In the Canadian progressive band Rush’s most iconic song, the titular Tom Sawyer knows that changes aren’t permanent, “but change is”. This universal principle now applies to the band itself, as founding member and guitarist Alex Lifeson recently told The Globe and Mail that the group has played its swan song and will no longer be living in the Limelight.
Per The Globe and Mail:
Lifeson: “It’s been a little over two years since Rush last toured. We have no plans to tour or record any more. We’re basically done. After 41 years, we felt it was enough.”
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Lifeson, along with his Rush compadres Geddy Lee (vocals, bass, keys) and Neil Peart (drums) are often considered the most proficient musicians in their respective fields. The band became a paradigm for the progressive subgenre of hard rock by incorporating heavy synthesizer elements in the early 1980s. Though they returned to their blues roots in the 1990s, the band remained a productive, touring entity will into the 21st Century.
Rush released 20 albums over their 4-decade tenure, selling an estimated 65 million units worldwide. They were inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1994 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013. Lyrically, Rush has always been heavily influenced by sci-fi, fantasy, and dystopian imagery.
As for what’s next on Lifeson’s agenda:
“I’ve actually been busier lately than I have been in a while. I’m writing a lot. I’m writing on four or five different little projects. I get these requests to do guitar work with other people.
“It’s really a lot of fun for me. It’s low pressure: I get to be as creative as I want to be and I can work a little outside of the box, which is really attractive to me.
“I’m also writing for the West End Phoenix, a new monthly newspaper in Toronto. [Editor-in-chief and author and a founding member of the Rheostatics] Dave Bidini came to me and asked me if I’d wanted to have fun with a little column, and have artist Casey McGlynn do illustrations for it. It’s been great. Casey’s illustrations work really well together with what I’m writing.”
Rush may be retired as an active band, but their influence and legacy will live on forever.
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