In a lengthy post on his Facebook page and website, the 73-year-old Loksinger announced on Friday that he was retiring from performing immediately. He canceled several shows planned across the country for the next year and said he would no longer be booking.
He said, “It’s a great 50 plus years of being a working entertainer, but I’ve come to the difficult decision that touring and stage shows are not possible.”
Guthrie did not respond to inquiries about emails and phone messages in detail, but indicated in his statement that health issues played a major role. He said he had suffered two strokes in recent years, including one severe, which kept him hospitalized for several days last year.
The son of folk music legend Woody Guthrie rose to fame overnight with the release of “Alice’s Restaurant Massacre” in 1967, an 18-minute hilarious talk about how his Thanksgiving Day 1965 arrest Kept him out of the army during the Vietnam War.
As she repeatedly played a strangely memorable tune on her acoustic guitar, Guthrie related how she would make fun of the local police chief who arrested her, appearing in front of a blind judge who used evidence as evidence against her. Could not see the pictures presented in He sacked his draft board for concluding that “it was not ethical to join the military and burned the homes and villages of women and children after littering them.”
He has gone on to record more than 30 albums, writes a number of children’s books and occasionally appears on television shows and films, including the 1969 film “Ellis’s Restaurant”.
“The shelf life of a folk singer can be much longer than that of a dancer or an athlete, but at some point, unless you’re incredibly lucky or just plain whacko (either one or both), it’s ‘Gone fishing’ is the time to sign up., He said on Friday.
Guthrie, who had refused to play “Alice’s Restaurant Massacre” to audiences for years, planned to perform it on next year’s show. He played it at Carnegie Hall in New York in 2019, which he had previously announced would be the last of his 50 Thanksgiving weekend shows at that esteemed music hall.
But the day before, ironically, on Thanksgiving, he suffered the second and more severe pain of his stroke. Two days later he was in the hospital and later underwent physical rehabilitation for several days.
By the following year, he was back on his feet and back on tour when a coronovirus epidemic occurred. He estimated on Friday that he would have recovered about 80 percent of his health by then, but after months of laziness off the road, he decided it was time to stop.
In July, he released a new song, Stephen Foster’s “Hard Times Less Again No More,” and indicated on Friday that his retirement from the stage did not mean he would leave completely.
“In fact, I expect that very soon there will be a thorn in the side of a new administration,” he said in a reference to President Donald Trump.