Reuniting After Calling It Quits: Dinosaur, Jr, Mötley Crüe, The Replacements, Phish & More

Retirement isn’t easy for anyone, especially when you’re giving up thousands of screaming fans and touring the nation. It seems like every year there is another tour announced that makes you question how a band like Def Leppard or The Replacements are still playing shows like it’s their first. Rock and roll legends are notorious for touring until their bodies give out, maybe even after that fact.

In light of Mötley Crüe finally kicking off their stadium tour after pledging and signing a lawful contract they were done for good, some bands can never really call it quits. There are artists who have been touring for decades and continue to book dates, even after a retirement announcement. Glide has compiled a list of bands who continued to tour even after a worldwide “retirement” tour. 

The Replacements 

Back in 1990, The Replacements announced their farewell tour. They toured the world and it all came to an end at Grant Park in Chicago in 1991. Their retirement lasted until 2012 when Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson got back together minus Bob Stinson and Chris Mars. 

Dinosaur Jr. 

Dinosaur Jr has a turbulent history. The band originally dissolved in 1997 due to creative differences. After a multitude of lineup changes and solo projects, the original lineup of J Mascis, Murph and Lou Barlow came back together in 2005 for a reunion tour and continues touring to this day. The band has dates set for the summer of 2022. 

Failure 

The L.A. band was originally active between 1990 and 1997, citing personal differences as the blame. The band seemed to be closing in on something big right before their falling out, they were playing two different stages on the Lollapalooza tour in their final year. The band got back together in 2014 and they continue on a U.S. tour happenign now. 

Jawbox

The D.C. alternative rockers began showing signs of disbanding after their original recording contract ended with Atlantic in 1996. Officially dissolving in ‘97, the band reunited for a one-off show in 2009 before fully reuniting ten years later. Since then there have been a few lineup changes, specifically replacing guitarist Bill Barbot with Brooks Harlan in 2021. 

Sex Pistols

Almost no band has gone through as many reunions and break-ups as London’s most controversial bands. Within the same year (1977), the Sex Pistols released what would become one of the most famous punk records of all time, toured the album, and broke up. After the death of their lead singer Sid Vicious, the band played a string of shows in 1996. One-off reunions occurred after but nothing was ever formal. 

Black Sabbath 

Once Ozzy Osbourne left his first band, the lineup was never consistent. The godfathers of heavy metal have been through more than almost any other band of their time. Guitarist Tony Iommi kept the band alive until Osbourne’s return to the group in 1997. The following years include another few Osbourne departures and returns, including the lead singer expressing interest in a reunion during interviews in 2018 only to take it back in 2020. Yet their final tour in 2016 minus Bill Ward on drums, was quite the routing.

Guns N’ Roses 

When you’ve been around as long as Guns N’ Roses, you’re going to have ups and downs. Between label difficulties and lineup changes, the band always seems to stay relevant. If we were to discuss every lineup change that Guns N’ Roses experience we’d be here all day, but in 2015 original members Slash and Duff McKagan rejoined Axl Rose for a headlining spot at that year’s Coachella festival and a series of tours would follow. Their last full tour was in 2020 but the band is still together working on reissues of their classic albums. 

The Police

After their 1984 tour, star guitarist Sting decided to leave The Police in pursuit of a solo career. The band went on hiatus and all the members began working on solo material until a failed attempt at recording new material in 1986 officially broke the band up. The band stayed apart until a huge 2007 reunion tour that lasted until the following year. 

Phish 

Phish might be the band that has stuck together the longest on this list. From the years 1983 to 2000, the band was actively touring and recording material. It wasn’t until 2004 that the band went their ways following the infamous Coventry Festival.. Their official reunion came in 2008 via an announcement on the band’s website followed by shows in Hampton, VA in early 2009.  Trey, Mike, Page, and Jon have since ushered in eras 3.0 and 4.0 and continue to reinvent and impress.

The Eagles 

After the band’s infamous public falling out in 1980, The Eagles seemed to be long overdue for a hiatus. The night is dubbed “Wrong Night In Long Beach” and featured two members of the L.A. band threatening each other in between songs during a benefit concert in Long Beach, California and they would often say “ hell would freeze over” before the band would play together again.  The band didn’t join forces again until 1994 when they met back up to film a music video for an Eagles tribute band and have since toured steadily, and continued on despite the death of founder Glen Frey in 2016.

Mötley Crüe

In one of the strangest breakups the rock world has ever seen, the original members of Motley Crue signed a legal document titled “Cessation of Touring”. This document was supposed to prevent the band from ever touring under the name Motley Crue effective at the end of 2015. That contract was broken about four years later when the band signed up to join Def Leppard and Poison on their 2020 Stadium tour, which would eventually become postponed until this year and is set to kick off on June 16 in Atlanta.

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