Kiss, Motley Crue, Cher, More

Mötley Crüe, Kiss, Cher, Elton John, and even Frank Sinatra all embarked on supposedly ‘final’ tours — only to hit the road again

When Mötley Crüe announced their “Final Tour” in 2014, they knew they’d have to make a huge effort to convince people it wasn’t just an elaborate con, so they signed a “cessation of touring activity contract” at a press conference. They never actually shared the document with the public, but they claimed it meant they could never tour again. The enforcement mechanism was always a little vague since there’s no rock & roll police to stop them, but it seemed to work: Fans packed arenas all over the world thinking it was their last chance to see the notorious Eighties metal band.

They should have known better. Farewell tours are one of the oldest scams in the music industry. They’re a means to create buzz around a tour and jack up prices along the way, especially for bands that have been flogging the same tired show for years to dwindling crowds. Goodbye tours are also a means to take a few years off before announcing the inevitable reunion tour with inflated ticket prices.

Here’s a look at 15 artists that have launched final tours that didn’t stick, from Frank Sinatra in 1971 all the way to Slayer this year. (Note: We’re discounting the Eagles Farewell 1 tour of 2005 and Phil Collins’ First Final Farewell tour of 2004 because both made it clear by their very titles that they weren’t meant to be taken seriously. And let’s all salute Bob Seger for being one of the few artists to say goodbye and truly mean it.)

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