Alex Lifeson of Rush Doesn’t Feel ‘Inspired or Motivated’ to Play Guitar After Neil Peart’s Passing

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Rock Cellar Magazine

For any group of musicians, resuming work as a musical entity after the death of a band mate can be an insurmountable task — even more so if the deceased possessed such an irreplaceable role in the group, as Rush drummer Neil Peart did. Five months have passed since the legendary drummer died in early January after a private battle with brain cancer, and Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson is having a hard time getting back to making music at all.

As quoted by Rolling Stone, Lifeson recently spoke with Ann Ligouri on her Talkin’ Golf podcast about the struggle he’s had soldiering in any musical capacity since Peart’s death:

“It’s been difficult. After Neil passed in January, I’ve played very little guitar. I just don’t feel inspired and motivated.”

Lifeson told Ligouri that he is experiencing the same thing he did in the late 1990s, when Peart lost both his teenage daughter (from a car accident) and wife (from cancer) shortly thereafter:

“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’s emotional comments come right after Rush reissued the Permanent Waves album for its 40th anniversary — that set was released on May 29.

For more on Neil Peart, who was a vastly unique person with a number of passions outside the iconic music he made with Rush, revisit our 2014 interview with him at this link.

Neil Peart of Rush: The World’s Audience (The Interview)


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