No farewell tours for Billy Joel: “This is what I do. And it's probably keeping me alive”

Credit: Kevin MazurWhile his colleagues Elton John, Paul Simon and Neil Diamond have all announced that they’re retiring from the road, Billy Joel has no plans to follow in their footsteps. But even if he does plan to hang it up one day, the Pinao Man says you won’t catch him doing a big “farewell tour.”

“You know what a farewell tour is? A farewell tour is just a way of getting people to buy tickets, because they don’t think they’re going to see you anymore. Then all these farewell tours go on for like five years,” Joel tells the Tampa Bay Times. “The Who have been on a farewell tour for like 30 years. So I think it’s pointless. If I’m going to stop, I’m just going to stop. But I don’t see that happening.”

Why not? Because unlike his colleagues, Joel doesn’t travel all over the world, which he calls “a bummer.” He does his monthly residency at New York’s Madison Square Garden, as well as selected stadium shows. Although he admits retirement has crossed his mind.

“It felt like, ‘Okay, I’m getting older, I’m getting tired, I shouldn’t be doing this anymore,” he says. “I look at myself in the mirror and I go, ‘You do not look like a rock star at all.’ And I think maybe I should just call it quits. But then I realized, this is what I do…And it’s probably keeping me alive.”

As for his old friend Elton’s upcoming three-year farewell tour, Billy doesn’t have any inside info, but says, “Maybe it will be his farewell tour, but that doesn’t mean he’s not going to play again.”

He adds, “I mean, Elton lives in England. Maybe he’ll play in London and do a residency like I’m doing in New York. You never know.”

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