RUSH's GEDDY LEE On NEIL PEART's Retirement From Drumming: 'His Body Has Been Letting Him Down'

December 20, 2018

During a brand new interview with New York City's Q104.3 radio station, RUSH frontman Geddy Lee said that fans shouldn't expect to see the legendary Canadian trio perform live ever again. "[Drummer] Neil [Peart] has retired, and so the idea of seeing Neil, Alex [Lifeson, guitar] and myself on stage or on record together is not realistic. We're still good friends and we talk all the time. We've all been together quite recently having a good dinner together, but that part of our life… we've moved on from that."

Asked if he and Alex might get together at some point and make music again, Geddy, who has been promoting his new book "Geddy Lee's Big Beautiful Book Of Bass", said: "I don't know what the future holds at this point. I've been focused on this book. I know Alex has been playing on sessions for a variety of people, and he's having a good time doing that. We talk all the time, and I'm sure at some point, him and I will make some noise together and see if it's anything more than just noise. But I don't really know. I don't have firm plans to do anything. But, obviously, I'm a musician and I can't stop playing, so I'll do something soon."

Lee also didn't rule out the possibility of making another solo album as a follow-up to 2000's "My Favorite Headache".

"I haven't had time to do any serious work," he said. "I go down in my studio whenever a new bass comes in the house, and I play it. And when I'm playing it, usually ideas come along. I throw those on tape and I forget about them. But there will come a time when I finish shamelessly promoting this book that I will go back in the studio and look at what I've got and see if I feel inspired to do something."

RUSH has been completely inactive since completing its "R40 Live" tour three years ago. Peart was battling enormous physical pain through much of the trek, including a foot infection that made it agonizing for him to even walk.

"Retirement is a weird word for artists, because you either work or you don't work," Geddy said. "But with Neil, it was a different story, because he has very high standards of what he expects from himself as a player, and his body has been letting him down. I mean, imagine the physical exertion that he has to put out in the course of a three-hour show. We can't even conceive of how demanding that is. And it's becomingly increasingly harder for him to play at the level that he expects of himself. So he made that decision, and he's happy with it, and we don't find fault with him for that… It's realistic. He doesn't wanna give a lesser version of himself."

Lifeson and Lee have repeatedly said that RUSH will never do a show unless all three musicians agree to take part. They haven't performed as RUSH without Peart since he joined the band in 1974.

For first six years of RUSH's existence, John Rutsey was behind the kit and he played on the band's self-titled debut LP.

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