George Strait with Eric Church
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday
Where: CenturyLink Center Omaha, 455 N. 10th St.
Tickets: Sold out
Information: centurylinkcenteromaha.com or 402-341-1500
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After June 8, you might never see George Strait perform again.
At least that's what he said when he announced his retirement and farewell tour — aptly titled “The Cowboy Rides Away.”
Forgive us if we don't believe him. The 61-year-old likely has a lot of good years ahead of him, and performers don't have a very good track record of staying retired.
Strait has said he will likely perform again and will continue to make music, but he's not going to hit the road for long tours.
Other artists have made similar claims, so we looked at a long list who have announced their own withdrawals from the stage. Some have kept their promises, while others (we're looking at you, Cher) barely left the spotlight.
Why not retire after a couple of Grammy Awards and a diamond (10-times platinum) album? Brooks went out on top, but Omahan Lisa Maxson can't wait to see him again. Brooks took time off while his children were at home, and he once promised he wouldn't come back to music until his youngest turned 18. Recently, Brooks announced he'd be back on a world tour in 2014.
James Murphy is the man behind LCD Soundsystem, and Omahan Ryan Mohs wants him back. Murphy called it a day with LCD Soundsystem with a 2011 concert at Madison Square Garden, which was documented in the film “Shut Up and Play the Hits.” Thankfully, Murphy continues to work in music, producing albums and putting them out with his label, DFA Records.
Famously, Cher's most successful tour — and one of the most successful concert tours of all time — was her farewell tour, which lasted three years and 325 performances. Shortly thereafter, Cher committed to a 200-date stint in Vegas. She didn't take much time off at all. And is she still working? Darn right. She'll be performing at Lincoln's Pinnacle Bank Arena on May 30.
The godmother of punk gave up music shortly after starting a family with her husband, MC5 guitar player Fred “Sonic” Smith. They lived near Detroit, and Smith mostly stayed out of music until her husband's death. Smith eventually moved back to New York, began making new music and is heading out on tour again.
Back in 2003, Jay Z put on a retirement concert at Madison Square Garden. The show was the subject of the documentary “Fade to Black,” but as Omahan Bryant Ott pointed out, it didn't last. Jay Z's retirement was thankfully short for Ott and other fans. Jay Z “came back like Jordan, wearin the '45',” as he raps in “Encore,” and returned with the album “Kingdom Come” in 2006.
After decades of being one of the biggest women in rock, Ronstadt announced in 2011 that she was giving up music. Parkinson's disease is partly to blame. Ronstadt was recently inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Back in 1985, Withers retired from the music business. A documentary, “Still Bill,” about the “Lean on Me” singer/songwriter was released in 2009, but even that didn't prompt him to return to the musical life.
As a whole, R.E.M. called it quits in 2011. Many fans, including Omahan Luis Guzman, hope Michael Stipe and his bandmates mount a comeback. “I hope he is just taking a hiatus,” Guzman said. “The music world sure needs him and the band. Karaokes worldwide have a special place for 'It's the end of the world' or 'Losing my Religion.' ”
Though various outlets reported that he gave up music for a variety of reasons, Collins reportedly retired to take care of his young children. He told Billboard.com, “I'm not anticipating doing anything else. If I do write songs ... I don't know about putting them out on an album or anything like that. I don't really have the desire to do that now.”
At one point, Streisand said she'd stop touring. After a farewell tour that lasted several years, she finally played her last concert in 2000. It only took until 2006 for Streisand to resume touring. Since her “final” show, she has released seven new albums.
Back in the early '90s, Ozzy Osbourne got tired of touring — so tired that he decided to do one last one, which he called “No More Tours” (a pun on the title of his 1991 record “No More Tears”). Only a few years later, in 1995, Osbourne was back on the road for a tour he called “Retirement Sucks.”
Artists who never retired
Some artists have stuck it out, even into their 80s and 90s. These folks are still performing. Regularly.
Pete Seeger, 94
B.B. King, 88
Tony Bennett, 87
Chuck Berry, 87
Loretta Lynn, 81
Little Richard, 81
Willie Nelson, 80
Yoko Ono, 80