Retirement? You Must Be Joking, Right?

December 30, 2013

paul billy

They’re still heroes around these parts… Billy Joel and Paul McCartney 

Some of the biggest names in the music industry are touring again in 2014, and boy have they been at this game a long time!

As soon as Bruce Springsteen’s hugely successful ‘Wrecking Ball’ tour reached it’s conclusion in September of this year, the 64-year-old, proud New Jersey native announced he would be touring again in 2014. He’s keen isn’t he? But he’s not the only veteran rocker still going strong and keeping the brand alive at a time of life when most normal people are looking towards playing golf and joining the Rotarians.


 Springsteen’s 2013 Wrecking Ball Tour was one of his most successful ever having sold an estimated 3.5 million tickets 

And why should they stop? The people have spoken in ticket sales and fans of the likes of Springsteen, Billy Joel and Paul McCartney are demanding their beloved heroes return again and again for one last encore. A final encore that might have seemed a real possibility a decade ago.

Take 64-year-old Billy Joel for example, who has just returned to the UK on tour for the 1st time in 7 years and will be heading to New York’s Barclays Center for New Year’s Eve before hitting the BB&T Center in Florida January 7th. Back in 1999, Joel claimed he was embarking on his final tour, which he clearly wasn’t, and yet again he’s back and according to the fans, the performances are still epic. But why shouldn’t they be? He’s been at this game a fair old while now, having started his touring career back in 1972, opening for The Beach Boys.

74-year-old Sir. Paul McCartney needs no excuse to keep performing, what would a Queen’s Jubilee be without ‘Hey Jude’ and a nation swathed in nostalgia? We love Paul and we love the sentiment. Having completed his ‘Out There’ tour this year, which saw the Liverpudlian returning to Japan for the first time since 2002, McCartney is now planning on touring Europe in 2014. He’s also adding a plethora of crowd-pleasing treats such as laser lights and a lift which will raise the superstar some 6 metres into the air.  Have you been keeping an eye of those Justin Bieber concerts Mr. McCartney?

Then there’s the Rolling Stones who rolled all the way onto the Pyramid stage this year when they headlined Glastonbury. These are just a handful of the musicians refusing to claim their pensions.

So what is it that prevents these artists from relaxing and enjoying the results of the years upon years of hard work. After all, touring is never easy. Do they simply miss the buzz or is the pressure of being the frontman for a brand that pays the wages for several thousand people the driving force? Perhaps they have unfinished business, a strong desire to prove to the fans, critics, themselves that they still have ‘it’ – or indeed that they have even more to showcase? Springsteen, Joel and McCartney are consummate professionals for sure, but they’re also some of the most famous song-writers in the world. Perhaps that’s what it comes down to? Maybe the driving force behind their motivation is purely the inability to stop hearing the music, needing it and wanting to share it.

The fans are true critics and by all accounts, these seasoned musicians in their contemporary form still hold a candle to their glory days. They’re not about to go quietly into the night and I for one am glad, because seeing Springsteen live in concert is yet to be crossed off my bucket list.

-Lucy Jenkins.



Leave a Reply

View more videos