Rush's Alex Lifeson: I don’t feel inspired or motivated to play right now

Rush's Alex Lifeson
Rush's Alex Lifeson (Image credit: Scott Dudelson - Getty)

Rush’s Alex Lifeson says he hasn’t felt inspired or motivated to play guitar since the death of drummer Neil Peart.

Peart died on January 7 after a three and a half year battle with brain cancer, with Lifeson saying that it’s been difficult for him to pick up an instrument – although he says, “I know it'll come back.”

Lifeson was a guest on Talking Golf With Ann Liguori on WFAN (opens in new tab) to talk about his love of the sport, when he was also asked if he and Rush vocalist, bassist and keyboardist Geddy Lee had talked about getting back on stage together.

Lifeson replies: “Not really. It's been difficult. After Neil passed in January, I've played very little guitar – I just don't feel inspired and motivated. 

“It was the same when his daughter died in a car accident in 1997. I didn't really play for about a year. I just don't feel it in my heart right now. Every time I pick up a guitar, I just aimlessly mess around with it and put it down after 10 minutes. 

"Normally, I would pick up a guitar and I would play for a couple of hours without even being aware that I'm spending that much time. So I know it'll come back.”

Lifeson points to Lee’s 2019 book tour promoting his Big Beautiful Book Of Bass (opens in new tab) and adds: “Every time I spoke to him about getting back together, he was, like, 'Yeah, when I get through this.' And then something always comes up. 

“I don't know if the motivation is there for us to really do anything now. We're certainly proud of our track record, and we still love music. But it's different now."

Rush brought the curtain down on their career when they played their final show in Los Angeles on August 1, 2015 – but Lifeson says he doesn’t miss the touring lifestyle.

“Maybe a year or two after we stopped, I probably missed it more,” he says. “But I've settled into it now, and I quite like my life and what I'm doing. I keep active in music, and I'm so in love with golf during the summer, and I'm close to my family. It's a very good balance for me.”

Last week, Rush’s 1980 album Permanent Waves (opens in new tab) celebrated its 40th anniversary with a reissue on 2CD Deluxe Edition, 3LP Deluxe Edition, a Deluxe Digital Edition and a Super Deluxe Edition.

Rush and Permanent Waves featured on the cover of issue 274 of Classic Rock magazine which is still available to buy (opens in new tab). The lead article spans nine pages and includes an interview with Alex Lifeson along with comments from Geddy Lee, Terry Brown and art director Hugh Syme about the band’s seventh studio album.

The psychical edition also features a Rush album-by-album guide and an official Rush 'Starman' laptop sticker, while the magazine also includes Ozzy Osbourne, Robby Krieger, Queen, Bernie Marsden and more.

Rush: Permanent Waves Super Deluxe Edition (opens in new tab)

Rush: Permanent Waves Super Deluxe Edition (opens in new tab)
Rush's pivotal 1980 album Permanent Waves has been reissued in this lavish package to celebrate its 40th anniversary. It features a remaster of the original album, live cuts and much more.

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent more than 30 years in newspapers and magazines as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. After initially joining our news desk in the summer of 2014, he moved to the e-commerce team full-time in 2020. He maintains Louder’s buyer’s guides, scouts out the best deals for music fans and reviews headphones, speakers, books and more. He's written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog and has previous written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky. Scott grew up listening to rock and prog, cutting his teeth on bands such as Marillion and Magnum before his focus shifted to alternative and post-punk in the late 80s. His favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Ned's Atomic Dustbin and Drab Majesty, but he also still has a deep love of Rush.