What might have prompted the shock retirement? He said he'd been thinking about "the departure of my beloved classmate recently," referring to the death a year ago of Eddie Van Halen, who died after a cancer battle. "I am encouraged and compelled to really come to grips with how short time is, and my time is probably even shorter... My doctors, my handlers, compelled me to address that every time I go onstage, I endanger that future."
He sounds happy with what he has accomplished, boasting that he has given "all I've got to give. That's what I did for the last 50 years."