L-R: Bernie Taupin, Elton John; Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for NARASElton John’s Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour is billed as the Rocket Man’s last go ’round on the road. While Elton’s buddy Rod Stewart recently insinuated that “farewell” tours are just a scam to sell tickets, Elton’s musical partner of more than 50 years says this one’s completely legit.

Bernie Taupin, who wrote the lyrics for Elton’s biggest hits, says Elton didn’t exactly ask his opinion before he announced he was retiring from the road, but it makes total sense to him.

“I mean, the guy travels so much,” says Bernie. “He’s toured constantly for years, and this is a guy that goes to places that major artists never go to…That’s what takes a toll on you…It wears you out.”

According to Bernie, the fact that the tour will span several years is proof that there won’t ever be another one. “Because he goes to all these places, it’s gonna take two and a half, three years to cover it all,” he explains. “So no, there’s gonna be no coming back after this!”

While Bernie’s been just as much a part of Elton’s career as Elton himself, he’s never had to go on tour, and he says he can’t believe his 71-year-old pal’s stamina.

“I mean, when he’s onstage…he plays for, like, two and a half three hours every night!” Bernie marvels. “And personally, I have no idea how he does it…But it’s the traveling that’s hard, and that’s why he’s calling it a day.”

While fans may be sad that Elton’s hanging it up, Bernie says there’s definitely a silver lining.

“He’s not retiring from making records, y’know,” he points out. “In fact it’s probably gonna be a healthier situation for recording, because we’re not gonna have to jam it in between events!”

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