In a recent conversation with SiriusXM, Geddy Lee, the bass player, keyboardist, and singer of the legendary band Rush, offered insights into the band’s final moments. If you haven’t caught it yet, those three minutes are certainly worth your time.
Geddy Lee expressed his contentment with Rush’s conclusion, despite the challenges of their final performance.
He highlighted Neil Peart’s struggles during the tour due to physical ailments, emphasizing Peart’s commitment to excellence.
“I’m comfortable with the way Rush ended. That last gig was a difficult night but what we’re talking about is what really was going through Neil’s [Neil Peart – the band’s drummer] mind. Throughout that tour, he was struggling to play at his peak because of physical ailments and other things that were going on with him. He is a perfectionist and he did not want to go out and do anything less than what people expected of him. That’s what drove him his whole career and that’s the way he wanted to go out, and I totally respect that.”
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Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee, not being drummers like Neil Peart, didn’t experience the same physical strain.
However, Lifeson faced challenges due to arthritis during the tour, struggling with three-hour performances. The difficulties highlighted the need for a different approach moving forward. Lee invested significant effort in crafting the tour alongside the creative team to ensure it effectively portrayed Rush’s story in reverse chronological order.
Regarding his bandmates, Lee explained,
“For Alex [Alex Lifeson – the band’s guitarist] and I, of course, we’re not drummers so we don’t take the same physical abuse, although Alex does suffer from arthritis and he was having a very difficult time on that tour playing three-hour shows. It was clear that whatever happened in the future was not gonna be like that. I spent a lot of time designing that tour with all our great creative people trying to make sure that it told that story [of Rush] in reverse.”
Lee expressed that creating the reverse chronological tour was immensely enjoyable.
However, he felt a touch of sadness because he wished a broader audience could have experienced it, beyond those who attended the specific cities. His main regret was not being able to do more shows in this style.
“It was great fun to do. I think my sadness was just the fact that I was so happy we pulled it off with the whole reverse chronological thing. I would like to have had the rest of the world that couldn’t come to those cities experience that. That’s really the only regret I have – that we couldn’t do more shows. In hindsight and with the benefit of time, I’m very happy with the way it went down. It just didn’t sit right for me to do a farewell tour and try to capitalize on that. It wasn’t the easiest thing to pull off but I feel good about our body of work and I feel good about the way it ended. You know, onward and upward…”
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In this candid discussion, Geddy Lee shed light on Rush’s final chapter. Neil Peart’s dedication to excellence, coupled with the band’s desire to honor their legacy, guided their decision to bid farewell in a manner true to their values. While the regret of not sharing their unique tour concept with a wider audience lingers, Lee’s contentment with the journey and the legacy remains unwavering.