Rod Stewart Says Elton John's Farewell Tour "Stinks of Selling Tickets"
By Andrew Magnotta
March 23, 2018
Stewart called the idea of making a big retirement tour announcement "dishonest" in a recent appearance alongside Cyndi Lauper on Bravo's Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen.
"I've never spoken about retirement, and if I do retire, I won't make an announcement; I'll just fade away," Stewart said. "[Making] this big deal, 'Oh, I'm going to retire!' stinks of selling tickets."
Lauper agreed that rock and roll retirements often don't stick, but she defended Sir Elton's decision to "Go out with a bang," as he's said, noting that announcing retirement is fine if it's what you intend to do.
"It's dishonest," Stewart said flatly. "It's not rock and roll."
John couched his retirement announcement by acknowledging that he has no plans to completely disappear once his 300-plus-date tour is over, saying he will still write music and record.
"It doesn't mean I'm still not going to be creative," John said at the tour announcement press conference. "I'm just not going to travel anymore."
The "Rocket Man" singer emphasized that his family is a main reason for his retirement, saying he wants to raise them in person, not from hotel rooms around the world.
"My life has changed," John said at the time. "The priorities in my life have changed. My priorities are my children and my husband."
John said he has plans to bring his family with him for at least part of the tour—the children will have a tutor so they don't fall behind on their education. But the goal is to be at home and have a somewhat normal family life.
Stewart and John are longtime friends, who have collaborated musically many times. But they've also freely skewered one another in the press over the years. The two even dubbed themselves Phyllis and Sharon due to the way they argue.
When Cohen asked Stewart about the recent incident in which John stormed offstage in Las Vegas. Stewart defended John's frustration that a fan on stage kept trying to touch him while he was performing. Stewart then added that he personally doesn't mind that kind of rowdy behavior from fans.
"I don't mind it. I love people coming up on stage; it's a laugh," Stewart said. "I can see why he got pissed off with it. I've had people come on stage while I'm singing; I've nearly had my teeth knocked out [from people pushing me]. Yeah, I love it!"
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