Legendary 80s hair rockers Mötley Crüe will say farewell for good this week as they stage their final concert in Los Angeles…
…unless they need money at some point down the road. It could be for legal fees, failed sports franchises, rehab for drug habits or other assorted trappings associated with living the life of an aging pop/rock star. The Who, KISS, Jay-Z, Nine Inch Nails, Judas Priest, Ozzy Osbourne and Scorpions are just a few of the legendary acts who have backed off of farewell claims. Farewell tours may be the biggest scam in the rock ‘n’ roll industry, which is a bold statement given ticketing scams, dubious reissues, shoddy merch and a pricing structure that charges consumers more for purely digital files than for physical product (which obviously has a higher cost of goods). Does anyone say goodbye for good? It doesn’t seem so. Perhaps retired rock ‘n’ rollers get tired of living the calm life. Perhaps it’s hard to let go of the artist’s muse and they need to get back out there and create. Most of us will never know, as we will never be rock stars, let alone successful enough to stage (and then contradict) Porky Pig’s famous sign off, “th-th-th-that’s all folks.”
Aside from the money, however, some artists have used farewell tours to take a comprehensive look back the history of their artistry. Judas Priest is a good recent example, as they played at least one song from each of their albums on their “farewell” tour several years ago, though they were unable to commit to the farewell aspect even as the tour was underway.
It is this aspect of reflection that is the subject of the therapeutic portion of this blog. Might there be some value in staging “farewell tours” for some of the problems in our own lives?
This can be approached in two ways. We can stage a party, event or otherwise as we transition from one point in life to another. We often do this in life already: consider how many graduation parties you may have attended. My suggestion is that if you are involved in a life transition that you use it as more of a celebration of achievement. What skills did you develop during the experience you are celebrating? It is especially important to think outside of the obvious. If you finished college, you obviously have skills related to your degree, but what else? For example, you may have learned the value of how to work in a system, as completing college requires paying tuition on time, acquiring a parking pass and learning your way around a new campus. Maybe these things were easy for you, or maybe they weren’t. It is a certainty that some will struggle with some or all aspects of college, even areas not related to academics.
The second (and perhaps more powerful) “farewell” is related to letting go of problems in your life once you have solved or overcome them. Take for example, someone who has set a weight loss goal and achieved it. Perhaps you will want to have a celebration with a few friends in which you model new clothes or discuss your achievement. Such a celebration marks your success in your mind and establishes (or continues) a new narrative in your life. There is a reason this approach is used on makeover shows. It’s because it helps people cement the changes they’ve made, and, as a result makes them more likely to be long lasting or permanent.
What challenges would you like to bid farewell to in your own life?
Therapy Goes POP
Perspectives on therapy and mental health as viewed through the lens of popular culture