Zakk Wylde Explains Why Retirement in Music Makes No Sense, Addresses Artists Who Come Back After ‘Farewell’ Tours

Various guitar masters have passed through Ozzy Osbourne’s lineup. But when you draw the line, Zakk Wylde has the longest tenure which, of course, also boosted the popularity of his other works, like Black Label Society. Nonetheless, it’s his greatness as a guitar player, songwriter, and showman that cemented his place as one of the most important musicians in the world of metal music. And judging by his recent comments, it seems he won’t be stopping anytime soon, despite being well into his 50s.

During his visit to Yngwie Malmsteen’s newly launched podcast, Zakk discussed the whole idea of retirement in the world of music. And, as he explains, he finds the idea “kind of funny.” Zakk said (transcribed by Ultimate Guitar):

“I always think the retirement thing is kind of funny too. Because, like Keith Richards always said, ‘Retired from doing what? Something I liked?’ If I like gardening, why am I gonna retire from that? Why am I gonna retire from having coffee and reading a book? I enjoy it. It’s different in sports. I mean, I get boxing and sports where your body is breaking down.”

He also mentioned a few examples:

“With B.B. King, and blues artists, Buddy Guy, the older they get, the more respect they get. Why would Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart retire, from doing what? Sitting there, playing piano? I enjoy doing this. I mean, I’ll keep going until I can’t play anymore, I never got the retirement tour thing either. If you can still do it and you enjoy doing it, then why are you stopping?”

Further down the chat, Malmsteen also mentioned the whole thing about artists coming back after a “farewell tour,” to which Zakk responded:

“I get it. I remember seeing The Who on a farewell tour in 1983 when The Clash opened up for them. That was at RFK Stadium, and that was 1983 they did the farewell tour. [laughs] And they’re still doing it. Actually, the only band that never said they’re doing a farewell tour is The Stones.”

It’s pretty interesting to get a comment from Zakk on the matter, especially knowing that Ozzy kept coming back for more. On the other hand, it seems that The Prince of Darkness is pretty light-hearted about all the comments, especially knowing that he dubbed his current tour “No More Tours II,” ultimately parodying his original “No More Tours” run in the early 1990s. The run commenced back in 2018, however, Ozzy’s health issues and the prolonged pandemic postponed the rest of his plans to 2023. We’re yet to see whether December 31, 2018, is going to go down in history as his final concert.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

David Slavkovic

David always planned for music to be nothing more than a hobby. However, after a short career as an agricultural engineer he ended up news editor at KillerGuitarRigs, senior editor at, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor.

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