A lot of band tours over the years have the album they’re promoting name, like Queen’s 1975/1976 “A Night at the Opera Tour”, or where they were going, like Led Zeppelin‘s 1968/1969 “North American Tour”. Some bands chosen tour names are a bit more fun, here are a few.
After the Eagles break up in 1980, Don Henley was asked in an interview about when the band would play together again, to which he responded “when Hell freezes over”. On May 27, 1994, after a 14-year hiatus, veteran rockers The Eagles reunite for a tour. The tour would come to be called the “Hell Freezes Over” tour.
Hell Freezes Over
- Don Henley – drums, acoustic guitar, percussion, vocals
- Timothy B. Schmit – bass guitar, vocals
- Glenn Frey – electric and acoustic guitar, piano, keyboards, vocals
- Don Felder – electric guitar, acoustic guitar, pedal steel guitar, mandolin, vocals
- Joe Walsh – electric, acoustic, and slide guitar, organ, vocals
Ozzy Osbourne the Black Sabbath singer had plotted his retirement from touring in 1992 when he was misdiagnosed with multiple sclerosis. It was this year, that he renamed his “No More Tears Tour” to “No More Tours Tour”. Three years later, on the release of his sixth album “Ozzmosis”, he embarked on his “Retirement Sucks Tour”.
No More Tours Tour
- Ozzy Osbourne – Lead vocals
- Zakk Wylde – Guitar
- Mike Inez – Bass
- Randy Castillo – Drums
- John Sinclair – Keyboards
Retirement Sucks Tour
- Ozzy Osbourne – vocals
- Alex Skolnick – guitar
- Geezer Butler – bass
- Deen Castronovo – drums
- John Sinclair – keyboards (touring)
It was 1987 when the bands Ratt and Poison toured together in the aptly named “Ratt-Poison Tour”. Ratt is an American glam metal group formed in Los Angeles, CA, and initially featured Stephen Pearcy (vocals), Robbin Crosby (guitar), Warren DeMartini (guitar), Juan Croucier (bass), and Bobby ‘The Blotz’ Blotzer (drums). Poison is a glam rock band from Los Angeles. Formed by drummer Rikki Rockett and singer Bret Michaels. they started out in Pennsylvania in the early 80s. Their first band together was called the Spectres.
They Might Be Giants were named the official musical ambassadors for NASA International Space Year in 1992 after their fourth album and tour, the “Apollo 18 World Tour”. The International Space Year was supposed to promote peaceful space exploration across the globe. Despite the theme, the band went for a more historical and rebellious label when it came to naming their tour.
“They Don’t Tread On The Cut-Up Snake World Tour” is a reference to Benjamin Franklin’s political “Join, Or Die” cartoon sporting a rattlesnake cut up into several pieces representing the colonies.
Peter Gabriel’s “China 1984 Tour” seems blandly named and straightforward. Except the China 1984 tour took place in 1980. And not in China. The tour posters and merch were printed in Chinese, despite being sold in the U.K. Peter Gabriel – Playtime 1988 Tour took place in 1982/3!!
Jethro Tull celebrated its 20th anniversary with a tour in 1988, and while 20 years is a feat for most bands, they poked fun at their age. Reports said that Ian Anderson was rolled onstage in a wheelchair as he played the opening flute riffs. Behind them, a banner read, “Oh No… Not Another 20 Years of Jethro Tull.” The tour unofficially took that name.
1988 Jethro Tull
- Ian Anderson
- Martin Barre
- Dave Pegg
- Martin Allcock
- Doane Perry
Mötley Crüe definitely needs electricity to put on a show. They appropriately named their 1994 tour the “Anywhere There’s Electricity Tour”, which cruised around the Americas and Japan.
A strong opponent of corporate sponsorship, Neil Young played off on sell-outs by naming his 1988 tour with The Bluenotes, the “Sponsored By Nobody Tour”. Young had tie-dye shirts printed with “Sponsored By Nobody” on the back as if they were T-shirts for an intramural softball team that forgot to get a sponsor. Neil Young & Crazy Horse had tours named – “Live In A Rusted Out Garage 1986” and “Smell The Horse Tour 1991”.
Elton John called his 1976 tour “Louder Than a Concorde (But Not Quite as Pretty)”. This was in support of his 10th studio album “Rock of the Westies”. It was a testament to the onslaught Elton and his ferocious band were delivering to the USA in the midst of its Bicentennial celebration. With a 20-song set-list, they toured England. Scotland and the United States, a total of 62 shows. The final encore of the shows was the cover of the Who’s “Pinball Wizard”.
Louder Than a Concorde (But Not Quite as Pretty Tour
- Elton John – lead vocals, piano
- Davey Johnstone – lead guitar, acoustic guitar, backing vocals
- Caleb Quaye – rhythm guitar, backing vocals
- Kenny Passarelli – bass guitar, backing vocals
- Roger Pope – drums
- James Newton Howard – keyboards, electric piano, synthesizer
- Ray Cooper – percussion
- Cindy Bullens – backing vocals
- Jon Joyce – backing vocals
- Ken Gold – backing vocals
Van Halen’s 1982/1983 tour, in support of Diver Down, was named “Hide Your Sheep Tour”. Explantations of the tour names were threefold. One is the old saying to alert people that trouble was coming to the neighborhood that went, “Hide your wives, hide your daughters, hell, hide your sheep!”
The other is a farmer in the Midwest when told Van Halen would be coming to town and asked if he would be hiding his daughters replied, “Hide my daughters? Hell, I’m gonna hide my sheep.” The third was a tongue-in-cheek response to a run of dates by AC/DC called “Hide Your Daughters.”
Hide Your Sheep Tour
- Eddie Van Halen – guitar, backing vocals
- David Lee Roth – lead vocals, acoustic guitar
- Michael Anthony – bass, backing vocals
- Alex Van Halen – drums
A few more were Roger Daltrey’s “Use It Or Lose It” tour in 2009/2010. Steely Dan’s first tour was called “First Tour”, their 1974 tour was called “Steely Dan Slips into the U.K.”, and their 2017 tour was called “Reelin’ in the Chips”. Sammy Hagar & David Lee Roth’s 2002 tour was cleverly called “The Sam and Dave Tour”.
Phil Collins 2004/2005 tour was called the “First Final Farewell Tour”. Deep Purple expresses their true feeling with their 2012 “Freeze Yer Ass Canadian Tour”.