Davey Johnstone Doubts Elton John Will Retire
The roadshow has only just begun, with Johnstone also playing the role of musical director, and several twists and turns planned for the performances ahead.
“I know that when we finish this three-year monster we’ll be done with touring,” Johnstone told Billboard in a new interview. “But at the same time there’s a sneaking feeling there might be a one-off here and there that we’ll play. We’ll do a festival or we’ll do this or that.”
He noted that "guys like us don’t retire. This is really not a short-term thing for us. It’s never been, like ‘[Get] in, make a lot of money, get out.’ It’s always been, ‘Okay, what’s gonna happen now? What do we do next?’”
Johnstone said he understood John’s decision to put touring behind him. “This has been an abnormal career for rock ’n’ roll,” the guitarist pointed out. “There’s only ever been us and the [Rolling] Stones. U2 are creeping up on us, although we’ve probably got 10 years on them, and the Stones have 10 years on us. We’ve always been a hard-touring band, a hard-working band, and that’s allowed [John] to become a megastar the world over. But you can’t do that forever. Nobody can.”
In the meantime, Johnstone predicted that, while the mainstay of the touring set would stay the same, they’d respond to regional favorites in an attempt to please as many fans as possible.
“‘Sacrifice' was a big song, No.1, in England, so we'll do that in England and Europe when we finally get there,” he said. “’Skyline Pigeon' was a massive hit in South America, God knows why. So we’ll do that down there. There are certain other territories that have favorites, also, so we'll be mindful of those as [the tour] goes on.”