Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson Wants A World-Class Drummer For RUSH Tour
via Iván Bolaños/ Youtube
In 2018, Alex Lifeson, the guitarist of prog rock icons Rush, revealed that the band was “basically done” due to various health issues faced by its members. The death of drummer Neil Peart in 2020 cemented the band’s fate.
Thankfully, in a recent interview with frontman and bassist Geddy Lee, who is about to release his memoir My Effin’ Life, dropped an exciting hint yet that he and Lifeson might return to the stage as Rush, possibly with a replacement for Peart.
During a conversation with CBS News Sunday Morning correspondent Jim Axelrod, Lifeson and Lee were asked if they had ever considered the idea of recruiting one of the great drummers and going on tour again.
Geddy confirmed, “Have we talked about it? Yeah.” When pressed about the likelihood of it happening, Lee responded, “It’s not impossible, but at this point, I can’t guarantee it.”
Their stance softened after playing again their classics with stand-in drummers
The passing of drummer and lyricist Peart had a profound impact on the band. However, when Foo Fighter’s Dave Grohl organized tribute concerts for the late Taylor Hawkins and reached out to Lee and Lifeson to perform, they brought in new members.
The world-class drummers who lent their services to Rush were Danny Carey from Tool, session legend Omar Hakim, Chad Smith from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Grohl himself for a segment of “2112”. Subsequently, at an afterparty, Paul McCartney encouraged them to hit the road again.
Discussing the experience with The Washington Post, Lee mentioned that playing those songs with a third person had been a sensitive topic, but that feeling dissipated during the tribute concerts.
The frontman expressed, “It was nice to know that if we decide to go out, Alex and I, whether we went out as part of a new thing, or whether we just wanted to go out and play Rush as Rush, we could do that now.”
They already started jamming last year
Geddy has recently revealed that—probably inspired by their recent performances during the tribute concerts for Hawkins—Lifeson had come down to his studio to do some jam session, something they haven’t done in quite a while.
Unfortunately, despite Lifeson being “excited as offers rolled in after the Hawkins shows”, he underwent surgery in July to address his longstanding stomach issues.
When asked if he intends to encourage his friend to return to the stage, Lee conveyed to The Washington Post that Lifeson “needs to feel good and be healthy and strong”.
On the other hand, Lifeson had already sent feelers a year and a half ago about making music with Lee again. The guitarist shared with Guitar World in an interview: “We’re not putting any pressure on it or anything. We had a lot of good years together and we still love each other very much. I talk to Geddy every other day—we’re best friends. There’s more to our life together than just writing music. So if it happens, it happens. And it’ll happen when it happens.”
“I would never say there will never be another Rush show”
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times the previous month, Geddy was questioned about the possibility of another Rush show, and his answer lit the hopes of awaiting fans who want to see them live again.
“There could be a show that paid tribute to the songs of Rush. I would never say there will never be another Rush show. We get approached all the time,” the bassist said.
When asked if other drummers express interest in a Rush reformation by saying, “If you continue without Neil, I’m available”, Geddy revealed that such offers “happen all the time”.
“During the Taylor Hawkins tribute concert in September 2022, Alex and I performed with Dave Grohl and several other drummers. Neil would have loved it. I know he was looking down at us—or looking up at us— and thinking, ‘Damn, that would have been fun.'”
A gigantic pair of shoes to fill
Despite the resurgence of energy for playing live once again, Geddy recognized the hurdles of forging ahead without Neil Peart. Although there have been conversations about carrying on the band without the iconic drummer, Geddy stressed on the formidable task of finding someone to step into his role.
Nevertheless, the band has received invitations for tribute shows, and they have contemplated the possibility of embarking on a tour with a different drummer.
In January 2020, Peart succumbed to glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer, following a three-year battle. At the age of 67, he passed away.
Rush took three days before publicly revealing Peart’s death, triggering shockwaves and eliciting an outpouring of grief from fans and musicians worldwide.