Arlo Guthrie Announces Retirement From Touring: ‘Gone Fishing’

Arlo Guthrie is hanging up his touring hat.

In a message on his website on Friday (Oct. 23) titled “Gone Fishing,” the folk singer revealed that after 50 years, “touring and stage shows are no longer possible.”

He explained that he has experienced a number of mini-strokes, the first in 2016. “I got really dizzy in the parking lot of the hotel, and started seeing as though I were looking through a kaleidoscope,” he said, before sharing that he didn’t find out it was a mini-stoke until a few weeks later. “It didn’t appear to affect my performance, or my state of being. I continued touring for the next 4 years.”

He experienced another in November 2019, on Thanksgiving, but was still able to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York the next day. When he returned to Florida a few days later, he was experiencing pain on both sides of his body and went to the hospital. “They kept me there for 3 days, running tests of all kinds, and essentially informed me that I’d suffered a stroke,” he said. “This time was more serious, as I’d lost some ability to walk, and I wondered if if would be able to play music.”

He went on to thank his girlfriend Marti for her care and support, and shared that he’s been quarantining at his farm in Massachusetts, playing music online.

“A folksinger’s shelf life may be a lot longer than a dancer or an athlete, but at some point, unless you’re incredibly fortunate or just plain whacko (either one or both) it’s time to hang up the ‘Gone Fishing’ sign,” he concluded. “Going from town to town and doing stage shows, remaining on the road is no longer an option.”

“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.” See the full message here.