Saying “my barnstorming days have come to an end,” Keith Strickland — a founding member of The B-52’s who switched from drums to guitar following the 1985 death of Ricky Wilson — today announced that he’ll no longer tour with the 35-year-old Athens, Ga., party band, although he’ll remain a member.
Strickland announced his plans to stop touring on Facebook today (via Weeping Elvis, which also has an interesting interview with Stickland from earlier this year). The guitarist thanks his bandmates and friends, saying “it is the path I know in my heart I must follow.”
The guitarist doesn’t specifically say he’ll continue to record with the B-52’s, but it’s certainly implied through his statement. The band has not made any formal announcements itself, and, according to its website, there are no B-52’s concerts currently scheduled.
Read Strickland’s full statement:
I wanted to let you know that I will no longer be touring with the band. This has not been an easy decision for me to make, but it is the path I know in my heart I must follow.
I will continue to be in The B-52s… I will just not tour.
My barnstorming days have come to an end, but I wholeheartedly support Cindy, Fred and Kate’s decision to continue.
It has been an amazing journey and I’m amazed at all that we have accomplished as a band over the past thirty-five years. I’m grateful for the music Ricky, Cindy, Fred, Kate and myself have created together. I’m thankful for the many opportunities I’ve had to perform, and I’m filled with gratitude for your continued presence, love and support – together we made something wonderful happen.
Even though I will miss performing with the band and for you, I am looking forward to this new adventure.
Follow your bliss,
PREVIOUSLY ON SLICING UP EYEBALLS
- The B-52s’ tour with Squeeze starting to take shape with concerts set for June, July
- Squeeze adds post-Coachella concerts with English Beat, eyes June tour with B-52s
- B-52s’ Fred Schneider releasing ‘Destination… Christmas!’ holiday CD with The Superions
He’s probably 55 and tired of living out of a suitcase so often. I’m 53 and I hate being away from home for more than 1 night.
Just checked. He’s 59.
He’s 59!!!!!!!!!!!????? wow. looks DAMN GOOD for 59! I don’t blame him for this!
This is a sad day.
There are two shows listed on the website for this coming February actually.
“He’s 59!!!!!!!!!!!????? wow. looks DAMN GOOD for 59! I don’t blame him for this!”
He does look good–although that picture above, is about 10 years old.
I’m shocked by this. It’s not as though The B-52s have a heavy touring schedule, they’re no longer signed to a major label either so no real pressure to tour that much.
Just hope all is well with Keith. Thanks for the many years of enjoyment you’ve given us, and hopefully we’ll hear your music again, with or without the Bees. xx
Sorry you won’t be with the Bs on tour. I have been
to nine(9)concerts. I’ll miss seeing you! Best wishes and good luck.
On the B-52s.com site there is a letter from them/keith, where he says he will still be a band member…just not on tour. Hints of writing new material?? I only hope. He would need to stop touring to do just that.
So like how can you be a part of the band if you’re not touring with them? Uhhhhhhhh…?
Always liked this band. Sad to see Keith leave the touring circuit, but I was rather surprised to hear this, since I thought, a year ago, the entire band had announced they were stopping/retiring as a group, on good terms. What with Cindy being a long-time Wife and Mother, Kate having her significant other, Fred having his long-time partner, and Keith in his long-term relationship, as well, I figured they were just ending it all since they’d done what they set out to do in 1976. Their last album (in 2008, when the picture was taken above) was a very good, forward-thinking/classic sound-minded, quality follow-up in the tradition of their previous output. Hope all is well in B52s land. PLEASE REISSUE AND REMASTER THE ENTIRE CATALOG FROM 1979-1992!
Ive been a follower from the beginning. Although Keith was an original, he is not what MADE the B52’s. I wish him the best, but he will not be missed.
except Keith wrote a lot of the songs, i think, no small feat. i saw them last in 2011(+/-)….glad he was there
gonna see them this July in Avl!! 5th time!!!!