Frank Marino retires from touring due to "debilitating medical condition"

Frank Marino onstage
(Image credit: Frank Marino/YouTube)

Canadian guitar legend Frank Marino has announced his retirement from live work. 

In a statement released on his website and on social media, Marino said: "With sorrow I am forced to announce my immediate retirement from touring, and possibly all things related to continuing my career, due to an unexpected and debilitating medical condition which makes it impossible for me to tour. 

"I want to thank all the people who supported me all of the last half-century. I know that many were looking forward to seeing us play this fall and I was looking forward to getting out again and doing more shows, but it now appears that in the absence of a miraculous recovery, my Concert DVD (Live at the Agora) will constitute the last show I will ever have played. 

"I ask any that are believers to include me in their prayers."

Live at the Agora was released in 2019 but filmed in 2010, and features over six hours of live performance shot at the Agora Theatre in Cleveland, Ohio. The shoot was handled by Bruce Springsteen's video crew, but a problem with the audio meant that Marino had to painstakingly reinsert every drum beat, a process which took years to complete.

"It’s not as if we simply have a drum track that sounds bad, we have a drum track that in some places it has completely disappeared," Marino told The Examiner in 2012. "And when it hasn’t disappeared it sounds like an iPhone. So I have to basically discern exactly what the drummer is playing on every single strike and then I have to discern how hard he hit it, which drum he hit, and with which nuance, and I have to redo that and fix each piece one by one. 

"I’m not improving anything just resurrecting it, kind of like restoring a painting. If it was just an album, I could just get the drummer to come back and play it again, but we can’t because he’s on video."

In 2015, Marino wrote on Facebook, "It's cost me five years of my life, and that doesn't mean five years of my spare time, it means every waking minute of those years, no exaggeration. And I really thought it might take only a few months."

The work resulted in Marino being diagnosed with adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder). "I’ve got 50% movement in the arm," he said in 2012. "Although I have movement, I haven’t lost the pain. I’m in constant pain 24/7."

Marino's 2020 North American tour, which had been postponed until September 2021, has been cancelled. The guitarist was also due to play on next year's Rock Legends Cruise - due to set sail from Orlando, Florida, in February - alongside Styx, Blue Oyster Cult, Zakk Sabbath, The Outlaws, Warrant, Lita Ford and more.  

Live At The Agora is available from the Frank Marino store.  

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.