Life Advice



Ask Amy: Rock star retirement has pyrotechnic potential

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: A few years ago, I started a rock band with some very talented musicians.

We play for fun (not for money), and we’ve played before some very large crowds.

We have a very big gig in a couple of months and, because my heart’s not in it anymore and I’ve lived my “rock star” dream, I know that it will be our last.

Should I tell the band before the gig that it’s our last gig, or should I wait until after the gig? I see pros and cons to both. -- Rock Retiree

Dear Rock Retiree: I shared your dilemma with my friend, the comedy writer and musician Adam Felber, co-host of the fun podcast “Dad Band Land.”

Adam and his co-hosts play in a neighborhood cover band.


He responds: “Announcing your retirement depends on what instrument you play. If you’re a guitarist, I wouldn’t worry about it, because there are a lot of you and it’s entirely likely your replacement will randomly wander into the garage while you’re telling the band you’re retiring.

“If you’re a keyboardist like me, don’t worry, either, because it could be several months before they notice you’re gone.

“But if you’re the drummer, well, how dare you abandon them!?

“But seriously, unless you’re the front man, and there’s absolutely no way the band can continue without you, I’d wait until a few days after the gig and then tell them you need to take a break for a while.


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