Report: More Details Emerge About Night Of RUSH Guitarist's Arrest

January 12, 2004

John Henderson of the Naples Daily News is reporting that Freddy Cole, the 71-year-old younger brother of the late, legendary performer Nat King Cole, was hired to play the $650-a-couple, black-tie Ritz-Carlton Naples New Year's Eve's bash, where a dispute began between RUSH guitarist Alex Lifeson (a.k.a. Alex Zivojinovich) and Collier County Sheriff's deputies.

Cole said he had no idea that the man in a white suit who jumped onto the stage where he was performing was the son of the lead guitarist for the internationally known Canadian rock band RUSH.

The son's action started a chain of events that resulted in a clash between deputies and Alex Zivojinovich, as well as his son, Justin.

Cole said over his decades of performing, he has seen his share of people walk up on stage and act crazy, and he usually tries to ignore them, just as he did that night.

"The less you say, the better," the 71-year-old said. "I have learned over the years not to lend credence to people acting crazy, and to continue doing what I'm doing."

Likewise, Cole said he tried to tune out Justin Zivojinovich's remarks after he grabbed the microphone.

"He said something like, 'How about a nice round of applause for this Count Basie.' I wouldn't even look up. He knew damn well my name ain't Count Basie."

He said he clearly remembers Justin Zivojinovich being extremely intoxicated.

"You could see the way he was stumbling all over the dance floor," he said.

Cole recalled another person in a dark suit getting onstage with Justin Zivojinovich before the microphone was turned off. Read the rest of the article here.

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