(left) Michael Ochs Archives/getty image; (right) wireimage

Country superstar George Strait launched a farewell tour in January, and Meat Loaf will do the same next month. After that, both will have lots of free time to play pinochle with semiretirees like Glen Campbell, the Scorpions and Judas Priest, who finished their own goodbye tours last year.

But are any of these farewells for real?

Don’t bet on it. In the concert business, “farewell tour” is fast becoming like “Goodnight, Cleveland!” — just one more empty phrase bands say before they trot back out for an obligatory encore. Here’s a look at five performers who bid fans farewell and sold their tour buses but just couldn’t wait to get on the road again.


The First Farewell: They came to fame spitting fake blood, but bad blood was all too real among band members. They claimed their 2000-2001 tour would be their last.

The Return: Ace Frehley remained in retirement, but the others renewed their vows to “rock ’n’ roll all night and party every day.” They hit the road again in 2003.


The First Farewell: After releasing "No More Tears", he launched his “No More Tours” tour in 1993 and went home to attempt a no-more-drugs lifestyle.

The Return: He announced his “Retirement Sucks Tour” in 1995, followed by Ozzfest, the annual summer rock ritual featuring hordes of shirtless dudes showing off their beer bellies.


The First Farewell: She enjoyed her 1990 farewell tour so much she kept performing until it was time to announce another farewell tour in 2000.

The Return: After eight years off, she still had plenty of legs on 2008’s “50th Anniversary Tour.”


The First Farewell: Years of substance abuse and the death of Keith Moon left the band feeling awful cold; The Who said goodbye (before they got old) on their 1982 farewell tour.

The Return: Before a new generation of music fans could ask, “Who are you?”, the band unretired in 1989.


(left) Hulton Archive/Getty Images; (right) Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

The First Farewell: As usual, the Chairman of the Board did it his way: no tour — just a single farewell concert in 1971 in Los Angeles.

The Return: He released Ol’ Blue Eyes is Back in 1973 and toured into the 1990s, thrilling aging bobby-sockers and mob capos everywhere.