and out of rehab over the past few decades.)
At the same time, Hyde said, fans shouldn’t be prepared to file claims with the Better Business Bureau if an artist “un-retires.” At this point, they should know the drill.
“If you’re a ticket buyer and you’re taking a farewell tour at face value, I feel like maybe you’re a little gullible,” he said.
That said, if you want to buy tickets for The Eagles “Long Goodbye” tour, which is being presented by the concert-industry giant Live Nation, you’ll have your chance next week. Presale tickets and VIP packages will be sold beginning July 12, followed by a general sale beginning July 14 at 10 a.m.