Alex Lifeson is one-third of one of the most iconic names in progressive rock and within the genre itself, Rush. The group would stop touring at the end of 2015 and Lifeson himself in early 2018 would announce that Rush would conclude as a group. The band would be fully active for multiple decades spanning from 1968 to 2018 and would, collectively sell over 40 million albums worldwide.
This radio icon insulted Rush for a painful reason. During a recent interview with Ultimate Guitar, Lifeson discussed why artists have a hard time retiring and leaving with their legacy intact – in turn, he would seemingly rip Genesis star and icon Phil Collins for continuing to perform live, who continues to be taking gigs despite having noted health issues that make him perform in a chair at concerts. Credit to the outlet for the below.
I mean, I get it, and I think for a lot of people, it’s great. They reached that point in their lives after a long career in whatever it is that they do. It’s weird in this [line of work] and I guess it’s the same thing with athletes in professional sports when you come to the end, especially with us, and we still have gas in the tank. We [Rush] could have continued touring. If we had the strength, we could have continued touring. I think we were playing great. On the last tour, I thought we played well. I thought the show looked fantastic, and you could argue that that’s the best way to go out.
Lifeson would continue:
“That’s where your legacy is intact, and that’s how people remember you. They remember you at that show where you played that song that they’ve listened to for 40 years, and it was the best version they’ve ever heard of that song, and that’s what they’re left with. They’re sad that it’s over but at least they have that memory. Unlike some artists who end up in a chair on a stage singing… I would never, ever, ever want to be like that. For what purpose? Is it money? Is it some egotistical drive? Get over it. Get over yourself. You know, it’s just, I don’t know… I’m just not like that.” This Rush member would revealed how much money he made in the band.
Lifeson would conclude:
“So I’d rather be productive, and I’m going to continue working. I’m not going to play Rush songs, I’m not going to try and be what I was when I was 25 years old, or 30 years old. I’m a different person now. I’m still the same person, but I think differently. I’m sitting and playing acoustic guitar before I go to bed every night for a couple of hours now, and I am loving it. No one’s in the room, my wife’s not even in the room, and I’m having so much fun. My fingers are hurting, which is a good sign. I just shake my head and I just thank the gods that I’m able to do this, and I’ve been able to do this, and I hope to continue until the very last big open E chord I play.”