Written by Emilee Lindner • Photography by Chris McKay/Prince William/Getty Images • March 17, 2017
Ozzy Osbourne’s thoughts on retirement were pretty clear when he made his comeback in 1995. The Black Sabbath singer had plotted his retirement from touring in 1992, when he was misdiagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and that year, he had renamed his No More Tears Tour to No More Tours Tour. But just three years later, Osbourne came back with his sixth album, Ozzmosis, and embarked on his Retirement Sucks Tour. The shows included future Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo and Mike Bordin, the former drummer of Faith No More. And with a straightforward tour name, it was obvious that Ozzy wasn’t ready to step away from his fans.
Drake asked, "Would You Like A Tour?" on Twitter in 2013, and shortly after, he was out playing arenas under that very moniker. Perhaps he couldn't think of a better name... or perhaps the rhetorical question epitomized Drake's place in pop culture. Do you want more Drake? Of course you do! Here's more Drake. Coming on tour with the 6 God was Future, Miguel, Jhené Aiko, PARTYNEXTDOOR and The Weeknd.
Those who were into hair metal back in 1987 might’ve been seen at the Ratt-Poison Tour. Yep, that’s right: a double bill of Ratt and Poison. It doesn’t get any punnier than that. In addition to the wordplay, Poison were touring in support of their debut album, Look What the Cat Dragged In, which was a little weird if you considered who they were touring with.
They Might Be Giants were named the official musical ambassadors for NASA International Space Year in 1992, after they named their fourth album for the Apollo 18 mission. 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. The 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.
When Sum 41 came back with their sixth album, 13 Voices, in 2016, they returned with a punny tour name as well. Perhaps riffing off Bury Your Dead’s Don’t Call It A Comeback Tour (or the famous line in LL Cool J's "Mama Said Knock You Out"), the Don’t Call It A Sum-Back Tour joked at the band’s short hiatus from the scene. We wouldn't expect anything less from the guys who once dubbed a slew of shows The Sum On Your Face Tour. Their comeback followed singer Deryck Whibley’s struggle with alcohol and a lineup change, but, like the tour name suggested, it was like they never left.
At first glance, it may seem like Peter Gabriel’s China 1984 Tour seems blandly named and straightforward. Except the China 1984 tour took place in 1980. And, uh, not in China. The tour posters and merch were printed in Chinese, despite being sold in the U.K. That guy has an interesting sense of humor, huh?
Jethro Tull celebrated its 20th anniversary with a tour in 1988, and while 20 years is a feat of 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. The fortune-telling banner had some truth to it, as Jethro Tull raged on for 26 more years until 2014.
5 Seconds of Summer took off on the Rock Out With Your Socks Out in 2015, with a tour name that paid homage to Red Hot Chili Peppers’ infamous naked socks routine. Although the subtle RCHP reference might have gone unnoticed by some fans, the title still matched the kooky fun-loving vibe the band put on in their marathon-length tour.
With powerful electric guitars and amplified rock, Mötley Crüe definitely need 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. The trek supported their 1994 self-titled album with a shake-up in the band’s roster. The venues included Los Angeles' Hollywood Palladium, the now-demolished Starwood Amphitheater in Nashville and, well, any place that had a few electrical sockets.
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.
Hungry for more fun-loving tour names? Check out this list of the 10 most country-sounding country music tours.
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