4 Rock Stars Who Said They Will Never Retire

It’s no easy feat reaching the top of the charts as a rock musician. These four rock stars managed to do it… and they’re not interested in retiring anytime soon. Some of them don’t plan on retiring, period.

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1. Keith Richards/The Rolling Stones

Iconic rock band The Rolling Stones are still touring the world as of 2024. The “Paint It Black” hitmakers started back in 1962, and the original members that are still in the band are still rockin’ in their 80s. Guitarist Keith Richards has even said that he’ll never retire, and Jagger likely won’t, either.

“I really can’t imagine doing anything else,” Richards said in a 2020 interview with Rolling Stone. “You might call it a habit. I mean, that’s what we do. And also there’s that thing between us, like, ‘Who’s going to be the first one to get off the bus?’ You have to be kicked off or drop off, right?”

[See The Rolling Stones Live In 2024]

2. Kirk Hammett/Metallica

Metallica’s Kirk Hammett is on record saying that not only does he not plan on retiring, but he doesn’t believe that he has a choice in the matter.

“The universe put me here to play guitar and I’m going to fulfill that to that end,” Hammett said in a Toronto Sun interview. “I don’t believe in retirement because I’m a musician. You would hear these jazz and blues guys talk about never stopping, and dying on stage. Johnny ‘Guitar’ Watson did die onstage, and more power to him. So I don’t have a choice, man … Retirement is not an option.”

James Hetfield agrees.

“Look, musicians never retire,” Hetfield said in an NME interview. “They just become less popular. People think you’ve retired, but no, I’m still writing. […] And if I stop that, part of me dies. There’s no retirement.”

3. Paul McCartney

This OG Beatles member has been inconsistently writing music and touring since his career began with the band in 1956. His solo career after The Beatles broke up has spanned decades, and he’s still going strong.

“I was talking to… name-dropping, clunk… Willie Nelson,” McCartney once explained in a BBC interview. “And I was talking about this whole retiring thing, because he’s older than I am, even. And he says, ‘Retire from what?’ And I think that just says it… retire from what?”

4. Robert Plant

He was once an incredible member of Led Zeppelin, and is now an incredible vocalist with a stellar solo career and musical partnership with Alison Krauss. Robert Plant has said in the past that he doesn’t want to retire because there is always something new to learn.

“People used to say to me, ‘Well, you must have done enough now?’” Plant said in a sit-down with The Telegraph. “Enough of f***ing what? ‘Enough to retire!’ So imagine the blessing to be 40 years further down the road, and I still don’t know enough to stop in any respect. There’s always something new to learn, somewhere new to take it.”

Photo by Kevin Mazur

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