Rush frontman Geddy Lee says the band always ruled out adding members to their lineup – even when he was struggling to play all his parts in the early 1980s.
He wound up delivering lead vocals, bass, synth, foot pedals and triggering backing tracks when the Canadian giants explored a more electronic sound.
Lee tells Rolling Stone: “Every rehearsal, I was screaming, ‘I can’t do it!’ But it just felt wrong to have another dude on stage with us.
“We talked about it all the time. We still talk about it. But it’s a no-go zone – can’t do it.”
He believes the balance between him, Alex Lifeson and Neal Peart is the secret to their longevity. “We’re never mean to each other,” he says. “If we disagree, we pout. That’s sort of the Canadian way. But we did love punching Alex when he said something stupid.”
Drummer Peart reflects: “If any of us were the slightest bit less stable, the slightest bit less disciplined, less humorous or more mean, or in any way different, it wouldn’t have worked. There’s a miracle there.”
Rush are currently touring the US on what’s likely to be their final large-scale tour – although Lee and Lifeson have both talked up the band’s future.
Meanwhile, the Quebec studio where they recorded seven albums is up for sale, for just $18,000. But the abandoned Morin Heights building – featured in the video for Tom Sawyer – needs a huge amount of work. It goes up for auction today and a Kickstarter campaign has been launched to preserve and rebuild it.
Rush tour dates
Jun 17: Toronto Air Canada Centre, ON
Jun 19: Toronto, Air Canada Centre, ON
Jun 21: Montreal Bell Centre, QC
Jun 23: Boston TD Garden, MA
Jun 25: Philadelphia The Wells Fargo Center, PA
Jun 27: Newark Prudential Center, NJ
Jun 29: New York Madison Square Garden, NY
Jul 09: Kansas City Sprint Center, MO
Jul 11: Denver Pepsi Center, CO
Jul 13: Salt Lake City Maverik Center, UT
Jul 15: Calgary Scotiabank Saddledome, AB
Jul 17: Vancouver, Rogers Arena, BC
Jul 19: Seattle Key Arena, WA
Jul 21: Portland Moda Center, OR
Jul 23: San Jose Sap Center At San Jose, CA
Jul 25: Las Vegas MGM Grand Garden Arena, NV
Jul 27: Phoenix UA Airways Center, AZ
Jul 30: Irvine Meadows Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, CA
Aug 01: Los Angeles Forum, CA