Geddy Lee & Alex Lifeson Have Been Jamming On Rush Songs Together

“We sound like a really, really bad Rush tribute band.” — Alex Lifeson

By Scott Bernstein May 7, 2024 2:09 pm PDT

Guitarist Alex Lifeson revealed he recently began playing Rush songs in private with bassist Geddy Lee nearly 10 years after the band’s last show. Rush called it a career in 2015. Lifeson and Lee’s Rush bandmate drummer Neil Peart sadly died in 2020 at age 67.

“We decided that we would play some Rush songs. Because, you know, we haven’t played these songs in 10 years,” Lifeson told Ultimate Classic Rock. “We started that a couple of weeks ago. We get together one day a week over at his place. We just picked some Rush songs and we started playing them and we sound like a really, really bad Rush tribute band.”

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The guitarist surprised himself at how complex the compositions are and needed time to get back into form. “Trying to figure out the songs, I’m thinking, ‘Why did we write that so difficult? Why is this so hard to play?'” Lifeson added. “After about three run-throughs of all of these songs, muscle memory kicks in and your hand just goes to where it goes. You sort of get out of the way and you play and you go, ‘Thank God, I did make this simpler than it felt.'”

Despite Lifeson rehearsing Rush songs in private, it appears he won’t be performing them in public any time soon. “Offers come in all the time, but I don’t know. I don’t think that’s something that we’re really interested in,” the guitarist noted to Rolling Stone in a different interview published yesterday.

“I’m 70. It’s not as easy to get my fingers to do what my brain tells me to do,” Alex explained to Ultimate Classic Rock of the reason for the new regiment. “They’re much lazier than they used to be and they have a poor memory. Doing this really helps a lot, and it’s fun. That’s it. The whole thing was that in the beginning, it was just fun. We’re having a riot together doing that. There’s no rhyme or reason. We’re not planning on going back on the road, finding a new drummer or anything like that. It’s just fun to do it.”

Ultimate Classic Rock queried Lifeson on the hardest Rush song to pull off. “‘Freewill.’ There’s a lot of notes,” Lifeson quipped in response. “The solo is crazy, the middle bass section is crazy and everything has to fit in at the right place. So that’s been a real challenge to play. But we’re getting there. We’re starting to sound like just a mediocre Rush tribute band now.”

Alex Lifeson also spoke to both publications about his new line of Lersxt musical equipment and work on the next Envy Of None album. Envy Of None is a band Lifeson co-founded with vocalist Maiah Wynne, multi-instrumentalist Alfio Annibalini and bassist Andy Curran. Head to Rolling Stone and Ultimate Classic Rock to read the full interviews.

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