“I’m not going to be doing that. Wheel me out? No f**king way”: Joe Bonamassa says he’ll call it quits when he’s no longer at the “height” of his skillset

The bluesman – who is now 46 – plans to do 50 years in the game in total, meaning he’ll throw in the towel at 61.

While some guitarists are hellbent on slinging the six-string until the day they die, others are more content with an exit strategy, should their skills dwindle as they age.

Blues maestro Joe Bonamassa is one such guitarist who plans to hang up his guitars – all 400 of them, by current estimates – when he feels he can no longer perform to the best of his abilities.

In a new interview with Guitarist, Bonamassa – who is now 46 – unveils his plans for the future.

“With any luck, in another 20 years I’ll be out of this fucking business,” he says. “I’m not a lifer. I’ll probably take it to 50 years. That’ll make me 61 when I peace out. I think 50 years in any occupation is good. I don’t want to be 80 and still asking the question: who killed John Henry? I’ve so little interest in that. As an old person I just don’t want that.”

He continues: “I’m at the height of my skillset, and the minute it degrades to where I can’t play or sing as well as I’m doing now is the minute I plan the exit, because I don’t want to be the old grey mare. I just won’t do it.

“I’ve seen it. I see it now: always being on the road, always doing something, always playing… No. This place [looks around] will go to somebody else. The guitars will go to somebody else eventually.”

On what he plans to do when he does decide to call it quits, he goes on: “Open up a little antique shop. Do flea markets… Put that same intensity into something else. I don’t know what.

“But when I’m 61 in 2038, that’s it. Enough. 50 years. What else can I do? I mean, I know The Rolling Stones just put out a record [Hackney Diamonds] and Mick’s 80 – great. They’re obviously still into it. I’m not going to be doing that. Wheel me out? No fucking way.”

So JoBo fans, you’ve got about 15 years left to catch the bluesman out on the road. Stay up to date with his current tour dates via his official website.

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