Oct. 24 (UPI) — American folk singer Arlo Guthrie has announced his retirement at the age of 73.
“It’s been a great 50+ years of being a working entertainer, but I reached the difficult decision that touring and stage shows are no longer possible,” the “Alice’s Restaurant” singer wrote on Facebook Friday.
“I’ve canceled the upcoming shows, and am not accepting offers for new ones. That’s the short version.”
Guthrie went on to say he had mini-strokes in 2016 and 2019, followed by a more serious stroke last year.
“I’d lost some ability to walk, and I wondered if if would be able to play music,” he recalled in his post.
“I spent about a week in a rehab center to re-learn the basics, like walking. I went home after that, and began a regimen of playing guitar, walking… All the things I would need to continue touring and performing. During the entire time, [my girlfriend] Marti kept the family and close friends advised as to my progress, and took really great care of me. I needed all the help I could get. And she was there to see it done right. By the the time our first shows began in 2020, I was at about at 80% and felt like I was improving. Then the pandemic hit.”
Guthrie said he and his girlfriend have been “holed up” at his farm in Massachusetts since June, “trying to keep out of harms way, and also trying to provide some online entertainment” for those doing likewise.
The son of the late Woody Guthrie said he is looking forward to retirement, but promises to continue speaking out against social injustice wherever he sees it.
“I’m happy, healthy and good to go, even if I’m not going anywhere. I’ve taken back 6-9 months that I used to spend on the road, and enjoying myself with Marti, my family and friends. In short – Gone Fishing,” he said.