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Alex Lifeson Says Rush’s R40 Tour Was the ‘End of Touring’ for Neil Peart

Kevin Winter, Getty Images
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

The three members of Rush don’t know what their next move is going to be, but we can be pretty sure it won’t involve going back out on the road. Guitarist Alex Lifeson said that it was tough enough for them to get drummer Neil Peart to play last year’s R40 tour.

“Neil was prepared to commit to 30 dates and he told us that right from the very beginning,” Lifeson told Rolling Stone. “He didn’t even want to do the tour, to be honest with you. It’s been increasingly difficult for him, but he committed to the tour and we got through it. As far as he was concerned, that was the end of touring.”

He reiterated the two sticking points for Peart were his desire to be with his family and the toll that performing at his level takes on his body. “His shoulders were hurting, his arms were hurting, his elbows, his feet, everything,” Lifeson continued. “He didn’t want to play anything less than 100 percent. He was finding it increasingly difficult to hit that mark on this last tour. So, all those things combined, I get it. I’m disappointed and I think Geddy [Lee] is very disappointed and we’d love to continue this tour a little bit longer, but we’re off now.”

Lifeson has been in touch with the other two members, adding that he’s been writing music during the downtime, while Lee is currently visiting the Falkland Islands and Peart is simply “having a wonderful time” and “very happy.” Still, they have yet to sit down and figure out how to proceed, and it might be a while before the business side of Rush is discussed.

“You never know,” he said. “Maybe next fall or something like that, we’ll plan something. We took a year off before the last tour and we didn’t discuss anything about the band or work, and everybody had a great time, and we came back from that. We’re getting older and it’s getting tougher, but I don’t know. We’ll see.”

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