Bob Seger hangs up guitar after half-century career

NEW YORK - Heartland rocker Bob Seger said that he was retiring from touring, announcing final dates after a half-century career.

The 73-year-old songwriter -- best known for his hit Old Time Rock and Roll, his 1979 tribute to what then already seemed like a retro musical style -- will tour across North America starting in November with a final date on May 2 in Houston.

Seger's representative said in a statement that the concerts would be his "final tour" but did not elaborate on the reasons.

But Seger has repeatedly hinted at retirement and last year underwent surgery for a ruptured disc in his back.

"I hope this pain goes away, 'cause they can never really guarantee it -— and if it doesn't, then I'm done, dude," Seger told the music site Louder earlier this year, while emphasizing that he was recovering and his voice was unaffected.

Seger, a collaborator of the Eagles, was also deeply affected by the 2016 death of the group's frontman Glenn Frey, to whom Seger dedicated a song on his latest album.

Born in Detroit, Seger found stardom with his Midwestern-influenced heartland rock, driven by a heavy guitar rooted in the blues and country with Seger's distinctly intense voice taking on themes of blue-collar life.

Seger -- whose hits also include Ramblin' Gamblin' Man and Shakedown, the theme to the 1987 film Beverly Hills Cop II -- has grown increasingly political in his songwriting with recent songs defending the environment and taking to task President Donald Trump.